Heron’s Head Park: What can it tell us about the SF Bay?

Photos and text by Naomi Zimmermann, CCNH intern

Heron's Head Park, looking east

Heron's Head Park, looking east

Heron’s Head Park serves as a reminder of the ecological wonders of the Bay. A small strip of land shaped like the head of a heron, the abandoned shipping pier holds a huge variety of plants and animals - walk down the short path and you'll find all sorts of land, marine, and marsh creatures within a few yards of each other.

The San Francisco Bay is home to a plethora of species, both native and nonnative. This body of water holds the dubious distinction of being the most invaded estuary in the world, as its many docks attract ships internationally which have all brought their native species into this region.

Heron’s Head Park serves as an example of the incredible biodiversity of the Bay - flipping just one rock uncovers tens of species all sharing the same tiny habitat.

Heron’s Head Park serves as an example of the incredible biodiversity of the Bay - flipping just one rock uncovers tens of species all sharing the same tiny habitat.

The ecological wonder and the multitude of benefits that wetlands and marshes provide are often overlooked and underappreciated. These areas provide habitats for thousands of species - flip over a large rock on the beach and you’ll find crabs of all sizes along with different species of arthropods, clams, and worms. These little critters are vital for the birds that migrate through from all over the world, providing sustenance for their long journeys. Wetlands also act like filters, removing harmful substances from bay water so they don't contaminate other bodies of water (or vice versa).

Heron’s Head could benefit from further restoration with funds from Measure AA. Measure AA is a $12-per-year parcel tax on citizens of the Bay Area, passed in the summer of 2016,  which serves to provide funding for the ecological restoration of the Bayshore. The funding for the project will improve the water quality of the Bay by reducing trash, pollutants, and toxins in the Bay which in turn will restore the natural habitats for birds, fish, and other species in the Bay and the wetlands surrounding it.

Heron's Head Park... a great place to get to know the SF Bay!

Heron's Head Park... a great place to get to know the SF Bay!

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