San Francisco Bay

Alison Sheehey

Sunset over Richardson Bay.

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. Audubon California recognizes San Francisco Bay's wetlands as Important Bird Areas due to the high number of rare and endangered bird species and the sheer number of shorebirds and waterfowl supported by these 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.

Audubon California supports the position put forth by the San Francisco Bay conservation community in the Baylands Ecosystem Habitat Goals Report (1999). Central to the Goals Report is the establishment of 100,000 protected and restored acres of tidal wetlands within San Francisco Bay. Continued acquisition and restoration of remaining Bay front wetlands parcels is required to meeting these goals.

Audubon California is also working to conserve, restore, and connect people to the Bay's surrounding upland habitats, which not only define the Bay's watersheds, but also are incredibly important to biodiversity in their own right. Audubon California is partnering with the Bay Area Open Space's Upland Habitat Goals Project, a science-based conservation plan for the next 1 million acres of upland open space conservation.


Copyright  2015 National Audubon Society, Inc