San Francisco Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve

California’s San Francisco Bay reserve is comprised of more than 3,700 acres over two sites at Rush Ranch and China Camp State Park. The reserve’s expansive tidal marshes and undeveloped uplands serve as research sites for scientists; classrooms for teachers, land managers and naturalists; and inspiring places for Bay Area residents to visit. The reserve is home to abundant wildlife, including the endangered California red-legged frog, river otters, foxes, raccoons, badgers, deer, bobcats, great blue heron, ruddy ducks, red-tailed hawks, northern harriers, and the endangered clapper rail. Reserve staff work with partners to support tidal marsh restoration and community resilience through research, monitoring, training, and education.

Visit the Reserve's Website

Vital Stats

  • State: California
  • State Partner:

    San Francisco State University

  • Acreage: 3,710
  • Habitats: Rush Ranch and China Camp State Park tidal marsh
  • Designated: 2003
The San Francsico reserve participates in the System-Wide Monitoring Program (SWMP), which collects, analyzes, and makes available weather, water quality, and nutrient data from all National Estuarine Research Reserves. Learn more


Hike Turtle Back Hill Trail, enjoy picnic areas and beaches, visit the Chinese fishing village at China Camp State Park, or join the winter “King Tides” interpretative walks to witness the annual flooding from highest tides of the year.


Participate in the iNaturalist project, become a Rush Ranch natural history or tidal marsh docent—there are many opportunities to volunteer your time and expertise to advance the San Francisco Bay reserve’s mission.

Learn more

Become a Friend

This reserve currently does not have a formal friends organization. Please stay tuned for more information.

Did you know?

Rush Ranch supports the last core population of the endangered Suisun thistle, a formerly abundant feature of the landscape.


Mike Vasey
San Francisco Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve
SFSU-Romberg Tiburon Center
3152 Paradise Drive, Tiburon, CA 94920-1205
T: 415.338.3703