Castro Rocks

Castro Rocks

Castro Rocks are several rocks in Richmond, California protruding from the waters in San Francisco Bay between Castro Point and Red Rock Island.The rocks lie almost directly under the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge (I-580).[1] The rocks are named after Don Víctor Castro a local rancho-era land owner.

Castro Rocks are the home of many harbor seals,[2] which lie on them to rest and sunbathe. The rocks are the largest harbor seal rookery in the northern San Francisco Bay and the second largest in the Bay Area itself.[3] There are also sometimes sea lions on the rocks.[4] The rock's Harbor Seals also frequent Mowry Slough, Brooks Island, Yerba Buena Island, and Mare Island.[5]

The seals at this location have high levels of toxic pollutants including the DDT, PCBs, PBDEs, PFOS, PFOA, and mercury.[6]


  1. ^ Topographic map, TopoQuest, retrieved July 6, 2008
  2. ^ Tagging program, SFSU, retrieved August 1, 2007
  3. ^ SFSU, Castro Rocks page, retrieved August 1, 2007
  4. ^ NOAA Seeks Comments On A Proposed Reauthorization For California Department Of Transportation To Harass Seals During Bridge Reconstruction, NOAA Press Release, February 12, 1999, retrieved August 4, 2007
  5. ^ vhfmapweb.jpg, Radio tagging map, San Francisco State University, February 2004, retrieved August 4, 2007
  6. ^ Harbor seals may help determine effect on humans of eating toxic fish, by Jane Kay, San Francisco Chronicle, 19-10-2009, access date 19-02-2009

External links

  • Castro Rocks page
  • SFSU Tagging - Photos