Narrated by Robert Redford, Saving the Bay explores the history of one of America’s greatest natural resources — San Francisco Bay — with four one-hour episodes tracing the Bay from its geologic origins following the last Ice Age through years of catastrophic exploitation to restoration efforts of today. This spectacular high-definition series takes viewers on an unforgettable journey around the waters of San Francisco Bay and the larger northern California watershed from the Sierra Nevada mountains to the Farallon Islands in the Pacific Ocean.
The series also highlights the story of three women who rallied an entire region to save San Francisco Bay from becoming little more than a river. Spearheaded by three women in the East Bay hills, the story of how the Bay was saved is not only compelling in its own right, but offers an invaluable lesson about how ordinary citizens can have an impact on protecting and enhancing our natural environment.
Saving the Bay aired nationally as a PBS prime time special over four weeks in April and May 2011 and was repeated several times around the country. It is still a recurring pledge drive program on KQED/San Francisco and KVIE/Sacramento. Thank you for watching!
For the first time, all four hours of the series are now available through streaming at
Executive Producer/Producer Ron Blatman and most of the Saving the Bay team are now putting together Saving the City: Remaking the American Metropolis, a 13-part series highlighting successful and unsuccessful examples of urban redevelopment throughout the US and Canada focusing on downtowns and nearby neighborhoods. Please visit www.savingthecity.org for the preview video shot in New York, Minneapolis, Vancouver and San Francisco.
Saving the Bay received four regional Emmy awards including for Best Documentary in May, 2010. When the series premiered in two parts on KQED October 8, 2009, it had the single highest rating of any PBS program in the nation the evening of its initial broadcast, with the audience increasing every 15 minutes until the end. Its first run on KQED’s sister station KTEH/Silicon Valley (now KQED+) more than doubled their normal ratings.
Conceived as more than purely a public television series, Saving the Bay is a huge public education endeavor designed to raise awareness of San Francisco Bay — it’s evolution, how we almost lost and then saved the Bay, and how we are planning the future of the Bay including wetland restoration, increased public access and balancing the often competing needs of a fragile ecosystem which is the centerpiece of a major urban area home to over 7 million people.
We are still fundraising so we can further develop curriculum material for the website, incorporate more interactive elements on the web and keep the website updated and our successful Facebook page active. Please go to the Education tab at the top of this page to view our initial efforts — 20 downloadable lesson plans for 4th through 12th grades with 26 accompanying video segments set to California state standards and an interactive regional map highlighting dozens of agencies and organizations involved with the Bay.
You can help expand outreach effort by visiting our Donation page. All contributions are tax-deductible.
San Francisco Bay is an irreplaceable gift of nature that man can either abuse and ultimately destroy -– or improve and protect for future generations. San Francisco Bay Plan, 1969