Myrna Hayes has been an active proponent for protecting the natural environment of Vallejo and Mare Island since the early 1990s. She co-founded and served as chair of Save San Pablo Baylands, a five-county public interest group that worked to protect the approximately 50,000 acres of the delta of the San Pablo Bay as well as both the Napa and Petaluma Rivers from urban development.
For seven years, Myrna, along with Elaine Azevedo of the Vallejo Sanitation and Flood Control District, founded and managed (as a volunteer) the first California Coastal Cleanup Day in Vallejo. To date she has managed its 21 separate cleanup sites in Vallejo, as well as adding sites throughout Solano County.
As the Community Co-Chair for the US Navy’s Mare Island Restoration Advisory Board (RAB), beginning in May of 1994 until July 2023, she and her fellow RAB members from Vallejo, Napa, American Canyon, Fairfield, and Benicia have helped to guide the environmental cleanup of the island, including contaminants such as radiological materials and munitions and motor oil and a hazardous waste landfill.
Myrna is a certified tour director, experienced in both planning and conducting motor coach, boat cruises, and smaller group tours. In that capacity, she helped pass a ballot for the construction of the first of two Vallejo owned and operated ferries. In January of 1996, with the Assistant Base Commander, she hosted the first public access event. This was the foundation of the annual San Francisco Bay Flyway Festival headquartered on Mare Island with regional guided outings throughout the “north shore” of San Francisco Bay.
Myrna and her team of volunteers and community partners held three separate events in 2007 to introduce the public to the former Naval Ammunition Depot. This was the first time the public was allowed access to this land for 150 years. In April 2008, following those events, Myrna, Sue Wilson, and Brian Collett opened the Mare Island Shoreline Heritage Preserve, a wildlands park that operated on the former Naval Ammunition Depot until 2020. With its scenic, panoramic vistas of seven Bay Area counties and buildings and homes dating back to 1857, it is a stunning natural, scenic, and historic gem. Through this exclusive exposure to Mare Island, Myrna has vowed that her work would not be complete until all of the island is open for appropriate enjoyment by the public, while ensuring protection of natural resources, wildlife, and wilderness.