Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Essential Eelgrass

The importance of heeding bay closures.


Wedged between the shores of Sausalito and Belvedere stands Richardson Bay, home to the second largest eelgrass bed (437 acres) within San Francisco Bay. This flowering water plant thrives in shallow waters and creates underwater meadows that serve as intricate and important ecosystems. These beds are a haven for all types of sea life, including fish, invertebrates and even waterbirds.


“The estuary has an ideal combination of shallow water depths and good water quality that provides clarity allowing aquatic plants to grow,” says John Takekawa, program director at Richardson Bay Audubon Center. During the winter months, this estuary serves as a sanctuary for waterbirds that rely heavily on eelgrass for roosting and feeding. “The San Francisco Bay estuary is also notable for its broad shallows, soft sediments, and highly urbanized environment supporting more than 7 million people,” says Takekawa. Given the urbanization encroaching everywhere else, without these beds, many animal species would be without food and home.

How to protect it

In the past 20 to 30 years, coves like Richardson Bay have seen a drastic decline in the vital water plant. “Eelgrass can be harmed by boats and by threats to water quality from runoff of adjacent communities,” Takekawa says. In an effort to protect these beds from any disturbance caused by boats that anchor there, the sanctuary in the northeast region of Richardson Bay is closed to boat traffic from October through March. “Our goal is to minimize the effects of human disturbance on these critical habitats.”

Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Add your comment:
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

Partner Content

Mill Valley's Rotary Club Grows Sustainable Agriculture in the Andes

Improving the lives of communities in the Peru is just one example of the kind of altruistic work that the Rotary Club does on an international scale. [Sponsored]

Detroit Girl Michelle Schmitt Makes Good

Singer Michelle Schmitt works to get food and care to those in need. [Sponsored]

Change the World by Changing your Portfolio

Mirador Capital Partners helps investors use their money to support their beliefs. [Sponsored]

Adolescent Mental Health Conference Addresses Marin County Teen Challenges

Newport Academy offers an innovative adolescent mental health conference for healthcare professionals. [Sponsored]

Singer/Songwriter Uses Her Music to Help Millions in Need

For more than two decades, San Anselmo musician Michelle Schmitt has used her talents to help others, from critically ill children to families struggling to make ends meet. [Sponsored]
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags