Yerba Buena Island
Nature in the City has been working with the Yerba Buena Island community in a united effort to protect and restore the native plant and wildlife communities that continue to thrive on the island. Through quarterly work days, we have removed stands of fennel and french broom, and blankets of iceplant, allowing the native salt grasses and wild rye to reestablish themselves with the tides on Clipper Cove.
When we're not getting our hands dirty, we have been working with the Treasure Island Development Authority (TIDA), on basic initial ecological assessment of the island.
Yerba Buena Island, like the rest of California, has experienced a variety of land management practices, from grazing goats to building roads to planting non-native Eucalyptus trees. These impacts have taken their toll on the island's ecology and destroyed many of the native species that were once there, like the Yerba Buena Mint (from which European settlers probably derived the island's name). Fortunately, YBI has maintained a great deal of diversity, even on such a small area of land.
Coastal and Riparian Scrub and Coast Live Oak dominate the native plant communities, with over 100 native plants documented on the island! Some of these plants are locally rare to the San Francisco peninsula, like the delicate Fiesta Flower or the Dutchman's Pipevine, which happens to be the only host to the beautiful Pipevine Swallowtail. Even the occasional deer can be found, after a long swim across the bay when tides are right.
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed legislation (PDF) that mandates the City to create a Natural Areas Plan for the island! The City recently released an RFP for the plan.
Please take a look at the links below to learn more about the ecology and history of Yerba Buena Island, learn about the current legislation concerning redevelopment, and contact us with any questions or concerns - or if you are interested in coming out to one of our quarterly work parties!