FIF History

The Farallon Islands Foundation was incorporated as a 501(c)3 in 1999.

The founder, Richard Spight, a Berkeley native, has a long history of interest and involvement with California Islands. He raised money for the acquisition of the Marin Islands which is now the newest National Wildlife Refuge in San Francisco Bay. He is also a long-standing member of the Farallon Islands Boat Patrol, whose members donate their time and the use of their boats for the benefit of Point Reyes Bird Observatory scientists traveling with their supplies to the hard-to-reach Farallon Islands, 27 miles off the coast of San Francisco in the Pacific Ocean.

In 1998, following a trip to New Zealand, Dick expanded his interests and energies to islands in general and to their management for the benefit of native flora and fauna. And so the Farallon Islands Foundation was born.

Since the Foundation began our earliest grants—true to name—were made to the Point Reyes Bird Observatory (Petaluma, CA) and the US Fish & Wildlife Service for the benefit of the Farallon Islands. The interests of the founder and the Board of Directors soon expanded and grants have been given to a growing list of organizations for islands in California, in Mexico and the world at large. Our grantees now include island Conservation (Santa Cruz, CA), Seacology (Albany, CA), Filmmakers Collaborative (San Francisco, CA), the University of California at Santa Cruz Foundation (Santa Cruz, CA) and the East Bay Regional Park District (Oakland, CA). At this writing more than $200,000 has been given for island conservation and habitat restoration.

Visit our Projects page to view a complete list of the projects the Foundation has supported.