From our blogs

The Amazing Refuge Race • August 20, 2016

Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge and REI Outdoor School present The Amazing Refuge Race.

2 Marshlands Rd, Fremont • August 20, 2016 • 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Armed with GPS units, you and your team will “race” against other teams by attempting to complete required challenges on the refuge first. Teams will be given a set of coordinates where they must try to locate using a GPS unit. Once at that location, teams must work together to complete a challenge. When that task is completed, teams will receive the next set of coordinates. Those who complete all challenges and arrive at the finish first wins!

Intrigued? Log on to or call Carmen at 510-792-0222 ext. 476 for additional information and rules. Don’t have a GPS unit? Borrow one of ours!

Registration is required! You may register up to 5 people for your team. A minimum of 2 people per team. The refuge may place individuals on teams containing fewer than 5 people to ensure maximum participation. Registration deadline is August 17. Go to or call 510-792-0222 ext. 476 to register. There is no cost to enter.

Conversations on the Trail

by Ceal Craig

In January I represented the Society at a Moving Friends Forward conference held in the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s National Conservation Training Center (NCTC) in rural West Virginia just west of Washington D.C.

Did you know that the Society was the second Friends group in the United States when it was formed in 1987?

Miles of Algae and a Multitude of Hazards

Dead whale from an algal bloom. Credit National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Dead whale from an algal bloom. Credit National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Les Neuhaus writes in today's New York Times Science section:

In May, a 33-square-mile algal bloom crept over Lake Okeechobee, the vast headwaters of the Everglades. The mess in Florida is only the latest in a string of algal blooms that some experts believe are increasing in frequency and in severity. An immense plume of blue-green algae last September covered a 636-mile stretch of the Ohio River. A month earlier, the city of Toledo, Ohio, warned more than 400,000 residents to avoid drinking tap water after toxic algae spread over an intake in Lake Erie. The vast algal bloom in the Pacific last year was also fed in part by El Niño, the mass of warm water that forms periodically off the West Coast. But longer-term climate change may also be playing a role, some experts say.

Drawbridge, California: A Hand-Me-Down History

by Ceal Craig

We are developing a new Drawbridge publication to replace the one we commissioned from O.L. “Monty” Dewey in 1989.

The iconic structures at Drawbridge continue to remind us of what life was like a hundred years ago in our wetlands.

The new publication will discuss the opportunities and challenges facing the South Bay’s habitat restoration and impacts of sea level rise.

To update the publication we would love to speak with someone who once lived there, whose relatives lived there, or have information.

Sixteen-Year-Old Wins Best of Show in 2016 California Junior Duckstamp Contest, Then Takes National Award Competing With 27,000 Young Artists

By Pam Bierce, USFWS

“It was April Fool’s Day, so naturally my reaction was disbelief at first,” says 16-year-old Stacy Shen, describing her initial reaction to winning Best of Show in the California Junior Duck Stamp Art and Conservation Contest.

Shen’s color pencil drawing of a pair of Ross’s geese was one of over 5,000 entries in the 2016 contest held earlier this spring at the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge.

“It’s great knowing that I get to pursue my passion while raising awareness and funds for waterfowl and habitat conservation,” says Stacy Shen, 2016 national Junior Duck Stamp winning artist.

However, winning in California was only the beginning for the Fremont, California, native. Shen’s artwork also was selected by a panel of judges to appear on the 2016-17 Federal Junior Duck Stamp, placing first among over 27,000 national entries.

Get Involved! Help Clean Our Watershed and Educate the Public

by Ceal Craig

We will be partnering with the San Jose Conservation Corps to do a major cleanup of the southern portion of Don Edwards Refuge in Santa Clara County thanks to a $39,000 grant received from the Santa Clara Valley Water District.

In addition to the cleanup, the team will be using tablet computers to document what types of trash are found using the Litterati app (see Photos of trash will be used to develop a display with a call-to-action message to prevent litter pollution in the Bay.

'If You See a Bud, Count it...'

By Steve Martarano, USFWS

The instructions were clear. “If you see a bud,” U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist Susan Euing said to her group of about 15 survey volunteers. “Count it as a bloomer!”

Those instructions began the recent annual two-day survey for the endangered Antioch Dunes evening primrose (Oenothera deltoides var. howellii) at the Antioch Dunes National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Antioch, the only place in the world naturally-occurring populations of the plant species is found.

Euing and wildlife refuge specialist, Louis Terrazas, headed up the counts at both units of the refuge, and also for an earlier two-day survey for Contra Costa wallflower (Erysimum capitatum var. angustatum).

San Francisco Bay Wildlife Society Town Hall Forum

Environmental Education Center in Alviso
Saturday, July 9 2016
1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

As we prepare for our 30th anniversary in 2017, we want to learn more about what you want San Francisco Bay Wildlife Society to accomplish, and what is important to members.

Share your ideas with the San Francisco Bay Wildlife Society. Open to San Francisco Bay Wildlife Society members and the public.

Short, guided walk after the event, if desired.

For more information or to RSVP, call 510-792-0222, extension 364.

Become a San Francisco Bay Wildlife Society Docent

We need a volunteer to lead tours or community service projects on the refuge.

We often receive requests from companies wanting to offer their employees a team-building experience by learning more about the refuge or by participating in a group project (especially around Earth Day).

As a San Francisco Bay Wildlife Society (Society) docent, you would give introductory talks and lead the groups on a guided walk or service project. Contact: or 510-792-0222 ext.364.

The Great American Campout

Never camped before but looking to learn? Join us as we pitch a tent and campout for wildlife! You will learn the fine skills of the great outdoors with your family as you enjoy the wetlands of the bay. All camping gear is provided by Bay Area Wilderness Training whose primary goal is to get youth outdoors!

No experience necessary or camping gear needed. Please check out the registration page for more information at: