San Francisco Bay

Protecting the birds and habitat of the West Coast's largest estuary.

Richardson Bay is part of the larger San Francisco Bay. Photo: Alison Sheehey

Audubon California has long been committed to protecting the birds and habitat of the San Francisco Bay and its wetlands.

The San Francisco Bay area is recognized as an international biodiversity hotspot because of the vast number of species of birds, animals, plants found there – many of which are found nowhere else. The bay itself is the largest estuary on the West Coast, and is considered one of North America’s most important. It provides critical habitat for shorebirds, waterfowl, marsh birds, as well as over 500 species of fish, mammals, and plants, many of which are either threatened or endangered.

San Francisco Bay is a critical stopover point along the Pacific Flyway migration route of shorebirds and waterfowl, which number over one million birds at the height of migration, and includes three Important Bird Areas due to the high number of rare and endangered bird species and the sheer number of shorebirds and waterfowl supported by the by and surrounding wetlands. The area has also been recognized by the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network, which ranks it as being of “Hemispheric Importance” to shorebirds.

Audubon California operates the largest estuarine reserve in San Francisco Bay, the Richardson Bay Audubon Center & Sanctuary, which protects 900 acres of San Francisco Bay habitat and provides a center for community education, restoration, and celebration of the Bay.

Richardson Bay Audubon Center & Sanctuary
About Us

Richardson Bay Audubon Center & Sanctuary

The Richardson Bay Audubon Center & Sanctuary is a remarkable slice of nature on the shores of the San Francisco Bay.

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Sonoma Creek enhancement
Sonoma Creek restoration

Sonoma Creek restoration

Audubon California and its partners are bringing back 400-acres of wetland habitat in San Pablo Bay for the benefit of a variety of birds, including the endangered Ridgeway's Rail.

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Lower Tubbs Island restoration
Seas & Shores

Lower Tubbs Island restoration

Audubon California partnered with the San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge in 2010 to restore vital bird habitat in San Pablo Bay.

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Key San Francisco Bay birds