Last week I went on an aerial tour of the San Francisco Bay. David Lewis, the executive director of Save the Bay, narrated. Bill Rush, a volunteer pilot with LightHawk, flew the plane. We saw tidal marsh and salt ponds; the cities, highways and industry that ring the Bay; and a good amount of fog.

It was my first time in such a small plane, and I was surprised at how different it was from approaching SFO in a 747.

I kind of felt like I was playing hooky, even though it was for work.

Want more details on the places in the photos? Here are a few notes.

Cargill’s Development Plans
KQED Science reporter Lauren Sommer did a story about the proposed Saltworks project last year. Right now the project is on hold, while the developer DMB Associates revises its plans.

Ravenswood Salt Pond
Cargill sold it to the Don Edwards National Wildlife Refuge. It’s now part of the biggest wetland restoration effort on the West Coast.

Oracle and SFO
If you want to see how sea level rise will affect low-lying shoreline areas, try Climate Central’s interactive map.

Watch a video from Quest about the science of fog.

The Rock Quarry
Here it is on a map.

Highway 37
An article in the Marin I-J from last month, which includes the notable quote, “how not to have everyone commuting by gondola,” says that though Caltrans is aware of the threat from sea level rise, there’s currently no money to do anything about it.

The Napa-Sonoma Marsh
Cargill had salt ponds in the North bay, too. The Napa-Sonoma Marsh now belongs to the California Department of Fish and game.

The Refinery
Curious about where all the oil refineries are in the Bay Area and California? The California Energy Commission has a map.

Salt Ponds
Cargill does still harvest salt here. If you want to explore former salt ponds in the Don Edwards National Wildlife Refuge, here’s a guide. (Plus, there’s great birding there — and we’re just getting to the season for it.)

Slideshow: An Early Fall Flight Around the Bay 17 January,2014Molly Samuel


Molly Samuel

Molly Samuel joined KQED as an intern in 2007, and since then has worked here as a reporter, producer, director and blogger. Before becoming KQED Science’s Multimedia Producer, she was a producer for Climate Watch. Molly has also reported for NPR, KALW and High Country News, and has produced audio stories for The Encyclopedia of Life and the Oakland Museum of California. She was a fellow with the Middlebury Fellowships in Environmental Journalism and a journalist-in-residence at the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center. Molly has a degree in Ancient Greek from Oberlin College and is a co-founder of the record label True Panther Sounds.

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