Show Your Ocean Love

Follow these Northern California marine conservation groups to hear about the latest news, events, and ways to get involved.


By Pearl Thompson / Photos by Michael Zeigler

Can’t imagine summer without days at the beach? Consider supporting these ocean advocacy organizations that fight to keep our marine environments healthy and safe to enjoy.

Greater Farallones Association.  The supporters of the Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary run research, education, and conservation activities to preserve the area’s wildlife and habitat. Sign up for the monthly newsletter or follow the nonprofit on social media to keep up with regional news, online seminars, and volunteer opportunities.

Benioff Ocean Initiative.  Do you know of an ocean problem that can be fixed with $1 million and some tech-style innovation? Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff wants to hear about it. He endows this institute based at the UC Santa Barbara to tackle marine environmental issues by bringing together funding, scientists and solutions.

Estuary & Ocean Science Center.  Who knew Tiburon had a world-class institution devoted to studying the health of bays and estuaries? Follow the Cal State University San Francisco organization on social media to keep up with news and participate in their free online webinars with leading scientists.

Marine Mammal CenterMany Bay Area families have visited the Marin Headlands center to see the life-saving work done by these experts who rescue distressed seals, sea lions, and whales along the coasts of California and Hawaii. But few know of the new virtual leadership programs offered to teens around the world. Visit the Marine Mammal site for the latest opportunities.

Pacific Beach CoalitionHere’s an example of how beach lovers can get involved and make a big difference. Since 1997, the PBC has grown from a few concerned citizens into a volunteer army that hosts beach cleanups and habitat restoration for strands along the coast south of San Francisco and around the Bay Area. Visit pacificbeachcoalition.org to join the force.

Shark Stewards.  A Sausalito-based activist organization focused on restoring ocean health by saving sharks and educating consumers about the true dangers of sharks and their human predators. Follow their excellent Facebook feed to keep up with news about sharks and rays, as well as other marine conservation issues, and get their new book, Sharks for Kids: A Junior Scientist’s Guide for smaller fans.

Save the Bay.  In 1961, three Oakland women founded what grew into one of the nation’s leading environmental advocacy organizations, saving much of the San Francisco Bay from development and advocating for antipollution measures like the statewide ban on plastic shopping bags and the 2016 measure backing $500 million for bay wetlands restoration. Volunteers can help with habitat restoration, student programs, and financial support at savethebay.org.  

Surfrider Foundation.  This worldwide organization is not just for surfers. Surfrider fights for beach access, water quality, and coastal environments in communities, courtrooms, and halls of government around the world. Learn more about volunteering, beach cleanups, and sustainable seafood via chapters in San Francisco, Marin, Sonoma, San Mateo County, and Santa Cruz, or visit surfrider.org to find a nearby group.





Pearl Thompson

ROAM Contributor

As intern for the Marin County Surfrider Foundation, Pearl heads up microplastic pollution awareness and spends a lot of pre- and post-surf time doing beach cleanup on the strands of West Marin County, north of San Francisco.



April 2021

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