Bair Island

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Bair Island
IUCN category IV (habitat/species management area)
Map showing the location of Bair Island
Map showing the location of Bair Island
Location San Francisco Bay
Nearest city Redwood City, California
Coordinates 37°31′48″N 122°13′20″W / 37.5299362°N 122.2221881°W / 37.5299362; -122.2221881Coordinates: 37°31′48″N 122°13′20″W / 37.5299362°N 122.2221881°W / 37.5299362; -122.2221881[1]
Area 3,000 acres (1,200 ha)
Governing body US Fish and Wildlife Service, Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge

Bair Island is a marsh area in Redwood City, California covering 3,000 acres (1,200 ha), and includes three islands: Inner, Middle and Outer islands.[2] Bair Island is part of the larger Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge.[3]

The California Department of Fish and Game's Bair Island Ecological Reserve consists of 1,985 acres (803 ha)[2] on the Middle and Outer islands, although the entire island group is managed by the Refuge. Bair Island is an important ecological wetland,[4] which provides critical habitat for a variety of species, including the endangered California clapper rail and the Salt marsh harvest mouse, and is an important stop for birds on the Pacific Flyway.[5]

Bair Island is the largest undeveloped island in the San Francisco Bay and was used for farming, grazing and salt production since the 19th century.[6] A residential development called South Shores had been proposed to build a housing estate with 4000 houses on the marshland. It was approved by the Redwood City council, but a citizens referendum narrowly defeated the project in 1982 by just 44 votes.[7][6] The Peninsula Open Space Trust purchased the property in 1996 and deeded the site to be part of the Don Edwards National Wildlife Refuge,[8] and the Bair Island Ecological Reserve was established in 1997.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Bair Island". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 4 December 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "Bair Island Ecological Reserve". California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Retrieved 23 June 2016. 
  3. ^ "Bair Island". U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Retrieved 23 June 2016. 
  4. ^ Department of the Interior and Related Agencies Appropriations for 1993: Testimony of members of Congress. U.S. Government Printing Office. 1992. p. 104. ISBN 978-0-16-038699-2. 
  5. ^ a b Bair Island Ecological Refuge Restoration and Management Plan: Environmental Impact Statement. 2006. pp. 3, 35, 256. 
  6. ^ a b Kay, Jane (15 March 2007). "NEW LIFE FOR BAY SANCTUARY / Once farmland, salt ponds, Bair Island now protected and ready for restoration". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 23 June 2016. 
  7. ^ Walker, Richard (1 October 2009). The country in the city: the greening of the San Francisco Bay Area. University of Washington Press. p. 116. ISBN 978-0-295-98973-0. 
  8. ^ California Coast & Ocean. State Coastal Conservancy. 1997. p. 168.