Estuary Youth Council

Host: San Francisco Estuary Partnership
Openings: 1
Project Focus: Climate Adaptation (e.g., sea level rise planning, environmental justice, climate migration planning), Disaster Response and Preparedness / Emergency Management (e.g.,flood prevention, wildfire prevention, coastal protection), Ecosystem / Habitat Conservation / Biodiversity Protection, Urban Planning, Water Management
Skills Needed: Facilitation, Relationship Management, Environmental Justice, Workforce Development,

Remote or On-Site Placement

Hybrid – We are on-site in the office two days a week, although the Fellow is welcome to come in on-site every day if they choose.


Service Needs & Plans

This project will expand the capacity of the San Francisco Estuary Partnership by supporting the planning and implementation of the Estuary Youth Council, a pilot youth leadership development program that provides professional development opportunities to BIPOC +/ LGBTQIA youth from frontline communities in the San Francisco Bay-Delta region. This project would primarily address climate adaptation needs along the Estuary’s shorelines by building up the leadership of young people to be involved in environmental planning and public processes.

Project Description

The Estuary Youth Council has two main goals:

1) Provide professional development opportunities to emerging environmental leaders from underrepresented and underserved communities in the San Francisco Estuary watershed; and
2) Advise environmental managers, planners, and decision-makers by filling existing knowledge gaps of youth-centered perspectives, concerns, and priorities in the restoration and adaptation of the San Francisco Estuary.

The CivicSpark Fellow involved in this program will lead the development of an alumni network geared to engage graduates of the Estuary Youth Council. The Fellow may also support the development and implementation of the Estuary Youth Council, which may include support with: recruitment, developing/leading curricula, coordination with program partners, communications support, and other program related tasks. By the end of the fellowship year, the Fellow will have developed an active network that regularly engages and shares resources with alumni, as well as a report with recommendations on how to engage and support future cohorts of the Estuary Youth Council to pursue a career in environmental planning and management. The alumni network and report will increase our agency’s ability to incorporate diverse perspectives in shoreline adaptation projects and diversify the region’s talent pool in environmental planning and management.

Desired Skills

This project will expand the capacity of the San Francisco Estuary Partnership by supporting the planning and implementation of the Estuary Youth Council, a pilot youth leadership development program that provides professional development opportunities to BIPOC +/ LGBTQIA youth from frontline communities in the San Francisco Bay-Delta region. This project would primarily address climate adaptation needs along the Estuary’s shorelines by building up the leadership of young people to be involved in environmental planning and public processes.

Organization & Workplace Highlights

The San Francisco Estuary Partnership was established in 1988 by the State of California and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under the Clean Water Act’s National Estuary Program when the San Francisco Estuary was designated as an estuary of national significance. The Partnership is a collaboration of local, state, and federal agencies, NGOs, academia and business leaders working to protect and restore the San Francisco Bay-Delta Estuary. The Partnership’s work is guided by the development and implementation of the Estuary Blueprint, a comprehensive, collective vision for the Estuary’s future.

The San Francisco Estuary Partnership manages important climate adaptation projects that improve the health of the Estuary. We build partnerships and leverage federal funding with millions of dollars in state and local funds for regional-scale restoration, water quality improvement, and resilience-building projects. The Partnership is housed under regional government agency, Metropolitan Transportation Commission, and is known for being effective, nimble, and innovative in its work.

The Partnership has demonstrated a commitment to advancing justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion both internal to the organization and externally through our work with partners across the region. While the Partnership has been opportunistic in its work advancing equity so far, primarily through a regional needs assessment and the Estuary Youth Council, it is now developing an Equity Program that will that will institutionalize equity in the organization’s processes and work.
Serving with the San Francisco Estuary Partnership is a great experience for anyone looking to gain experience in regional government. We work with over 200 partners across the San Francisco region, and work collaboratively by convening and facilitating relationships and teams across divisional lines.

Community Highlights

The San Francisco Estuary is the largest estuary in California. Its watershed extends from the ridgeline of the Sierra Nevada mountains to the strait of the Golden Gate, including almost 60,000 square miles and nearly 40% of California. Half of the state’s surface water supply falls as rain or snow within this region. The Estuary’s waters and wetlands are a biological resource of tremendous importance, providing critical winter feeding habitat for over a million migratory birds, a productive nursery for many species of juvenile fish and shellfish, and a year-round home for a vast diversity of plants and animals.

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