U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service logo A Unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System
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Marin Islands
National Wildlife Refuge

In San Pablo Bay off the coast of
San Rafael, CA   
E-mail: sfbaynwrc@fws.gov
Phone Number: 707-769-4200
Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
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Marin Islands National Wildlife Refuge

Marin Islands National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1992, and is managed as part of the San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge Complex. It is located in San Pablo Bay off the coast of San Rafael in Marin County, California. Two islands (East Marin and West Marin) form the core of the refuge; surrounding submerged tidelands also are part of the refuge.

West Marin Island, rises 85 feet above the bay's waters and supports the largest heron and egret rookery in the San Francisco Bay area. Nesting species include great egrets, snowy egrets, great blue herons, and black-crowned night herons. East Marin Island, a former vacation retreat, now supports a variety of introduced and native plants and provides critical nesting material and rest sites for the nearby colony.

Submerged tidelands support a variety of resident and migratory water birds such as surf scoter, black oystercatcher, diving ducks, and osprey. Refuge objectives are to protect migratory species, including the heron and egret nesting colony, protect and restore suitable habitat for the colony, and protect the tidal mud flats and unique island ecosystem.

Getting There . . .
The refuge is closed to the public. Both islands consist of steep hills and sheer cliffsides and are covered in poison oak. They are closed to the public for safety purposes.

Call San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge at 707-769-4200 for more information.

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Management Activities
Current management is limited to protecting the rookery from human disturbance and conducting annual surveys to record nesting success.

Plans call for removing all artificial facilities from East Marin Island, removing exotic vegetation and restoring native vegetation, supplementing nesting trees with additional native trees and establishing a protective buoy system in the tidewaters around the Islands to better protect the rookery and feeding sites from human disturbance.