Greenbelt Alliance

Greenbelt Alliance

Bay Area Environmental Hero Sylvia McLaughlin Passes Away

Sylvia McLaughlin, Save the Bay co-founder and former Greenbelt Alliance board member

The Bay Area has lost a legend. Sylvia McLaughlin, one of the original co-founders of Save the Bay, passed away on Tuesday, January 19. She was 99.

“Sylvia was an absolute hero for the Bay Area environmental movement,” says Jeremy Madsen, Greenbelt Alliance CEO.

The Bay Area can thank her for helping launch and shape the modern grassroots environmental movement in our region. In 1961, she co-founded Save the Bay with her friends Kay Kerr and Esther Gulick at a time when the San Francisco Bay was at serious risk of being filled in for development. Save the Bay was one of the groups that ensured the San Francisco Bay would not be filled in (Greenbelt Alliance was another).

Sylvia would later serve on the Greenbelt Alliance Board of Directors. She also served on the boards of the National Audubon Society, Citizens for East Shore Parks, Save the Redwoods League, the Trust for Public Lands, and East Bay Conservation Corps.

Thank you, Sylvia, for all that you’ve done for the Bay Area and future generations. Your legacy will live on and continue to inspire.

Read more about Sylvia’s life and legacy at


Photo: Save the Bay

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