A favorite food of the southern sea otter is black abalone, a marine mollusk that has historically put down roots in rocky intertidal zones from Southern Oregon to Baja. This once-abundant creature—one of seven abalone species found off California—is nearing … Read more
In late spring, a thumb-size least tern chick emerges from its egg on Alameda Point. The chick’s eyes are open at birth, and it can walk soon after hatching. Its parents, who shared incubation, also take turns caring for the … Read more
At the Moss Landing Marina halfway between Santa Cruz and Monterey, I slip into a kayak and paddle toward Elkhorn Slough, one of California’s largest tidal salt marshes. Just beyond the mouth of the slough, Monterey Canyon reaches seaward for … Read more
On an early map of San Pablo Bay, made in 1775, the Spanish explorer Jose Canizares wrote this phrase: “forests of the red duck.” The “forests” were the North Bay marshes, and the “red duck” was Aythya valisneria, the canvasback. … Read more
Defining the edge of a shifting body of water like San Francisco Bay, whose exact extent changes with every tide, every season, every storm, can be tricky business. In our region the regulators sometimes fall back on a botanical criterion. … Read more
Everybody knows about the California clapper rail, the charismatic (though elusive) endangered bird of San Francisco Bay marshes. The San Pablo Baylands shelter almost half its known population. But here the clapper shares the wetland with its smaller, quieter, and … Read more
On a fall day in duck hunting season, the sound of shotgun fire echoes across the Napa-Sonoma Marshes. It will continue to do so. Here as elsewhere, hunters have paid a good share of the cost of habitat protection, and … Read more
On summer weekends, the nearly 4,000 picnic tables of the East Bay Regional Park District are packed with families from many of the Bay Area’s diverse communities, returning year after year to their favorite spots, along with great blue herons hunting gophers, crows and ravens pillaging trash cans, and raccoons swiping meat right off the grill. All just part of the curious ecology of our local picnic areas.
Few craft can match a kayak for allowing you to immerse yourself in the watery universe of bay or ocean, moving silently through the world of seals, otters, dolphins, and seabirds. Two of our region’s most experienced sea kayakers take us out on the water for up-close and personal encounters with some of the bountiful and charismatic marine life plying our local marine habitats.
Discover the world of water striders and water boatmen.