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Hayward's marsh is full of life once again.

Birds and bulrushes are thriving in Hayward in a three-year-old experimental fresh-water marsh fed by treated waste water. While new restrictions on water quality threaten to end the experiment and dry up this East Bay marsh, solutions are being studied to keep the marshland healthy. For a look at what's at stake, visit now to see the abundance of birds this habitat harbors from endangered least terns to avocets and stilts nesting in the pickleweed.

There are some 1,600 acres of wetlands here, and the fresh-water parcels abut restored salt-water marshland. The marsh borders San Francisco Bay along the Hayward shore, running from the east end of the San Mateo bridge north to the San Leandro Marina.

To learn about the marsh and the wildlife it supports, visit the Hayward Shoreline Interpretive Center (open 10 to 5 daily) at the marsh's south end. This month you can join free guided programs on Saturdays and Sundays.

From the center, you can take off on your own on the hiking and biking paths. As you head north from the visitor center on the Hayward Shoreline Trail, you'll pass low pickleweed before reaching the bay edge; here you can follow a 3-mile loop of the restored salt marsh and look over to the fresh-water marshland lined with tall rushes.

You can also continue beyond the loop for another 4 miles. The trail winds north over graceful bridges and tidal lagoons. If you keep bearing toward the bay, crossing long bridges at Sulphur Creek and San Lorenzo Creek, you'll reach the San Leandro Marina, which has an exercise course, picnic tables, and a view of the yacht harbor. You can backtrack to return (14 miles total) or arrange to leave your car parked here (from Interstate 880, take the Marina Boulevard exit west, and follow the road to its end). To reach the Hayward Shoreline Interpretive Center from State Highway 92 in Hayward, take the Clawiter Road exit and turn left onto Breakwater follow the signs to the center). 1-1
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Title Annotation:Hayward Shoreline Interpretive Center, California
Publication:Sunset
Date:Jul 1, 1991
Words:337
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