• rotate01
    Sunrise over Vallejo and Mt. Diablo as viewed from Cullinan Ranch
  • rotate02
    American Avocets feed in shallow tidal waters
  • rotate03
    Recently restored tidal marsh in the San Francisco Bay
  • rotate04
    Sandpipers take flight in a tidal lagoon
  • rotate06
    A quiet slough in the Napa Sonoma Marsh
  • rotate05
    Tidal marsh transitions to open water in the San Pablo Bay NWR



12/5/14 - Cullinan Ranch will be re introduced to tidal water for the first time in over 100 years. The event will take place on January 6, 2015. Water will be visible along the highway almost immediately...

11/24/14 - Phase III construction is nearing completion with all the internal site improvements complete. Some minor work on the accleration / deceleration lane remains. Phase IV which includes levee breaching and levee lowering is initiated and will continue until the end of January, 2015 ...

Traffic Alerts

No major traffic delays are anticipated at this time ...


Site History

A sailor standing in the crows nest of a Spanish galleon anchored in San Pablo Bay would have gazed out at an impressive sweep of marshes stretching from Sears Point to the mouth of the Carquinez Strait. In these marshes was a maze of channels winding their way through vast plains of vegetation. The marshes were teeming with wildlife. They were home to grizzly bears and herds of Tule elk as well as millions of migrating waterfowl that would rest and forage in the protection of the marsh. Shellfish such as clams, oysters, and Dungeness crab were bountiful and, according to early reports, schools of salmon were so dense that they choked the mile-wide Carquinez Strait.

Cullinan Ranch has undergone dramatic changes since then as it was first used as grazing land by Spanish settlers then diked for agricultural use around the turn of the century. Farmed for oats and hay into the early 1980's, Cullinan Ranch nearly became Egret Bay - a residential marina community much like Bel Marin Keys or Bahia in Novato. The development proposal was defeated by local residents in 1987 and the land was purchased by the US Fish and Wildlife Service in 1991 and incorporated into the San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge. Now, Cullinan Ranch is being restored back to tidal marsh by breaching 100+ year old levees hopefully recreating vital habitat used by endangered species and reestablishing the rich natural resources of its past..

  • Map of Cullinan Ranch from the USCS survey of 1863
  • Timeline