About the Reserve

The San Francisco Estuary is a dynamic mix of water, land, and life. Amongst bustling human communities, there are hidden pockets of amazing habitats.  In 2003, two of these special places were designated as the San Francisco Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, which is part of NOAA’s National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERRS) and a partnership between NOAA,San Francisco State University, Solano Land Trust, California State Parks, and San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission.

Both of these NERRS sites, China Camp State Park in Marin County and Rush Ranch Open Space Preserve in Solano County, have been largely protected from development and alteration and are widely recognized for their expansive tidal marshes and undeveloped adjacent uplands. These sites have long been a focus of environmental and ecological research, providing important baseline data and serving as reference areas for the evaluation of restored, enhanced, or created wetlands around the estuary. The Reserve staff work collaboratively with our partners and other scientists to strengthen and coordinate research within the Reserve, ensure results from research inform management, and engage communities with science and the estuary. By engaging with partners and coordinating efforts, we work to achieve our mission of improving understanding and stewardship of the estuary.