The San Francisco Bay is our region's dominant geographic feature.

Fluke or Fixture

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An increasing number of gray whales have been spotted in San Francisco Bay in recent years. Why are these aquatic giants venturing here now in greater numbers? Are they temporary refugees? Or are they adding a regular stop on their 10,000-mile-long migration route?

A Bird’s Eye View of San Francisco Bay

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What makes the Bay such a magnet for shorebirds and waterfowl, hosting more of them than any other Pacific coastal wetland in the U.S.? Looking at some of the Bay’s habitats through the eyes of four different species gives us a unique perspective on this avian haven.

Salt Ponds Restoration Report

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As you have probably heard, 16,500 acres of salt ponds in southern San Francisco Bay will soon be purchased from Cargill Salt and handed over to the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge. This historic purchase, funded by … Read more

Postcards from Pescadero

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True, there was no e-mail, snail mail, or even Pony Express, but somehow postcards from intrepid explorers of the San Mateo coast in days of yore have reached our mailbox. Take a unique trip through time and discover how the beach and marsh at Pescadero came to be the treasures we love to visit today.

From the Bottom Up

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It’s small, it’s restless, and it changes sex halfway through its life. Plus, the humble bay shrimp occupies a crucial niche in the complex food web of San Francisco Bay. It once played a significant role in the economy and culture of the local Chinese community. Today, both the shrimp and those who fish for it are still hanging on, but it hasn’t been easy.

Peering into Muddy Waters

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One measure of the ecological richness of the Bay is its role as a major nursery for five resident species of sharks.

Rivers in the Bay

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San Francisco Bay presented a thrilling—yet possibly lethal—mystery to a young Spanish captain as he sailed up to probe the entry to the Golden Gate for the first time on the morning of August 5, 1775. Juan Manuel de Ayala … Read more

The Art of Restoration

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The air over Cullinan Ranch is cool and moist. Only the faintest gray line marks the location, south across San Pablo Bay, of the East Bay hills. The wetlands here, just north of Route 37, bear imprints of human use. … Read more