The Martin Luther King, Jr. Regional Shoreline Park and San Leandro Bay provide vital habitat to thousands of birds. The park’s wetland complex—which includes Arrowhead Marsh and a successfully restored 72-acre wetland—hosts some of the most significant populations of shorebirds and water birds in the central bay. More than 90 bird species inhabit this area, including the federally endangered Ridgway’s Rail, a bird found only in San Francisco Bay salt marshes. Endangered California Least Terns and Brown Pelicans also feed in the waters around the site.
Until 1938, San Leandro Bay and its 1,800 acres of tidal marsh were a wildlife paradise, protected as a state wildlife reserve. By 1986, only 76 acres of tidal wetlands remained, the rest destroyed to create the Oakland Coliseum, Interstate 880, and the Oakland International Airport. When the Port of Oakland proposed destruction of several hundred acres of seasonal wetlands in 1986, Golden Gate Audubon led other environmental groups in suing the port to preserve this important bird habitat. After 10 years of litigation, Golden Gate Audubon negotiated a settlement that left the remaining seasonal wetlands untouched, restored 72 acres of tidal and seasonal wetlands in San Leandro Bay, and deeded the restored wetlands to the East Bay Regional Park District to complete the Martin Luther King, Jr. Regional Shoreline Park.
Monitoring studies and Golden Gate Audubon’s bird census work show the restoration project to be a great success.
2006-2007 Report published in 2007
2005 Report published in 2006
2001-2004 Report published in 2005 covering 5 years of data