Waterbird Regional Preserve

Last updated
Waterbird Regional Preserve
Waterbird Regional Preserve
Location Contra Costa County, California
Nearest city Martinez, California
Area198 acres (0.80 km2)
Operated by East Bay Regional Park District

Waterbird Regional Preserve is a 192 acres (0.78 km2) regional park located in Contra Costa County, California, adjacent to the city of Martinez, CA. It is part of the East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD). It primarily consists of an area known as McNabney Marsh, [lower-alpha 1] which lies alongside Interstate 680 near the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and between two large and active oil refineries. The marsh drains into Suisun Bay via Peyton Slough. The area provides habitat for a wide variety of waterfowl and shorebirds for resting and feeding. [1]



McNabney Marsh existed here before the area was visited by European explorers and missionaries in the early 1800s. A group of about 200 indigenous people known as Chupcans lived around the marsh and its related uplands. [lower-alpha 2]

A major railroad line was constructed through this area in the 1880s. Two chemical companies, Peyton Chemical Company and the Mountain Copper Company, to build plants at the mouth of Peyton Slough. An upland area on the eastern border of the marsh was covered with eucalyptus and pepperwood trees, which provided the wood to build workers' houses. The pepperwoods line an old road running through the area [1]

In 1988, an oil spill contaminated many wetlands in this area, including McNabney Marsh. After the initial cleanup, a $10 million Natural Cleanup Fund was established to "...restore, rehabilitate and acquire the equivalent of the natural resources damaged by the oil spill." [1] This fund helped EBRPD acquire 198 acres (0.80 km2)of the south end of the marsh, including uplands east of the marsh. [1]

Site description

According to the EBRPD Land Use Plan, there are two owners of McNabney Marsh. EBRPD owns 48 acres (190,000 m2) of the southern end, and Mountain View Sanitary District (MVSD) owns 68 acres (280,000 m2) of the northern end. [2] The marsh and uplands are bounded by Interstate 680, Waterfront Road, Waterbird Way, and Arthur Road. The park area is composed of the following distinct areas:

Wildlife observation

Many species of birds use the marsh. Some of the commonly-seen include the American coot, mallard, green-winged teal, black-necked stilt, bufflehead, Canada goose, cinnamon teal, and white pelican. Other common birds seen at the Preserve include the barn swallow, black phoebe, Brewer's blackbird, cliff swallow, European starling, Say's phoebe, house finch and house sparrow. More rarely, a lucky Park visitor may see the white-tailed kite, northern harrier, golden eagle, osprey, and peregrine falcon. [1]

The uplands are home to small mammals, especially ground squirrels and pocket gophers. [1]

Warning! Dogs are not allowed in the refuge, because of the fragility of the ecosystem. This is also to protect feeding and breeding waterbirds from being disturbed. [1]

Fishing is not allowed in the Preserve. Water contact by humans or their pets is prohibited. [1] [http://www.mvsd.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Waterbird-Regional-Preserve-10-19-1999.pdf


  1. McNabney Marsh was named for a former leader of the East Bay Audubon Society. [1]
  2. Chupcans are a subset of the Bay Miwok. [1]

Related Research Articles

East Bay Regional Park District

The East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD) is a special district operating in Alameda County and Contra Costa County, California, within the East Bay area of the San Francisco Bay Area. It maintains and operates a system of regional parks which is the largest urban regional park district in the United States. The administrative office is located in Oakland.

Point Pinole Regional Shoreline regional park in San Pablo Bay, California

Point Pinole Regional Shoreline is a regional park on the shores of the San Pablo Bay, California, in the United States. It is approximately 2,315 acres (9.37 km2) in area, and is operated by the East Bay Regional Park District. It includes the Dotson Family Marsh and the Point Pinole Lagoon and hosts the North Richmond Shoreline Festival.

Brooks Island Regional Preserve island in the United States of America

Brooks Island Regional Preserve includes both the 75-acre (30 ha) of Brooks Island above the low-tide line and 300 acres (120 ha) of the surrounding bay. The only public access to the island now is via an East Bay Regional Park District naturalist tour.

Temescal Regional Recreational Area

Temescal Regional Recreation Area (TRRA), formerly Lake Temescal Regional Park, is a regional park in the Berkeley Hills, in northeastern Oakland, California. The TRRA encompasses 48 acres (19 ha), abutting SR 24, SR13, and the interchange connecting the two highways, southwest of the Caldecott Tunnel.The park is part of the East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD).

Morgan Territory Region in California

Morgan Territory is a region in California on the east side of Mount Diablo in the San Francisco East Bay's Contra Costa County. The area is named for settler Jeremiah Morgan.

McLaughlin Eastshore State Park

McLaughlin Eastshore State Park is a state park and wildlife refuge along the San Francisco Bay shoreline of the East Bay between the cities of Richmond, Albany, Berkeley, Emeryville, and Oakland. It encompasses remnant natural wetlands, restored wetlands, as well as landfill west of the Eastshore Freeway. Its shoreline is 8.5 miles (13.7 km) long, and its total area is 1,854 acres (750 ha), which includes both tidelands and uplands. Originally named just Eastshore State Park, it was renamed in October 2012 to honor Save the Bay founder Sylvia McLaughlin. Prior to 2013, it was jointly managed by the California State Parks and East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD). The state agency and EBRPD executed a 30-year agreement for EBRPD to manage the park.

