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The Bay Institute Aquarium Foundation and its collaborators the A. Phillip Randolph Institute and City College of San Francisco, work to promote the EcoCenter as a "center for community engagement" and showcase the Bayview/Hunter's Point as a leader in urban sustainability. TBIAF is dedicated to protecting, restoring and inspiring the conservation of San Francisco Bay and its watershed, from the Sierra to the sea.
The EcoCenter fills an essential niche for the communities of southeast San Francisco with the environmental education field and serves as a model for green building, sustainable resource use, environmental justice and experiential learning in one of the least expected places in the City. Heron’s Head Park, where the EcoCenter resides, was born in the early 1970s, when the Port began filling the bay to construct what was to be the Pier 98 shipping terminal. The terminal construction never materialized, and the peninsula remained undeveloped. Over years of settlement and exposure to the tides, a salt marsh emerged, attracting shorebirds, waterfowl and aquatic wildlife. In the late 1990s, with funding from the City and County of San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, the Port, the California Coastal Conservancy and the San Francisco Bay Trail Project, the Port undertook a major renovation of Pier 98. The park was finally named by the Port of San Francisco in 1998.
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