Policy: Public use and bird protection

American Avocets

A balancing act exists in wildlife conservation: the needs of sensitive wildlife populations versus the need to connect the public with the outdoors and provide opportunities to observe wildlife. We recommend the following policy considerations to accommodate habitat protection and outdoor recreation:

Protect and enhance values of tidal marsh, managed pond, open Bay, and other sensitive habitats, particularly those utilized by listed and sensitive wildlife species. Where wildlife would be negatively impacted by public use, public access should be limited. As much as possible, access should be designed in ways and locations that both provide public enjoyment and reduce impacts to sensitive habitats and species.

Regulations regarding dogs and cats should be implemented to protect key shoreline areas used by endangered bird species.

New boat launching and access points should be developed away from sensitive habitats. Boating activities should avoid those areas that provide important foraging and resting for diving ducks, grebes, and waterbirds during the migratory and wintering seasons when those species are present.

Study impacts of public access on wildlife as a means to improve future planning for beneficial public access.

Support educational programs and facilities to help the public to appreciate, understand, and value birds and the ecology of San Francisco Bay.