From our blogs

Refuge’s Marsh-In Summer Day Camp now a community tradition

by Toria Rico, 2019 Summer Camp Coordinator at the Environmental Education Center of the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge

“Thank you for providing an opportunity for our kids to participate in something meaningful this summer, and giving us access to something fun and educational that we likely would not have been able to do financially had there been a fee.”

That’s what a parent had to say about their child’s participation in the 2019 Marsh-In Summer Camp on the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge in Alviso, California. Every year the Refuge’s Environmental Education Center hosts this unique and cost-free opportunity for local kids to experience nature among wildlife and wetland habitat, in the middle of a densely populated urban area.

Coastal Cleanup Day • September 21, 2019

Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge presents Coastal Cleanup Day at the Environmental Education Center, Alviso on Saturday, September 21, 2019 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 to download the forms and bring to the registration table. Forms are also available at the registration table.

Bird language in the field

by Ceal Craig

As a persistent birder, but no expert, I am always trying to learn more about these enchanting species. San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory offered a workshop in February, Listen and Decipher: Bird Language in the Field, led by Jeff Caplan. If you ever can take this workshop, it’s quite enjoyable.

2019 Marsh-In Summer Day Camp • July 29 - August 2, 2019

A FREE summer camp filled with fun activities, games, crafts, and adventures.

Date and Time
  • July 29 - August 2, 2019
  • Grades 1-6: Monday - Wednesday 9:15 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
    • Monday - Bird Day
    • Tuesday - Fish Day
    • Wednesday - Mammal Day
  • Grades 4-6 only: Overnight 6:00 p.m. Thursday - 9:30 a.m. Friday
    • Overnight - Night hikes, star gazing, sleeping under the stars and ice cream making!

Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge
Environmental Education Center
1751 Grand Blvd, Alviso, CA 95002

SFBWS Newsletter

The Summer 2019 edition of Tideline will be the last delivered or printed in that format, edited by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) staff and published by the San Francisco Bay Wildlife Society (SFBWS).

Tideline quarterly newsletter going digital

by Anne Morkill, Refuge Manager, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

The Summer 2019 issue of the Tideline quarterly newsletter is our last in print format. Following trends in the business community and across government, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service transitioned from print to digital newsletters and reports several years ago. We have been a bit slower in this transition, but we now find ourselves at a crossroads and decided to follow a new path. The reasons are various, ranging from staff changes and realigned priorities, to new technologies and ever-present budget challenges.

Going digital is not free, but it is less expensive than print. The savings on printing and postage are substantial, and we’d rather re-allocate those funds toward a more multi-faceted communications strategy, as well as on-the-ground resource conservation and public engagement projects. I want to especially recognize the support of the San Francisco Bay Wildlife Society for funding the layout and printing of Tideline for many years. We will continue to collaborate with the Society on developing and distributing the next generation of the publication.

Seeking legal, business and finance skills on the SFBWS Board of Directors and Committees

by Ceal Craig

The San Francisco Bay Wildlife Society is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) Friends Group for the San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge Complex, authorized by Congress to support the education, interpretation, and research activities of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The San Francisco Bay Wildlife Society seeks to nurture in the public a sense of understanding, appreciation, and stewardship of the San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuges, their natural and cultural history, and to support the conservation, preservation, and restoration of the bay lands as essential wildlife habitat.

We envision wildlife and its habitat thriving in a healthier San Francisco Bay area as a result of increased citizen stewardship of the environment.

Governed by a volunteer Board of Directors, the Society is supported by over 2,000 individual members and by donations and grants from corporations & foundations. The Wildlife Society operates bookstores at the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay Refuge Visitor Center in Fremont and the Environmental Education Center in Alviso.

We are accepting new Board of Director members. Those with legal backgrounds and business financial experience are particularly needed.

On the trail at Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge, Washington

by Ceal Craig

In December 2018, I visited Turnbull Refuge. A retired Project Leader, now a Friends BOD member, and the President of their Friends group took the time to drive me around this unique Refuge, with its rock formations, ponderosa pines, marshes, wetlands, and lakes all within 18,000-acres.

While we did not see any elk, the drive through quiet forests with still falling snow was a sharp contract to our own Refuge Complex. A half-hour’s drive southwest of Spokane, Turnbull is in the northeastern Washington Scablands created over 15,000 years ago after incredible ice age floods created a maze of channels and depressions.

Also, quite impressive was the Friends of Turnbull’s large Nature Store and the renovated Environmental Education Building, retrofitted primarily by loving volunteer hands and donated materials: shelving, murals, education materials, and construction.

Every year, over 18,000 students participate in programs and learn about Refuge plants and wildlife, who make their home in the scablands at Turnbull.

Wheels and Wildlife at the Don Edwards SF Bay National Wildlife Refuge • April 6, 2019

Wheels and Wildlife at the Don Edwards SF Bay National Wildlife Refuge • April 6, 2019

Did you know you could ride your bike on the Refuge trails in Alviso? Join us for a bicycle tour around the levee! We will stop along the way to learn about the Refuge, the wildlife and habitats they use, the importance of Coyote Creek watershed, and the history of the area!

The ride is 4.5 miles on a level trail, and there is no shade along the way. Must provide your own bikes, gear, and water bottles. Helmets are required for children. Water and snacks will be provided at a stop. Children ages 10+ recommended, please use your best judgement on skill level for the distance.

Date and Time: Sat, April 6, 2019 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM PDT

Location: Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge Environmental Education Center
1751 Grand Boulevard, San Jose, CA 95002

Summer Camp Associate 2019

General Description

Associate position needed to assist San Francisco Bay Wildlife Society at the Don Edwards SF Bay National Wildlife Refuge Environmental Education Center (EEC). This position will be from May – August, and responsible for the planning and organizing of the 2019 Marsh-In Summer Camp Program. The Associate will be working under the Watershed Watchers Program Coordinator, while also being advised by other EEC Staff members.

Marsh-In Summer Camp is a free camp for students entering grades 1-6. Each day of camp has a theme: Bird Day, Fish Day, Mammal Day, and Nocturnal Night. There is one overnight for older campers entering grades 4-6 where we sleep outside! Habitat Heroes is a training week for students entering grades 7-12. Habitat Heroes assist with camp by leading camper groups and various activities throughout the day. Marsh-In Summer Camp participants are chosen via a lottery, and we accept approximately 65 students.