Environmental Protection

170 Years of Environmental Stewardship

The San Francisco Bar Pilots protect 1,000 miles of shoreline and 90 percent of California’s marshlands by ensuring the safe passage of vessels through the San Francisco Bay and its surrounding waterways. By expanding and strengthening partnerships with local environmental organizations, the Bar Pilots have enhanced this mission to help preserve and enhance the Bay’s incredible biodiversity, environmental tourism, and recreational opportunities that draws visitors from around the world.

Bay.Org / Bay Ecotarium

One of the Bar Pilot’s most extensive partnerships is with the Bay Ecotarium, the largest watershed conservation organization in San Francisco. Some of the membership organizations that make up the Bay Ecotarium include the following:

Sea Lion Center

After sea lions began showing up on the docks at Pier 39 in 1989, the Bar Pilots provided seed funding to help establish the Sea Lion Center, which – after the Golden Gate Bridge – is the second most visited attraction in San Francisco. The center includes a viewing area of the sea lions, guided tours, and marine-mammal focused exhibits.

Aquarium of the Bay

The Aquarium of the Bay is home to more than 20,000 local marine animals, including River Otters, Sharks, and jellyfish. The Bar Pilots have partnered with the Aquarium to help raise the $200 million needed to transform the space into a high-tech ecotarium filled with interactive exhibits, holographic-images, and computer-generated multilingual displays.


This educational community center is located in Hunter’s Point/Bayview and educates the public about topics such as renewable energy, pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Members of the Bar Pilots association sit on the board and help provide the resources to sustain the environmental education programming EcoCenter offers. 

San Francisco BayKeeper

The Bar Pilots help support the work of San Francisco BayKeeper, a local environmental organization that relies on science and clean water laws to improve habitats and communities reliant on a thriving Bay ecosystem. The organizations partner to test water quality and monitor organizations that are potentially polluting the Bay.

Government Partners

Our government partners like the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration also provide invaluable services to protect the environment.