Lands that make up San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge have been drastically altered in the last 150 years. By the early 20th century, most of San Pablo Bay tidal marshes had been diked for agriculture. Historical records show that the tidal marshes exhibited a much higher species richness and diversity of plants than today.
In an effort to bring back some of that diversity, and to improve ecosystem function, the main focus of the refuge is restoring habitat and associated plant and animal communities. Some of those efforts include restoring tidal flows to lands that had been converted to agriculture and improving tidal flows to marshlands. A nursery had been established to propagate native plants to assist with restoration, and the community has been encouraged to participate in “native planting parties” to assist with the effort.
An important component of habitat restoration is controlling invasive, non-native plants. Pepperweed, which displaces native riparian and wetland species, and the Atlantic Smooth Cordgrass are actively monitored and controlled.
A variety of wildlife surveys are conducted to monitor populations and to detect trends. Surveys are conducted for the endangered Salt Marsh Harvest Mouse and California Clapper Rail. Waterfowl surveys are conducted annually and refuge biologists take part in estuary-wide shorebird surveys coordinated by PRBO Conservation Science.
Follow Us Online