From our blogs

Donate when you shop on Amazon this Black Friday

Black Friday is just around the corner and there are amazing deals to be found online! Support us by starting your shopping at smile.amazon.com/ch/94-3039253.

Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to San Francisco Bay Wildlife Society whenever you shop on AmazonSmile.

San Francisco Bay Wildlife Society Donation Form

Events at Don Edwards SF Bay NWR canceled due to poor air quality

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decided late afternoon Friday, November 16, 2018 to cancel all indoor and outdoor events scheduled for Saturday, November 17, 2018 at the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge due to poor air quality.

The following 4 events have been canceled:

Smoke from the Camp Fire in Butte County, California caused the air quality in Northern California on Friday to dip to the worst in the world, with San Francisco's Air Quality Index (AQI) measured at a record-breaking level of 271.

SFBWS at the USFWS Regions 1 and 8 conference for Service staff and Friends Groups

by Ceal Craig

Visiting national wildlife refuges around the United States is a passion for many of us, I know. In June 2018, I had the opportunity to visit several on my trip north to Medford, Oregon, for a Friends Group PLUS Fish & Wildlife Service conference for Regions 1 and 8 covering Washington, Idaho, Oregon, California, Nevada, and the Pacifc. Meeting other Friends Groups and Service staf is always a pleasure, since we all share the same passion for the refuges we support. I learned a lot about the northwest refuges on this trip, in particular, several rural refuges, in Idaho, Washington, and Oregon. Two of us representing the San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge Complex attended: me (Friends President) and Paul Mueller, the Volunteer Coordinator for the Refuge Complex.

In one thought provoking conference discussion, I learned how a Friends Group is affected when the refuge they support is taken over by people who would not allow the public to visit, or let Friends and refuge staff do their jobs, specifically, the occupation of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in early 2016. At that time, I was at a national Friends and Fish & Wildlife Service conference in West Virginia caught in over 40 inches of snow. There too, I was meeting people who are passionate about refuges in the United States; passionate about helping wildlife, protecting habitat for endangered species, engaging the public, and fostering a sense of stewardship of the refuges.

Shoring up New York Harbor's reef, a billion oysters at a time

An instructor at the Urban Assembly New York Harbor School, watches students as they send 422 oyster reef structures into the Hudson River. Credit Agata Poniatowski/NPR.

An instructor at the Urban Assembly New York Harbor School watches students as they send 422 oyster reef structures into the Hudson River.

Andrea Strong, a food writer, covers oysters and citizen science in The Salt section of NPR today:

Across New York City, more than 70 restaurants are tossing their oyster shells not into the trash or composting pile, but into the city's eroded harbor. It's all part of Billion Oyster Project's restaurant shell-collection program [at] the Urban Assembly New York Harbor School, a public high school on Governors Island that offers technical and vocational training in the marine sciences. The New York Governor's Office of Storm Recovery has partnered with Billion Oyster Project to install oysters on its $74 million Living Breakwaters Project, which aims to reduce and reverse erosion and damage from storm waves, improve the ecosystem health of Raritan Bay and encourage environmentally conscious stewardship of nearshore waters.

Read on to find out more about an excellent example of collaboration among commercial, educational, and government interests to build a sustainable and very useful result that also helps New York City weather future sea level rise. We need these kinds of ideas in our own San Francisco Bay Area as well.

Celebrate National Wildlife Refuge Week (Oct 13 - 20) at Don Edwards SF Bay NWR

Come celebrate National Wildlife Refuge Week this year from October 13 through October 20 at the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge. Nature walks, yoga and tai chi, plant sale, and a bike tour - there’s something for everyone during National Wildlife Refuge Week. Celebrate your local national wildlife refuge! Take part in some or all of the activities listed below.

Tai Chi & Nature Walk

Environmental Education Center, Alviso
Saturday, October 13, 2018
9:30 a.m.-11:00 a.m.

Hike the Mallard Slough Trail

Environmental Education Center, Alviso
Saturday, October 13, 2018
10:00 a.m.-noon

Native Plant Sale

Visitor Center, Fremont
Saturday, October 13, 2018
10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.

Annual Sale of Native Plants • October 13, 2018

Time to landscape your yard before the rains start with drought-tolerant, native plants from the San Francisco Bay Area. Create habitat for pollinators and birds around the San Francisco Bay. Plants sold by the San Francisco Bay Wildlife Society.

Saturday, October 13, 2018 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge
2 Marshlands Rd, Fremont, CA
For more information, call Carmen Minch at 510-792-0222 ext. 476.

For driving directions to the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge, go to http://www.fws.gov/refuge/don_edwards_san_francisco_bay/drivingdirection...

Refuge Radio - Episode 8 - Ceal Craig and Don Edwards National Wildlife Refuge

Listen to an episode of Refuge Radio, news and views from the National Wildlife Refuge Association, where Ceal Craig, President of the San Francisco Bay Wildlife Society talks about the Don Edwards National Wildlife Refuge.

Episode length: 28 minutes 20 seconds

Coastal Cleanup Day • September 15, 2018

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 15, 2018 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 and for groups larger than 10, 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.

Accessible trails are everyone’s trails

by Ceal Craig

I had the opportunity to participate in a focus group organized by the state of California’s Coastal Conservancy to discuss how we can improve access to public lands for individuals who might need extra support such as facilities and trails that meet American with Disabilities Act standards, commonly known as ADA. One challenge is effectively communicating information about what already exists. This website, http://www.wheelingcalscoast.org, is filled with helpful information for those who have mobility challenges and want to access the California coast including our Bay Area lands.

On May 4, 2018, the Coastal Conservancy hosted a webinar for grantees and partners on Designing Outdoor Environments that Work for Everybody. A recording of the webinar can be found at https://vimeo.com/268101779. The slides and notes from the webinar are online at http://scc.ca.gov/webmaster/pdfs/CoastalConservancyWebinar_05042018_fina....

Changes Coming to Weekend Support and Society Programs

by Ceal Craig

In 1992, the Society with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service worked with two partners to build and deliver two programs: Living Wetlands (formerly known as Slow the Flow) and Watershed Watchers. For 20 years, Living Wetlands and Watershed Watchers educated hundreds of thousands of students and adults about watershed health, wetlands, and habitat preservation through personal and hands-on programming.

The good news is that Watershed Watchers was renewed for this coming year (July to June). Thus, this program funded by the Urban Runoff Pollution Prevention Program will continue working to prevent runoff pollution, increase the surrounding communities’ knowledge of such pollution, and reduce its harmful effects through personal behavior.

The not so good news is that the City of San Jose declined to renew the Living Wetlands program contract. Our long-term partnership was a fruitful one and will be missed. Recent changes to priorities, grant program requirements, and outreach strategies at the City of San Jose and the Regional Wastewater Facility have resulted in the city’s decision to end the program. Read more here: http://sfbws.com/blog/2018/03/21/farewell-living-wetlands.

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