Monday September 26, 2022

The Mercury News

The haunting cry of gulls, a rush of breeze with a salty tang and the sound of a jackrabbit scuffling among the cord grass may greet visitors to the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge. The nation’s first urban National Wildlife Refuge, it boasts visitor centers in Alviso and Fremont.

To mark its 50th anniversary, the refuge is throwing a party on Oct. 8, “Celebrating 50 Years of Conservation: Past, Present and Future.” The event starts at 11 a.m. at 1 Marshlands Road in Fremont.

Besides providing a home for wildlife, the refuge’s environment makes for easier breathing for both animals and humans.

“Carbon dioxide sequestration is very high in these wetlands,” park ranger Paul Mueller says. “According to microbiologist Dr. Wayne Lanier, a 10-foot-square area in these salt marshes absorbs more carbon dioxide from the air than a redwood tree, and gives out more oxygen.”

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