Restore Shoreline Habitat

Nesting Ospreys need our San Francisco Bay ecosystem and the surrounding watershed to be as clean, healthy, and safe as possible.  This means we should all keep the shoreline free of dangerous and toxic debris.  We also must ensure that S.F. Bay wetlands have the right mix of plants to support our vast array of native wildlife, including the native fish populations that Ospreys rely upon for sustenance.

To promote stewardship of S.F. Bay for wildlife, Golden Gate Audubon leads habitat restoration activities at numerous sites around the Bay.  We do shoreline cleanups, remove non-native vegetation, re-plant with native species that support local wildlife, and improve our shoreline areas for birds and also for people to explore and learn about the amazing nature of our region.

Several times each month, Golden Gate Audubon hosts public restoration volunteer events. You and your family/friends are invited to participate!  At these public restoration events, there’s always a break from the hands-on labor to let you see and learn about the wildlife your efforts are benefitting. Our upcoming events are listed here: http://goldengateaudubon.org/volunteer

Private Group Restoration Events

If you have a group of more than 10 people, we may be able to arrange a special restoration activity for your group.  Corporate teams, scout troops, and other civic organizations are welcome to contact us to arrange for a private restoration event on public land to help your group connect with nature in a meaningful way.  

Donations from the group or from each participant are very much appreciated, as your restoration event will be coordinated and led by professionals.

All the habitat work we do is on public lands; we don’t own any of the properties we’re enhancing.

Recycle Used Fishing Line

Birds that forage in San Francisco Bay – particularly species like Ospreys and pelicans that feed on fish – are vulnerable to entanglement in fishing line that’s unattended or discarded. We encourage land managers to participate in the national Reel In & Recycle program, which removes cast-off monofilament (fishing line) as a hazard and recycles the line in a responsible manner.   

In 2015, Golden Gate Audubon more than doubled the Reel In & Recycle capacity within Alameda County.  In 2016, our efforts helped to triple the Reel In & Recycle capacity in San Francisco.  You can help by encouraging other waterfront and watershed land owners to install the Reel In & Recycle specialized bins wherever fishermen cast their lines.  

This map shows where there are currently monofilament recycling programs in place.

Do you know of areas where fishermen don’t properly dispose of their fishing line? You can help, by recommending to site managers that they join the Reel In & Recycle effort.  For details, contact SFBayOspreys@goldengateaudubon.org.

Provide Safe Nesting Platforms

Ospreys are especially fascinating raptors for lots of reasons. One of Ospreys’ unique traits is their flexibility in choosing nesting sites. Other raptors such as eagles seek out trees with certain characteristics but Ospreys build nests on a tremendous variety of man-made structures.

Around San Francisco Bay, Ospreys have chosen to nest on relic industrial cranes, large military-type ships, pilings in the Bay, power line junctions, and more.  Sometimes they don’t choose wisely in this urban landscape and their nest site may prove dangerous for Ospreys or for people nearby.

We can support Osprey nesting success by ensuring there are plenty of safe nesting platforms available for Ospreys near their favorite foraging areas.  Multiple kinds of nesting platforms can be purchased or made.  Heavy durable “bucket” nest platforms can be purchased and professionally retrofitted to urban structures like power poles or old tall light standards.  Flat wooden platform nests can also be built to accommodate Osprey nesting on any strong, high structure where the birds will not be disturbed.

Please let us know if you own or manage property that could potentially host a safe, undisturbed Osprey nest!  Or send us contact information for land owners who might be willing to locate an Osprey nesting platform on their property. Email us at SFBayOspreys@goldengateaudubon.org

Be An Osprey Monitor

If you’re becoming an Osprey-cam addict or you’re as fascinated by Ospreys as the rest of us, send an email with your complete contact information (full name, city/state, telephone, and email) to SFBayOspreys@goldengateaudubon.org.

There may be a local Osprey nest along San Francisco Bay that needs a devoted citizen-scientist to monitor it. Or we may need help monitoring the Whirley Crane nest via the web cam at certain times of the year. This can be a fascinating way to participate in local Osprey conservation, even if you have mobility limitations.

Golden Gate Audubon is a founding member of the Bay Area Osprey Coalition, which includes organizations committed to helping this amazing raptor thrive!  Other members of the coalition include the Golden Gate Raptor Observatory (a project of the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy) and Mare Island Preserve, which hosts our signature S.F. Bay Ospreys Days festival each June.

Keep Our Bay Clean

Ospreys rely on fish to survive, and fish need clean water. Please dont’ dump motor oil or other household products in gutters or storm drains, which lead into the Bay. Avoid using chemical pesticides in your yard.  Don’t put old medications down your sink or toilet: Take them to a proper disposal facility such as those listed by Stopwaste.org in Alameda County,  the San Francisco Department of the Environment, or in your own county.

The plastic rings around six-packs of soda present a choking hazard to birds and marine life if they end up in the Bay or ocean. Protect the creatures that live in our waters by cutting up the plastic rings so they no longer create a deadly “necklace.” Rope and twine are also an entanglement threat; dispose of them properly in your trash or compost.