Barbara Salzman
Marin Audubon Society and Marin Bayland Advocates
Larkspur, California

Barbara Salzman was raised in Philadelphia, where as a child she noticed that “everything was built up.” When she moved to Marin County, California, she found much of the natural environment relatively unspoiled. She recalls, “I thought this was heaven, and it needed to be protected.”

Ms. Salzman began her “environmental career” in 1974 by opposing a plan for an ill-placed regional shopping center. She soon joined the Marin Audubon Society, where she focused on protecting the natural resources of her beloved San Francisco Bay area. Under her leadership, the group engaged in on-the-ground habitat restoration. Members quickly realized that funding was key to managing habitat, honed their skills at securing public and private financial partnerships, and took on successively larger and more expensive wetland restoration and enhancement projects.

Ten years later, Ms. Salzman and a small group of volunteers founded the Marin Baylands Advocates to protect and restore former tidelands diked for agriculture and largely under private ownership. The group raises money to buy these lands; today, it is responsible for the permanent protection of 1,008 acres of bayland and has assisted in protection of 1,600 other acres.

Ms. Salzman currently is president of the Marin Audubon Society and serves on the board of directors of six other environmental organizations. She has worked with many wetland-oriented nonprofit organizations in the bay area and has provided wetland-related advice to four regional and state advisory committees.

Ms. Salzman has helped ensure that future generations will be able to enjoy a healthy San Francisco Bay area, one of the nation’s most beautiful and sensitive regions. Her accomplishments demonstrate how much a determined group of volunteers can achieve with the right leadership and resources.

— Wayne White, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Sacramento, California