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View of both Marin Islands as seen from the East Peak of Mount Tamalpais
USGS Topographic Map of San Francisco/San Pablo Bay

Marin Islands are the two islands, East Marin and West Marin, situated offshore from San Rafael, California in the San Pablo Bay extension of San Francisco Bay. The islands comprise the Marin Islands National Wildlife Refuge, which was established in 1992. Surrounding submerged tidelands are also included in the refuge.

West Marin Island, elevation 26 metres (85 ft) above the bay waters, supports the largest heron and egret rookery in the San Francisco Bay Area. Nesting species include great egrets, snowy egrets, great blue herons, and black-crowned night herons.

East Marin Island, a former vacation retreat, now supports a variety of introduced and native plants and provides critical nesting material and rest sites for the nearby colony.

Submerged tidelands support a variety of resident and migratory water birds such as surf scoter, black oystercatcher, diving ducks, and osprey. Refuge objectives are to protect migratory species, including the heron and egret nesting colony, protect and restore suitable habitat for the colony, and protect the tidal mud flats and unique island ecosystem.

The islands are the property of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and require special permission to visit.

See also


Coordinates: 37°57′54″N 122°28′11″W / 37.96492°N 122.46973°W / 37.96492; -122.46973



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