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Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge

Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge 

The Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge is a U.S. National Wildlife Refuge named in honor of Congressman Don Edwards for his efforts to protect the delicate wetlands of south San Francisco Bay. Most of the refuge is in the East Bay, in the marshy shoreline south and north of the Dumbarton Bridge (Highway 84), but Bair Island in San Mateo County is also part of the refuge. The visitor center of the refuge is on a hillside south of 84, in Newarknext to the Coyote Hills Regional Park. The visitor center is an excellent place to take children, to build an appreciation of the natural world.

The Don Edwards National Wildlife Refuge was founded in 1974 as the first *urban* National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge is dedicated to the preservation and enhancement of wildlife habitat, the protection of endangered and threatened species, and providing opportunities for wildlife-oriented recreation and nature study. As of 2004, the refuge covered 30,000 acres (121 square km) of bay, salt marsh, salt pond, mudflat, upland, and vernal pool habitats. The refuge is on the Pacific Flyway and hosts over 280 species of birds each year, including eagles, white pelicansospreys, hawks, and kites, as well as resident species like the endangered California Clapper Rail and salt marsh harvest mouse. Although hundreds of thousands of people visit the refuge each year, I have never found the refuge “crowded” (in the “Yosemite Valley sense”), but you are  likely to meet another visitor while hiking along the trails.

The day we visited for photography, we saw two Canada geese and 6 goslings in an area with shallow water inland from the hill with the visitor center. The Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge is the kind of place in which you could sit quietly with binoculars and a field guide and be pleasantly surprised with the number of species that you see!

-Bill at Cheshire Cat Photo™

You can view higher-resolution photos (*generally* 7-30 megabytes, compressed) at the Cheshire Cat Photo™ Pro Gallery on Shutterfly™, where you can also order prints and gifts decorated with the photos of your choice from the gallery. Apparel and other gifts decorated with some of our most popular photos can be ordered from the Cheshire Cat Photo™ Store on CafePress®. 

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