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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Eelgrass, Herring, and Waterbirds in San Francisco Bay: Threats and Opportunities
San Francisco Bay

Eelgrass, Herring, and Waterbirds in San Francisco Bay: Threats and Opportunities

A new white paper looks at this invaluable habitat ecosystem in 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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More San Francisco Bay news

Eelgrass, Herring, and Waterbirds in San Francisco Bay: Threats and Opportunities
San Francisco Bay

Eelgrass, Herring, and Waterbirds in San Francisco Bay: Threats and Opportunities

A new white paper looks at this invaluable habitat ecosystem in San Francisco Bay

Tangled web of issues complicates effort to protect Richardson Bay's eelgrass
Audublog

Tangled web of issues complicates effort to protect Richardson Bay's eelgrass

Illegal anchorages are destroying Richardson Bay's eelgrass. Seems like a simple issue, right? Wrong.

Exploring SF Bay wetlands with Congressman Jared Huffman

A good day for birding at China Camp State Park. From left, Audubon's Andrea Jones, Marin County Supervisor Damon Connolly, Congressman Jared Huffman, and Audubon's Rebecca Schwartz Lesberg.

Staff from Audubon California today led a birding walk with Congressman Jared Huffman and Marin County Supervidor Damon Donnolly at China Camp State Park. Audubon joined with the National Estuarine Research Reserve to talk about how wetlands provide climate resiliency, biodiversity, and recreational opportunities.

Photo: Rebecca Schwartz Lesberg

Richardson Bay Audubon Center & Sanctuary celebrates its 60th anniversary

The story of the Richardson Bay Audubon Center & Sanctuary is an amazing tale of of a community rising up to defend a natural treasure in their community. With the Center's 60th anniversary, Audubon created this great video reviewing the history of the place, and what it portends for the future.

Volunteers are a driving force for conservation
Audublog

Volunteers are a driving force for conservation

One Richardson Bay staff member talks about how important volunteers are to helping birds in San Francisco Bay.

What's happening to San Francisco Bay's Surf Scoters and other waterbirds?

Surf Scoters in flight. Photo: Andrew Reding

Interesting article looks at recent study attempting to identify why Surf Scoters and other waterbirds in San Francisco Bay are dwinding?

Crowds of birds and people turn out for the 5th Annual Waterbird Festival
Bird-Friendly Communities

Crowds of birds and people turn out for the 5th Annual Waterbird Festival

Over 500 community members turned out to celebrate the natural treasures in their backyard at Richardson Bay Audubon Center and Sanctuary's 5th Annual Waterbird Festival

Aramburu restoration 10 years after the San Francisco Bay oil spill

November marks the 10-year anniversary of the Cosco Busan oil spill in San Francisco Bay. With that in mind, we recently revisited our restoration project on Aramburu Island in Richardson Bay that was largely inspired by the disaster. We're happy to report that the birds are responding well to the newly created habitat.

Cosco Busan Oil Spill 10-Year Anniversary Photo Gallery
Conservation

Cosco Busan Oil Spill 10-Year Anniversary Photo Gallery

Thousands of birds died and shorelines were blackened after 53,000 gallons of oil spilled following Nov. 7, 2007 accident. This photo gallery shows some of the damage and recovery efforts.

Richardson Bay Annual closure protects important migratory bird species
Conservation

Richardson Bay Annual closure protects important migratory bird species

Sanctuary waters in Richardson Bay are closed to all boat traffic October 1st through March 31st and in-water activities (including kayaks & stand-up paddleboards, or SUPs) from October 1st through March 31st to protect over-wintering and migratory waterbirds.

Key San Francisco Bay birds

   

How you can help, right now