Point Isabel Regional Shoreline

Point Isabel Regional Shoreline in Richmond, California, is operated by East Bay Regional Park District, and is a multi-use park for joggers, windsurfers, kayakers, photographers, picnickers, and people walking dogs. It has access for pedestrians and via public transit, private vehicles, and bikes. It also features a concession offering food for people and grooming for pets. A longtime community organization and nonprofit, Point Isabel Dog Owners and Friends (PIDO), is active in the maintenance and improvement of the park.

Bishop Ranch Regional Preserve (BRRP), also known as Bishop Ranch Regional Open Space Preserve is a 444-acre (1.80 km2) regional park on a ridge top at the edge of San Ramon, CA. It is near residential area, west of San Ramon Valley Road and South of Bollinger Canyon Road. Trails are steep and there are no facilities other than a trailhead. It is part of the East Bay Regional Parks system.

Huckleberry Botanic Regional Preserve

Huckleberry Botanic Regional Preserve is a 241 acres (0.98 km2) regional park and nature reserve in the Oakland Hills, in the eastern East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area of California. It is within Alameda and Contra Costa Counties. It is a park within the East Bay Regional Parks District system. The Preserve is named after the California Huckleberry which grows abundantly within its habitat.

Radke Martinez Regional Shoreline

Radke Martinez Regional Shoreline (RMRS) is a regional park on the shoreline of Carquinez Strait in Martinez, located in northern Contra Costa County, California. Formerly known as the Martinez Regional Shoreline, it was renamed on December 6, 2016, in honor of the late Ted Radke and his late wife Kathy Radke.

Morgan Territory Regional Preserve is a regional park located east of Clayton and north of Livermore, California, bordering on Mt. Diablo State Park, that is part of the East Bay Regional Park District. Since EBRPD acquired the Viera tract, it encompassed 5,230 acres (2,120 ha). The main access road runs from Livermore.

Quarry Lakes Regional Recreation Area

Quarry Lakes Regional Recreation Area is a regional park located in Fremont, California that is part of the East Bay Regional Parks system. Before being converted into a park, the site was used as a gravel quarry. When water purchased by the public for groundwater recharge of the Niles Cone flooded the gravel pits, the gravel harvesters began to daily pump the seeping water down Alameda Creek into San Francisco Bay. The Alameda County Water District acquired the quarry after the pumping was declared to be an illegal waste in 1976.

Round Valley Regional Preserve is a regional park just outside Antioch, CA and Brentwood, CA that is part of the East Bay Regional Parks (EBRPD) system. It is on Marsh Creek Road, approximately 5.2 miles (8.4 km) west of the intersection with Vasco Road. The park was begun in 1988, when Jim Murphy sold 700 acres (280 ha) of land to EBRPD. The land originally belonged to Mr. Davis' grandfather Thomas Murphy, an Irish immigrant, who had purchased the land in 1878 for a farming and ranching operation. The preserve has since expanded to encompass 1,911 acres (773 ha).

Sobrante Ridge Regional Preserve

Sobrante Ridge Regional Preserve (SRRP) is a regional park in Contra Costa County, California near Richmond and is part of the East Bay Regional Parks (EBRPD) system. The park may be best known as habitat for the Alameda manzanita, which is deemed extremely rare, according to EBRPD.

Browns Island is a regional preserve of the East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD) in Pittsburg, Contra Costa County, California, United States. It is an island in Suisun Bay, part of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, separated from Pittsburg by New York Slough. The 595-acre (241 ha) island is separated from Winter Island to the east by Middle Slough, and bounded by New York Slough on the south and Suisun Bay on the west and northwest. The East Bay Regional Park District has published a guide to the wild plants that grow on this island.

Dotson Family Marsh

The Dotson Family Marsh, formerly Breuner Marsh, is a 238-acre regional park on San Pablo Bay in the East San Francisco Bay Area city of Richmond, California, In 2009 the East Bay Regional Parks District acquired the Breuner Marsh site, adding it to Point Pinole Regional Shoreline. A habitat restoration plan for 60 acres of wetlands and 90 acres of California coastal prairie was subsequently approved.

Citizens for East Shore Parks (CESP) is an American environmental organization that focuses on the acquisition and preservation of parkland in the San Francisco Bay Area. CESP works to protect open space along the East Bay shoreline for natural habitat and recreational purposes through a combination of advocacy, education, and outreach. Since its founding in 1985, CESP has worked to secure approximately 1,800 acres (730 ha) of public land, primarily through the creation of the 8.5-mile (13.7 km) long Eastshore State Park in 2002.

Oyster Bay Regional Shoreline is a park in San Leandro, California, part of the East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD). It is located along the eastern shore of San Francisco Bay directly to the south of Oakland International Airport. The property was originally used as a landfill for 37 years, until it was filled to capacity in 1977, when it was capped with a clay cover. EBRPD bought the property in 1980, intending to use it as a park.

Vargas Plateau Regional Park sits on a plateau in the Fremont Hills of Alameda County, California that overlooks the San Francisco Bay, Niles Canyon, and the cities of Fremont, Union City and Newark. The elevation of the park is about 1,000 feet (300 m), making it an important link with nearby ridge-top parks such as Garin Regional Park, Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park, Mission Peak Regional Preserve, and Sunol Regional Wilderness.


Coordinates: 38°01′31″N122°05′53″W / 38.02528°N 122.09804°W / 38.02528; -122.09804