Description - Don Edwards San Francisco Bay NWR is a place to learn about the bay environment through exhibits and naturalist programs.
- Don Edwards San Francisco Bay NWR is a place to learn about the bay environment through exhibits and naturalist programs at the Visitor Center in Fremont and the Environmental Education Center in Alviso (San Jose).
The refuge provides major habitat for the endangered California clapper rail and salt marsh harvest mouse. The San Francisco Bay is a key wintering area for diving ducks along the Pacific Flyway, and the South bay is used primarily by scaup, surf scoters, and ruddy ducks.
The more than 18,000 acres of estuarine habitat, including uplands, open water, mud flats, salt ponds, and salt marshes is also home to the California brown pelican, California least tern, peregrine falcon, migratory waterfowl and shorebirds, harbor seals, and saltwater fishes, including striped bass, surfperch, sturgeon, starry flounder, leopard shark, topsmelt, and anchovy.
Recreation - The visitor center in Fremont and Environmental Education Center in Alviso provide interpretive programs, a bookstore, educational programs, and special events. Other recreational activities include wildlife observation, study, and photography, hiking and biking trails, fishing from piers and the shore, and waterfowl hunting. In addition, there are volunteer programs, quarterly newsletters, and the San Francisco Bay Wildlife Society, a nonprofit cooperative association.
Climate - The climate is Mediterranean, so it tends to be windy and cold. The best weather is in spring and fall. From February through July, mild weather carpets the land. Summer is the time when fog can blanket the coastal areas, while the inland valleys remain warm. The best advice is to dress in layers.
The visitor center and refuge headquarters are located near the Dumbarton Bridge toll plaza. Take the Thornton Avenue exit from Highway 84 and follow the signs.
The Environmental Education Center is located in the Alviso District of San Jose; from Highway 237, go north on Zanker Road, then west on Grand Boulevard.