Richardson Bay is considered one of the most pristine estuaries on the Pacific Coast in spite of its urbanized periphery, since it supports the second largest extant eelgrass bed in San Francisco Bay with plants that have high genetic diversity and sizable undisturbed intertidal habitats. It is a feeding and resting area for a large diversity of estuarine and pelagic birds, including over 40,000 diving ducks and other water birds. The bay's associated marshes and littoral zones support a variety of animal and plant life. Richardson Bay has been designated as an Important Bird Area (or IBA), based upon its large number of annual bird visitors and residents, its sightings of California clapper rail and its strategic location in the flyway.
To promote high quality conservation science in Richardson Bay, Audubon uses an ecosystem approach to restoration, conservation and education. We are dedicated to the conservation and restoration of functioning ecosystems that will benefit species ranging from birds that utilize the bay as a food source to benthic marine species and habitats that play a major role in ecosystem health. We envision the eelgrass beds and mudflats of Richardson Bay serving as reference sites for restoration, estuarine research and education throughout San Francisco Bay.