"I do not weep at the world – I am too busy sharpening my oyster knife."
Zora Neal Hurston

Living Shoreline Initiative

Citizens, students and scientists working together for a healthy San Francisco Bay

Have you ever wondered what's under the water of San Francisco Bay? More than you might imagine, but not as much as there once was. Our Living Shoreline Initiative aims to help people appreciate the rich potential for healthy underwater habitats in the Bay and along its shoreline.

The Living Shoreline Initiative starts in the Bay, where we are building an oyster community. Oysters were once plentiful in the Bay. Overharvesting, degraded water quality and silting over of oyster habitat nearly destroyed our native oyster population. Together with concerned scientists of the San Francisco Bay Native Oyster Working Group and the help of educators, students and volunteers, we are working to restore that lost habitat.

Our Oyster Monitoring and Restoration Program includes classroom and outdoor experiential learning for youth, and volunteer restoration and monitoring activities for adults. The data that students and teachers collect helps scientists understand how best to restore native oysters to the San Francisco Bay and the critical role these bivalves play in the underwater web of life.


Bring native oysters back to the San Francisco Bay. Help us:

  • Build and maintain native oyster reefs
  • Monitor water quality
  • Clean up the Bay's shorelines and watersheds
  • Talk about oysters and other underwater dwellers at public meetings
  • Explain our work at fairs, festivals, symposia and conferences


    Teaching students the importance of restoring habitats is the best way to preserve our Bay's rich ecosystems for future generations. We offer:

  • Wild! Oysters program for high school students
  • Kids in Marshes program for elementary school students
  • Service-learning field trips for elementary, middle and high school students
  • Subtidal ecosystem curriculum development


    Oyster beds need the community's help to be built, and we have the benefit of several strategic partnerships, including:

  • The San Francisco Bay Native Oyster Working Group
  • Our oyster reef hosts, the Marin Rod and Gun Club and the East Bay Regional Park District
  • The San Francisco Bay Subtidal Habitat Goals Coalition
  • Pickleweed Point Oyster Co.
  • Ongoing participation in Richmond shoreline redevelopment efforts
  • Local Bay Area high schools