From our blogs

Join the Litterati movement!

Litterati was created by Jeff Kirschner after his family went for a walk in the Oakland hills and encountered a plastic tub of kitty litter dumped in a stream. His four-year-old daughter — baffled by what she saw — exclaimed, “Daddy, that doesn’t go there!” which prompted Jeff to think more deeply about what he could do to leave a more environmentally stable planet for his children. Drawing on his background in start-up technology, Kirschner envisioned a way to engage and inspire individuals to take action whenever they could, wherever they were.

Since April, the Environmental Education Center has been hosting an exhibit displaying photographs the public have taken of litter. The exhibit will be on display until June.

The goal is also to stop litter before it starts, and photographs of cigarette butts and fast food containers are a stark reminder of the need for new strategies for reaching the public who still casually discard such items. Through keyword tags, the project also documents the products and brands that generate the most litter, enabling Litterati to take a data-driven approach towards smarter solutions. As Jeff says,

Individually, one can make a difference. Together, we can create an impact.

The Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge is asking for your help to keep your national wildlife refuge free of litter and to help document where and what is being thrown on our lands.

Two California residents honored as 2014 Endangered Species Recovery Champions

Florence LaRiviere and Gary D. Wallace, 2014 Recovery Champions. Photos courtesy U.S. FWS.

Florence LaRiviere and Gary D. Wallace, 2014 Recovery Champions. Photos courtesy U.S. FWS.

- via a press release from the Sacramento office of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Pacific Southwest Region.

The story of endangered species conservation in the United States involves many heroes. Today, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recognized 69 of these heroes for their outstanding efforts to conserve and protect endangered and threatened fish, wildlife and plants by designating them 2014 Recovery Champions. Among the award winners honored for their work from the Pacific Southwest Region were two California residents, Florence LaRiviere and Dr. Gary Wallace.

"If we want to sustain the diversity and abundance of our nation's fish, wildlife and plants for future generations, we have to find places for them to coexist with humans on the landscape. That's why wildlife conservation is as much about working with people as it is about protecting animals and habitat," said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe. "The leaders we honor as Recovery Champions understand that crucial truth, and continue to build and strengthen partnerships with community leaders and institutions to make a real difference for imperiled wildlife."

Free online screening of documentary film Rebels with a Cause

Rebels With a Cause documentary film
Kelly + Yamamoto Productions are offering a free online screening of their documentary film Rebels with a Cause.

The screening is free to the first 250 people from May 15, 2015 through May 21, thanks to a partnering with an anonymous donor and the advocacy group Save the Valley. There is also an upcoming broadcast of the film on Sunday May 31, 2015 from 2 PM to 3 PM on the WQLN Public Media (Channel 54) based out of Erie, Pennsylvania.

The documentary Rebels With a Cause provides the David and Goliath origin for America's most visited, and arguably its most beautiful, urban national parks - San Francisco's Point Reyes National Seashore and Golden Gate National Recreation Area. It was originally released in May 2013.

New web-based mapping tool from US FWS Pacific Southwest Region

Map depicting the Pacific Southwest Region of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife. Screenshot courtesy US FWS.

Map depicting the Pacific Southwest Region of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife. Screenshot courtesy U.S. FWS web mapping portal.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Pacific Southwest Region has launched a professional but easy-to-use web mapping portal that is available for use by employees, partners, and the public. Little or no GIS skills are needed to use this portal.​ Take the tour and let U.S. FWS know what you think.

The web mapping portal is managed and curated by members of various programs and cooperator groups within the Pacific Southwest Region. It is designed to showcase data and maps of spatial information for particular geographies, topics, projects and administrative offices. Various searchable topics and data layers presented on this site include subsets of the data available across the platform.

California 2015-2016 Duck Stamp Art Contest

American green-winged teal. Photo by Vince Pahkala courtesy Wikipedia.

American green-winged teal. Photo by Vince Pahkala courtesy Wikipedia.

Artists are invited to submit their original artwork to the 2015-2016 California Duck Stamp Art Contest. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) will accept submissions from May 1 through June 3.

The contest is open to U.S. residents who are 18 years of age or older as of March 4, 2015. Entrants need not reside in California.

The winning artwork will be reproduced on the 2015-2016 California Duck Stamp. The top submissions will also be showcased at the Pacific Flyway Decoy Association’s art show in July.

The artwork must depict the species selected by the California Fish and Game Commission, which for the 2015-2016 hunting season is the American green-winged teal.

South Bay Bird Fest - May 16 2015, 12pm -3pm

Join us for the South Bay Bird Fest on Saturday, May 16, 2015 12pm - 3pm at the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay Wildlife Refuge, Environmental Education Center in Alviso.

Come experience the largest Tidal Wetland Restoration Project on the west coast!

  • Free activities for children
  • Live Birds Show
  • Crafts
  • Face Painting
  • Puppet Show
  • Guided Bird Walks
  • Hand-On Activities
  • Games

South Bay Bird Fest is sponsored by the City of San Jose, San Francisco Bay Wildlife Society, Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society, Santa Clara Valley Urban Runoff Pollution Prevention Program, and US Fish & Wildlife Service.

Visit our website for directions and more information or call (408) 262-5513.

Basic Bird Biology Course offered June 2015 by the National Conservation Training Center

Do you get a lot of questions from the public about birds that stymie you? This may be the course for you! The National Conservation Training Center of the U.S. Fish & Widlife Service would like to announce a course in Basic Bird Biology (CSP 2100) that takes place at Tualatin NWR in Portland, Oregon, from June 1 through 5, 2015.

Course Description

This extensive survey course on bird biology and ecology is designed to provide you with the ability to integrate ecological knowledge and thinking into your daily work process. The goal of the course is to provide you the ecological knowledge to handle basic questions or problems regarding migratory birds. During the course, you will have hands-on learning about bird morphology, behavior, habitat selection, identification, and regulatory protections. You will also work with live and preserved specimens.

Who Should Attend

Individuals who interact with the public and would like to be able to answer basic bird ecology questions; permits specialists, law enforcement, inspectors, administration, park rangers, outdoor recreation planners.

Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour - May 3 2015, 10am -5pm

Registration is now open for the free Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour which will take place Sunday, May 3, 2015 from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm at various locations throughout Alameda and Contra Costa counties.

Participants on the 11th annual, free, self-guided Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour can choose from 30 showcase native plant gardens. Participants will have the opportunity to learn how to select and care for California native plants, lower their water bills, design a low-maintenance garden, attract butterflies, birds, and bees, and garden without using pesticides.

Litterati Art Exhibit Opening Reception

Trash is everywhere. Soda cans, plastic bags, and cigarette butts litter the environment, choke wildlife, and threaten our planet. By combining technology, social awareness and art, the Litterati is tackling this ever-escalating problem one piece of litter at a time.

  • Venue: Environmental Education Center, Alviso
  • Date and Time: Tuesday, April 21 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
  • FREE Admission with complimentary refreshments provided by the San Francisco Bay Wildlife Society.
  • Space is limited, please register at:

This planet we call home is a big place to keep clean. We all need to play our part. Join the Litterati.

Earth Day • April 18 2015, 9am – 12pm

Come and join us! Celebrate Earth Day at Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge on April 18, 2015 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Join us at Ravenswood Point in East Palo Alto for our annual Earth Day Cleanup. Help protect the wildlife and environment while enjoying the beautiful Bay view. Gloves and trash bags provided. Children welcome and must be accompanied by an adult.

RSVP at Contact or call (510) 792-0222 ext. 141 for more information.