From our blogs

Volunteer Opportunities: Winter 2016

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge Volunteer Opportunities: Winter 2016 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.

SF Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board presents 2016 “WuHoo” Pollution Prevention Award to City of San José

The San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board presented the 2016 Dr. Teng-Chung Wu Award to the City of San José for its innovative pollution prevention activities.

Kerrie Romanow, director of San José’s Environmental Services Department, accepted the award for the City on September 14, 2016 at a ceremony in Oakland, California. “This prestigious award recognizes the strong partnerships that San José has developed to help keep our creeks and Bay clean; we’ll continue to grow our efforts and keep up the momentum by looking for new ways to protect the environment and serve our community ,” Romanow said.

SFBWS Board of Directors President Cecilia (Ceal) Craig at the 2016 WuHoo Awards. Credit San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board.

SFBWS Board of Directors President Cecilia (Ceal) Craig at the 2016 WuHoo Awards. Credit San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board.

Current Projects and Future Ideas at SFBWS

by Cecilia (Ceal) D. Craig, PhD President, SFBWS Board of Directors

Current Projects

The Board of Directors of the San Francisco Bay Wildlife Society is moving through a strategic planning process to develop goals for the upcoming years, and to migrate the organization into a Friends organization for the Refuge Complex. In particular, we want to broaden our focus to include the needs of the four refuges within the Refuge Complex that the Society supports (Don Edwards San Francisco Bay, Salinas River, Ellicott Slough, and Farallon NWRs), and maintain a fruitful collaboration with the Friends of San Pablo Bay who assist the other three refuges in the North Bay (San Pablo Bay, Marin Islands, and Antioch Dunes NWRs).

Much is happening around San Francisco Bay such as the next phase of the Salt Pond Restoration efforts at the Eden Landing ponds in Hayward; Measure AA and its impacts on upcoming restoration efforts; the Shoreline Levee Project; habitat restoration and associated studies; environmental education and stewardship projects; recreational improvements such as interpretive mobile apps; and much more.

Celebrate National Wildlife Refuge Week (Oct 9 - 15) at Don Edwards SF Bay NWR

Come celebrate National Wildlife Refuge Week this year from October 9 through October 15 at the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge. Take part and learn how national wildlife refuges conserve and protect wildlife and habitat through science, interpretation, and recreation at the Refuge Headquarters in Fremont.

October 15 - Fremont

On October 15, drop by the refuge to view critters that live in the sloughs and mud that form the basis of our food chain, see the beauty of San Francisco Bay by going on a Bay Bike Ride, or take a relaxing stroll at dusk to view the setting sun. Take part in some or all of the activities listed below.

  • Native Plant Sale
  • California Jr. Duck Stamp Winners Display
  • Bay Bike Ride
  • Introduction to Nature Drawing with Linda Knoll
  • Plankton and Mud Lab
  • Live Bird Show with Sulphur Creek Nature Center
  • Twilight Marsh Walk

Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteers are needed to operate the Nature Stores and the visitor information desk at the Fremont Visitor Contact Station (Contact Station) and the San Jose Environmental Education Center (Education Center).

We are also seeking volunteers to help with an exciting cleanup program in Santa Clara County for which the San Francisco Bay Wildlife Society (Society) ha received a grant.

Reach out to Mary.Deschene@SFBWS.com, 510-7920222, ext. 364 for more information or dates! Look for more volunteer positions as we plan for the future.

Volunteer Opportunities: Fall 2016

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge Volunteer Opportunities: Fall 2016 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.

Challenges Ahead — Take Our Survey!

Earlier this year, a new effort spearheaded by Fish & Wildlife Service Education Center Director Genie Moore was aimed to develop a Visitor Services strategic plan for the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay NWR. Two staff and one volunteer from the Society worked alongside Fish & Wildlife (FWS) staff and a community leader for many hours to develop a work plan that would incorporate the goals from the refuge’s Comprehensive Conservation Plan, the FWS Standards of Excellence and the Next Generation Science Standards being implemented in California schools. The desired outcome was an action plan that is SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely) and sustainable to be used in natural resources management plans to be developed in the coming year for the Refuge Complex. However, FWS staffing losses have proved to be a challenge and the Society has decided to suspend its direct involvement in this effort and focus instead on primary program priorities for Living Wetlands and Watershed Watchers programs.

Coastal Cleanup Day • September 17, 2016

Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge presents Coastal Cleanup Day at the Dumbarton Fishing Pier Parking Lot, Marshlands Rd, Fremont on Saturday, September 17, 2016 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Do you want to help wildlife and the environment? Join the thousands of people around the world for International Coastal Cleanup Day. At Don Edwards SF Bay NWR you can remove invasive weeds or pick up trash along the parking lot and trails. We’ll supply plastic gloves (or bring your own) and trash and recycling bags. You supply energy, sturdy shoes, sun protection, and clothes you don’t mind getting dirty. Bring a reusable water bottle.

Volunteers can choose to be shuttled to areas along the Shoreline Trail to reach areas farther away. For more information, call 510-792-0222, ext. 362 for the Visitor Services Intern or Paul Mueller at ext. 361. No reservations necessary.

Children under age 18 must have parental approval. Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult. To expedite the registration process, log on to http://www.fws.gov/refuge/don_edwards_san_francisco_bay to download the forms and bring to the registration table. Forms are also available at the registration table.

New Hours at the Don Edwards SF Bay NWR

New Hours at the Visitor Center in Fremont and Environmental Education Center in Alviso
Effective September 1, 2016

Visitor Center in Fremont:
Wednesday-Saturday, 11 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Federal Holidays: Closed

Environmental Education Center in Alviso:
Saturday, 10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Monday-Friday/Non-Field Trip Days: Open 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Monday-Friday/Field Trip Days: Closed
Federal Holidays: Closed

“Exploring Our Baylands” Book Review

by Roy Sasai, San Francisco Bay Wildlife Society Volunteer and San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge Complex Docent.

Exploring Our Baylands by Diane R. Conradson, Ph.D. is a well-written, concise book (only 69 pages) packed with information regarding the history and ecology of the San Francisco Bay Area. The book begins with the formation of the San Francisco Bay through seismic and glacier activity. The bay has gone through several transformations and the bay we see today is only 2,000 years old. At one time, the California coastline was west of the Farallon Islands. That’s 30 miles out in the ocean from today’s coastline!

Conradson then delves into the plants and animals around the bay, how the presence of certain plant communities indicate the different tidal zones identified by scientists, and how these plants have adapted to the harsh, salty environment. Conradson also reveals that there are two different species of the endangered salt marsh harvest mouse in the Bay Area due to being isolated by rising bay waters from long ago.

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