San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge

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San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge
IUCN category IV (habitat/species management area)
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San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge (the United States)
Location Napa County, Solano County, Sonoma County, California, United States
Nearest city Vallejo, California
Coordinates 38°08′30″N122°24′04″W / 38.1415854°N 122.4010866°W / 38.1415854; -122.4010866 Coordinates: 38°08′30″N122°24′04″W / 38.1415854°N 122.4010866°W / 38.1415854; -122.4010866 [1]
Area13,190 acres (53.4 km2)
Established1970
Governing body U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Website San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge

San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge is a 13,190-acre (53.4 km2) National Wildlife Refuge in California established in 1970. It extends along the northern shore of San Pablo Bay, from the mouth of the Petaluma River, to Tolay Creek, Sonoma Creek, and ending at Mare Island.

Contents

Ecology

San Pablo Bay, shown with San Francisco Bay Wpdms usgs photo san francisco bay.jpg
San Pablo Bay, shown with San Francisco Bay

The refuge encompasses the largest remaining continuous patch of pickleweed-dominated tidal marsh in the northern San Francisco Bay.

Historically, the wetlands surrounding San Pablo Bay were one of the largest tidal marsh complexes on the Pacific Coast of North America. However, the area has been significantly impacted by human activities such as hydraulic mining, salt production, diking, draining, filling, agriculture, and development. [2] All told, about 85% of San Pablo Bay's tidal marshes have been altered. In fact, damaged portions these marsh areas and along the Petaluma River were considered as sites for artificial marsh creation using dredged materials. This effort was part of a US Army Corps of Engineers, Waterways Experiment Station study conducted by a Consultant from CZRC, Wilmington, NC, Dr. John C. Nemeth in the mid-1970s.

The Refuge includes a variety of habitats including open water, mud flat, tidal marsh, estuary, and seasonal and managed wetlands.

The refuge hosts millions of migratory shorebirds and waterfowl, including the largest wintering population of Canvasbacks on the west coast. The Refuge also provides year-round habitat for sensitive species including the endangered Ridgway's Rail and salt marsh harvest mouse. Public access to the refuge is provided by the Tolay Creek Tubbs Island Trail.

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San Pablo Bay

San Pablo Bay is a tidal estuary that forms the northern extension of San Francisco Bay in the East Bay and North Bay regions of the San Francisco Bay Area in northern California.

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Bair Island

Bair Island is a marsh area in Redwood City, California, covering 3,000 acres (1,200 ha), and includes three islands: Inner, Middle and Outer islands. Bair Island is part of the larger Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge. It is surrounded by the Steinberger slough to the northwest and Redwood Creek to the southeast.

Marin Islands Uninhabited islands in California

The Marin Islands are two small islands, named East Marin and West Marin, in San Rafael Bay, an embayment of San Pablo Bay in Marin County, California.

Petaluma River

The Petaluma River is a river in the California counties of Sonoma and Marin that becomes a tidal slough for most of its length. The headwaters are in the area southwest of Cotati. The flow is generally southward through Petaluma's old town, where the waterway becomes navigable, and then flows another 10 mi (16 km) through tidal marshes before emptying into the northwest corner of San Pablo Bay.

Suisun Marsh Largest brackish water marsh on west coast of US

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Sonoma Creek Stream in California

Sonoma Creek is a 33.4-mile-long (53.8 km) stream in northern California. It is one of two principal drainages of southern Sonoma County, California, with headwaters rising in the rugged hills of Sugarloaf Ridge State Park and discharging to San Pablo Bay, the northern arm of San Francisco Bay. The watershed drained by Sonoma Creek is roughly equivalent to the wine region of Sonoma Valley, an area of about 170 square miles (440 km2). The State of California has designated the Sonoma Creek watershed as a “Critical Coastal Water Resource”. To the east of this generally rectangular watershed is the Napa River watershed, and to the west are the Petaluma River and Tolay Creek watersheds.

<i>Sorex ornatus sinuosus</i>

Sorex ornatus sinuosus, the Suisun shrew or Suisun ornate shrew, is a subspecies of the ornate shrew that occurs in the tidal marshes of the northern shores of San Pablo and Suisun bays. Brown and Rudd redefined the western boundary of the range from a prior designation of the Petaluma River. The Suisun shrew has been designated as a Species of Concern by the U.S. government and a Mammalian Species of Special Concern by the state of California.

Napa Sonoma Marsh

The Napa Sonoma Marsh is a wetland at the northern edge of San Pablo Bay, which is a northern arm of the San Francisco Bay in California, United States. This marsh has an area of 48,000 acres (194 km2), of which 13,000 acres (53 km2) are abandoned salt evaporation ponds. The United States Government has designated 13,000 acres (53 km2) in the Napa Sonoma Marsh as the San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge.

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Tolay Lake Lake in Sonoma County, California

Tolay Lake is a shallow freshwater lake in southern Sonoma County, California, United States. The lake, nestled within the southern vestiges of the Sonoma Mountains, is the site of significant Native American prehistoric seasonal settlement. In 2005, Sonoma County acquired the entirety of the lake and virtually its whole drainage basin from the Cardoza family for the sum of $18 million; the County's intention is to utilize the property as Tolay Lake Regional Park for ecological and archaeological preservation, as well as public use and enjoyment. Tolay Lake and its immediate drainage area is home to several nesting pairs of golden eagles, Aquila chrysaetos, and a number of rare, threatened or endangered species including the California red-legged frog, Rana draytonii; Western pond turtle, Actinemys marmorata; and Western burrowing owl, Athene cunicularia.

Tolay Creek is a 12.5-mile-long (20.1 km) southward-flowing stream in southern Sonoma County, California, United States, which flows through Tolay Lake and ends in north San Pablo Bay.

Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge

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Hydrography of the San Francisco Bay Area

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Grand Bay National Wildlife Refuge

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Supawna Meadows National Wildlife Refuge

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Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge

Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge is located on Humboldt Bay, on the California North Coast near the cities of Eureka and Arcata. The refuge exists primarily to protect and enhance wetland habitats for migratory water birds using the bay area, including tens of thousands of shorebirds, ducks, geese, swans, and the black brant. Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge, along with other public and private lands around Humboldt Bay, is one of the key stopovers for the millions of migratory birds that rely on the Pacific Flyway. More than 200 bird species, including 80 kinds of water birds and four endangered species, regularly feed, rest, or nest on the refuge or other areas around the bay.

References

  1. "San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge". Geographic Names Information System . United States Geological Survey.
  2. Miller, Craig (2019-04-15). "North Bay's Highway 37 Is Going to Be a Serious Climate Mess". KQED. Retrieved 2019-04-16.

Bibliography

PD-icon.svg This article incorporates  public domain material from websites or documents ofthe United States Fish and Wildlife Service .