Don Edwards San Francisco Bay Wildlife Refuge was the first urban National Refuge established in the United States. It is set up to preserve and enhance local wildlife habitats. The refuge is dedicated to helping protect birds of threatened and endangered species. The area was established in 2004 with over 30,000 acres. Part of it opens to a bay, salt pond, salt marsh, upland, mudflat, and vernal pool. Around 280 species of birds can be seen at the refuge each year. Several of them are waterfowl and shorebirds coming for the fall and spring migrations. For example the Clapper Rail and harvest marsh are protected by the park.
Don Edwards Refuge is made up of six other refuges in the San Francisco Bay area. Other areas were established in 1974 by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. In 1995, Don Edwards was recognized for his efforts to preserve this natural area. Several trails are open to the public from November to March. Hours are 7am to 6pm. At all other times of the year hours of operation are 7am to 8pm. There is a visitor center open Tuesday through Sunday. Some environmental programs and activities are available through the visitor center.