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Bair Island History

Bair Island, located within Redwood City, encompasses three islands separated by tidal slough channels totaling approximately 3,200 acres.  Bair Island was historically tidal marsh and tidal mudflats.  It was diked in the late 1800s and early 1900s for farming and cattle grazing.  Leslie Salt Company converted the majority of the island to salt evaporation ponds.

Various proposals for commercial and residential development were proposed and rejected.  In 1982, voters of Redwood City rejected Mobil Development Company's development plans through a local referendum.  Over time portions were acquired by the State of California and the Don Edwards Refuge.  In 1997, POST purchased the majority of the remaining 1,626 acres to turn if over to the refuge for restoration.

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