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

 

LATEST NEWS

7/14/14 - Dredge material from the Mare Island dry docks is being placed inside Cullinan Ranch...

7/10/14 - Phase III construction has been awarded and the contractor will be mobilizing on site by early August...

Traffic Alerts

A planned shoulder closure on Westbound 37...

Nightime stoppage of traffic will be required for placement of K-rail...

 

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