Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge, on Marshlands Rd., was the country's first urban national wildlife refuge. Named for a congressman who spearheaded efforts to preserve the bay's wetlands, it covers some 30,000 acres at the southern end of San Francisco Bay. The area is a sanctuary for endangered species and for migratory shorebirds and waterfowl negotiating the Pacific Flyway. More than 280 bird species take advantage of mudflat, salt marsh, salt pond and vernal pool habitats.
The visitor center near the Dumbarton Bridge has wildlife exhibits and offers views of tidal sloughs and salt marshes. Two of the more popular trails are the Tidelands Trail and the LaRiviere Marsh Trail; the best time to spot wildlife is October through April.
Naturalists conduct programs and guided walks on weekends. The visitor center has schedules as well as information and regulations regarding fishing, hunting and boating within the refuge.