*Those who know me realize how much I value the the Dolphin Swimming and Boating Club, its members and the cultural institution it is, and my frequent swims in San Francisco Bay. This post is an adaptation of an article published in the Spring, 1995 issue of the Dolphin Club’s magazine, The Log. More on the Club and the Log are at this post’s end.
Delphinidae family members are attuned to their environment, and we human Dolphins are certainly no different. Our interactions with the waters of San Francisco Bay result in the familiar locker room talk of tides, water temperature, clarity, chop, flotsdam, etc.
Fundamentally, Bay water conditions depend on the ocean waters that come and go with the tides and the amount and quality of the freshwater flows from the streams and rivers that terminate in the Bay. Over the years, flows into the Bay have been significantly reduced in order to address the needs of agribusiness and other interests. Additionally, San Francisco Bay is continuously exposed to degradation by oil spills, runoff, illegal discharges, dredging, dumping, etc. Finally, development projects proximate to the Bay present additional hazards.
Simply stated, California’s growth and urbanization have impacted the Bay and remain a constant threat to the Bay and its health. For the Bay to have any chance of reasonable health, concerned citizens need to be involved. Dolphin Club members experience the Bay firsthand and appreciate that a healthy Bay is both a recreational and cultural resource.
Since Dolphins place great value on a healthy Bay, it follows that Dolphins should be involved with or otherwise support efforts on behalf of the Bay !
A good forum for your involvement could be as a volunteer for a non-profit organization that targets Bay water quality issues. There are many that have efforts underway, ranging from national organizations like the Sierra Club to more narrowly focused efforts like the San Francisco BayKeeper. Beyond the objective of looking out for your swimming and boating experiences and our Club’s interests, there can be personal satisfaction from one’s involvement in community, environmental, or other charitable endeavors.
In the interest of encouraging your participation in the issues that may imperil San Francisco Bay, following is a table of selected local non-profit organizations. Your energy and skills would be greatly appreciated by any organization listed. And you will indeed feel better when you participate in the process of helping San Francisco Bay be healthy and hospitable to all forms of aquatic life !
|Aquarium of the Bay||“… partners with The Bay Institute to protect, restore and inspire the conservation of San Francisco Bay and its watershed, from the Sierra to the sea.”|
|Baykeeper||“Since 1989, Baykeeper has advocated for the health of San Francisco Bay. We use science and clean water laws to improve habitats and communities reliant on a thriving Bay ecosystem.”|
|California Academy of Sciences||“…is a world-class scientific and cultural institution based in San Francisco…recently opened a new facility in Golden Gate Park, a 400,000 square foot structure that houses an aquarium, a planetarium a natural history museum and a 4-story rainforest …(and is)home to the Academy’s staff of world-class scientists, an education department that provides a wide range of student and teacher services, and an extensive science library with nearly 46 million specimens and artifacts.Founded in 1853, the academy was the first scientific institution in the Western US.|
|Center for Oceanic Awareness, Research, and Education (COARE)||“…is a tax-exempt nonprofit organization based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Its purpose is to study our oceans and increase public awareness of the earth’s marine environment through educational programs and outreach….COARE seeks to enlighten people, young and old, to the plight of the oceans, to change the way they think and act, and to encourage them to create positive and lasting change. COARE helps people find meaningful ways to make a difference in their daily lives.”|
|Coral Reef Alliance||“Working with people around the world—from fishermen to government leaders, divers to scientists, Californians to Fijians—the Coral Reef Alliance protects our most valuable and threatened ecosystem. We lead holistic conservation programs that improve coral reef health and resilience and are replicated across the globe.”|
|Farallones Marine Sanctuary Association||the “non-profit organization dedicated to protecting the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary’s wildlife and habitats through the development of a diverse community of informed and active ocean stewards. We collaborate closely with the Sanctuary staff and coordinate and sponsor programming and initiatives that ensure the Sanctuary is protected. From education to research and volunteer programming, we work to build a concerned and aware public network to promote this goal.”|
|Institute for Fisheries Resources||“Established in 1993 by the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations (PCFFA), IFR is responsible for carrying out the fishery research and conservation needs of working fishing men and women. Initially, IFR helped fishermen in California and the Pacific Northwest address salmon protection and restoration issues, with particular focus on dam, water diversion, and forestry concerns. Since 1998, IFR’s range of programs has greatly expanded to encompass conservation projects and policy debates at the regional, national, and international levels.”|
|San Francisco Estuary Institute||“Promoting scientific study in order to protect and enhance the bay.”|
|San Francisco Maritime National Park Association||“For more than 60 years, (we have) worked to bring maritime history to life for visitors to the San Francisco Bay Area…the Association has played an integral role over the past four decades in the development of Victorian Park and Hyde Street Pier as historical sites…the area became a distinct National Historical Park in 1989. Today, the Association supports San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park and independently operates the World War II submarine museum and memorial USS Pampanito.”|
|Save San Francisco Bay Association, Inc.||“the largest regional organization working to protect, restore and celebrate San Francisco Bay since 1961. Save The Bay engages more than 50,000 supporters, advocates, and volunteers…”|
|The Bay Institute||“the leader in protecting and restoring the entire watershed which drains into San Francisco Bay. For nearly 30 years, we have been developing and leading model scientific research, education and advocacy programs to preserve this watershed…”|
Note #1: The Dolphin Club is at 502 Jefferson in San Francisco. It, along with its next door neighbor, the South End Rowing Club, are public membership clubs that offer their
facilities to non members of the general public on alternating days (Tues-Sat) for a per diem fee of $10/person. Each club has facilities (locker rooms, showers, saunas) that
enable one to easily access and enjoy the waters of San Francisco Bay.
Note #2: To access an archive of the Dolphin Club’s Log magazine from 1949 to present, click on Archive.org.