From our blogs

Podcast by Bay Curious narrates the history of Drawbridge

I’d like to know more about Drawbridge. Anything about the history and when and why it was created and when it became a ghost town. ~ John Aird
Drawbridge, California

Drawbridge, California. Photo courtesy Wikipedia. Copyright CC-BY 2.0

John Aird, a fifth-generation Californian who lives in Santa Cruz, had visited the ghost town of Drawbridge, CA decades ago when a few people were still living there. Now he’s back and curious about its history. A podcast by Bay Curious answers his questions about the island ghost town in the middle of the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge.

Enjoy the 10 minute podcast:

and read the accompanying KQED News article.

2017 Annual Volunteer Appreciation Banquet

by Ceal Craig

On Saturday April 1, 2017 I joined the staff of the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge and the San Francisco Bay Wildlife Society to welcome and thank a large number of refuge volunteers at the annual volunteer appreciation luncheon in Fremont.

The San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge Complex Volunteer of the Year was Ken Roux, a retired member of law enforcement who supports the Environment Education Center Marsh-In summer camp every year by providing security during the overnight sleepover. Ken also trains interns, conducts interpretive programs, and volunteers at several special events.

Volunteers who contributed many hours and in unique situations were recognized as well: Larry Rosenblum was named Rookie Volunteer of the Year, and the Environmental Education Restoration Crew was named Team Volunteers of the Year.

Mary Deschene, the Society’s Program Administrator, recognized Adam Champoux for his work in the Fremont Nature Store.

I am always inspired and encouraged by the many volunteers, young and old, singles and families, who give their most precious gift to us: their time and labor. Thank you all!

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Why Just One? documentary film screening • July 15 2017, 1pm - 3pm

Why Just One? documentary film

Join the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society in our first in-house feature length documentary on the sandy shores of Costa Rica.

Date: Saturday, July 15 2017, 1pm - 3pm
Location: Environmental Education Center, Alviso
Reservation: Go to

In the documentary Why Just One? the Sea Shepherd crew tackles a vexing paradox: trying to prevent the poaching of sea turtle eggs in Costa Rica when the activity is legal in one beach town, Ostional, on the country’s Pacific coast. This legal loophole fuels and enables egg poaching throughout Costa Rica.

In Why Just One?, Sea Shepherd explores the widely accepted statistic that just one in one thousand sea turtle hatchlings survive to maturity.

This is a one hour film appropriate for ages 10+, or at your own discretion. A brief Q&A will follow the showing.

2017 Marsh-In Summer Day Camp • July 31 - August 4, 2017

A FREE summer camp filled with fun activities, games, crafts, and adventures.

Date and Time
  • July 31 - August 4, 2017
  • Grades 1-6: Monday - Wednesday 9:15 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
    • Monday - Bird Day
    • Tuesday - Fish Day
    • Wednesday - Mammal Day
  • Grades 4-6 only: Overnight 6:00 p.m. Thursday - 9:00 a.m. Friday
    • Overnight - Night hikes, star gazing, sleeping under the stars and ice cream making!

Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge
Environmental Education Center
1751 Grand Blvd, Alviso, CA 95002

Volunteer Opportunities: Summer 2017

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge Volunteer Opportunities: Summer 2017 at the Environmental Education Center (Alviso, California).

If you have an interest in wildlife and their conservation, enjoy working with people, and are enthusiastic and dependable, the Environmental Education Center’s Volunteer Program is for you! As a volunteer, you’ll receive on-the-job training from staff and other volunteers in the project area you choose.

Project areas are: restoration projects, information desk on weekends, interpretive programs, school field trips, and citizen science/community service.

Prior to volunteering at the Environmental Education Center, you must attend a Volunteer Orientation. You can also attend the orientation just to see what opportunities there are, and if it is the right fit for you.

National Fishing & Boating Week • June 3 - 11, 2017

National Fishing & Boating Week - June 3 - 11, 2017

Learn how to fish on the Dumbarton Fishing Pier in Fremont!

Saturday, June 3, 2016 9:00 a.m. – noon

Have you ever wanted to try fishing but didn’t know how to begin? Learn the fundamental basics of catch-and- release fishing at the Dumbarton fishing pier! Discover the types of wildlife living in the San Francisco Bay, learn the safety and ethics of fishing, and then try your luck out on the pier with our fishing poles.

This event is free! Space is limited to 50 people. All equipment will be provided. Please come on time. Register at or call 510-792-0222 ext. 476 for reservations.

Planning a fundraising campaign for our 30th anniversary

by Ceal Craig

Thirty years ago when Refuge Naturalist John Steiner, Dr. Chris Kitting, and others organized the Society, they were focused on raising funds to save the Fremont Pumphouse and support the newly formed San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge. The Society accomplished those early goals and much more over the past years.

Funded by the City of San Jose and the Santa Clara Valley Urban Runoff and Pollution Prevention Program, two Society employees were hired to staff the Environmental Education Center (EEC) in Alviso, and offer public programs and field trips for schoolchildren.

The Society has also provided funds to help kick start the Bair Island restoration project, to build the EEC boardwalk, and to support many other projects these past three decades.

National River Cleanup Day • May 20 2017, 9am – 12pm

Saturday, May 20, 2017 is National River Cleanup Day. Come help out with litter collection as we join others around the world in an effort to keep our rivers clean. Together with other concerned citizens, we’ll pick up trash and tidy up a local body of water. Come with a hat, sunscreen, and a great attitude, and we’ll provide the rest.

Bald eagle chick hatches in Milpitas

A bald eagle chick inside its nest in the tree tops above Cutner Elementary School in Milpitas. Credit Jyoti Chalpe.

A bald eagle chick inside its nest in the tree tops above Cutner Elementary School in Milpitas. Credit Jyoti Chalpe.

An American bald eagle chick hatched last Monday morning in a nest built in the trees above Cutner Elementary School in Milpitas. The hatching was confirmed by scientists at the Santa Cruz Predatory Bird Research Group. The baby bird's debut has been much anticipated since a pair of bald eagles took up residence near the school campus in late December 2016. The adult eagles have been seen feeding on small water birds in parts of the San Jose-Santa Clara Regional Wastewater Facility and Alviso Salt Ponds that are about a mile away.