SFBJV People: Arthur Feinstein
Name: Arthur Feinstein
Agency: Citizens Committee to Complete the Refuge
Arthur Feinstein has been a devoted conservationist for over 30 years, working to protect our treasured wetland habitats and wildlife in a variety of roles.
- He started as a volunteer with the Golden Gate Audubon Society where he first realized his passion for birds and wildlife. In the early 1980s he moved on to become the conservation coordinator for the Citizens Committee to Complete the Refuge, an organization that successfully expanded the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge by 21,000 acres in 1986. It was through this job that Arthur came to appreciate the beauty and ecological significance of the Bay Area’s varied wetland habitats.
- Arthur continued his volunteer activities as President of the Golden Gate Audubon Society and ultimately as its Executive Director.
- Arthur also helped establish the San Francisco Bay Joint Venture in 1996 and went on to become the Management Board chair, served for three years as the Chair of the national Association of Joint Venture Management Boards and continues to Chair our Government Affairs Committee.
- After Audubon, Arthur moved to the Sierra Club San Francisco Bay Chapter Executive Committee and was, for one year, their Chapter Director. He is currently on the Executive Committee of Sierra Club California.
- Arthur also sits on the board of the Friends of the Estuary.
Through his tireless commitment and in this variety of roles, Arthur has helped save and restore thousands of acres of San Francisco Bay wetlands, both tidal and seasonal, including such landmark sites as the Martin Luther King, Jr. Regional Shoreline Wetland at Arrowhead Marsh, and Bair Island in Redwood City.
Arthur told me that it was his “parents who introduced him to nature, Audubon to birds and the Citizens Committee, especially Florence and Phil LaRiviere, to wetlands.” It went on to become his passion and life’s work. He adds, that he is “happy to say his wife Ruth happily shares this enthusiasm.” Once he started on this career he found it was not only rewarding for the sake of wetlands and wildlife, but perhaps even more from the recognition that people who care passionately about our natural world are the nicest and most caring people he has ever met, and this “made the work not work at all but a joy - not that there wasn’t a lot of stress and disappointments along the way.”
When not at work he and his wife enjoy birding, have a serious vegetable garden, and spend a lot of time with their family. Among them, his 14 year old granddaughter Tallulah who also loves and appreciates nature, especially goats! “Yes” he said, “there is a 4H in Oakland and her goats have won first prizes at the Alameda County Fair.”
Arthur notes “it is a hard time for those of us who care about our natural world. As if climate change and sea level rise were not enough, the near future political landscape may not be very sympathetic. But we’ve faced tough times before and I believe that most people have an instinctive love of nature and will continue to support those of us directly working to save what we can of our wetlands and wildlife habitat. I trust and hope that my granddaughter will be able to enjoy the wetlands and wildlife that we do now and perhaps even more of them, as the JV works to preserve and restore San Francisco Bay’s wetlands and other wildlife habitats.”