IUCN category IV (habitat/species management area)
|Location||San Francisco Bay|
|Nearest city||Redwood City, California|
|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. Bair Island is part of the larger Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge.
The California Department of Fish and Game's Bair Island Ecological Reserve consists of 1,985 acres (803 ha) on the Middle and Outer islands, although the entire island group is managed by the Refuge. Bair Island 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. An important part of South Bay ecology, Bair Island has been discussed for decades as a prime area for conservation and restoration.
A residential development called South Shores had been proposed for the marshland, and approved by the Redwood City council, but a citizens referendum narrowly defeated the project in 1982. The Peninsula Open Space Trust purchased the property in 1996 and deeded the site to be part of the Don Edwards National Wildlife Refuge, and the Bair Island Ecological Reserve was established in 1997.
Restoration projects are ongoing and aim to restore the tidal wetlands environment, 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.
- CDFG Bair Island.
- "New Life For Bay Sanctuary-Once farmland, salt ponds, Bair Island now protected and ready for restoration" by Jane Kay, San Francisco Chronicle Thursday, March 15, 2007
- magazine Oct-Dec 2004Bay Nature"South Bay Challenge" accessed 16 Dec 2009