Crab Cove Visitor Center

Crab Cove Visitor Center Crab Cove Visitor Center and Aquarium at Crown Memorial State Beach in Alameda celebrated 40 years in 2020! Operated by the East Bay Regional Park District.

Crab Cove Visitor Center at Crown Memorial State Beach in Alameda celebrated 40 years in 2020. Since 1980 we have been connecting people with the marine and shoreline life, as well as Alameda history. You can see bay creatures in the 800-gallon aquarium system, use interactive stations for varying age groups to view microscopic animals, build a crab from the inside out, or get a lug worm's view of

Crab Cove Visitor Center at Crown Memorial State Beach in Alameda celebrated 40 years in 2020. Since 1980 we have been connecting people with the marine and shoreline life, as well as Alameda history. You can see bay creatures in the 800-gallon aquarium system, use interactive stations for varying age groups to view microscopic animals, build a crab from the inside out, or get a lug worm's view of

Operating as usual

Last week several volunteers and East Bay Regional Park District Naturalists explored the Habitat Garden next to the Bat...
09/24/2021

Last week several volunteers and East Bay Regional Park District Naturalists explored the Habitat Garden next to the Bath house. In a short 2 hour period we observed over 40 species and took 120 observations of plants, insects and more! Here are a few photos of some of the highlights.... Stop by the Visitor Center to pick up a brochure about this special garden that was planted to be drought tolerant and wildlife friendly!

Crown Beach Construction: Restrooms at Park Street are being replaced and will be closed until project completion. Crown...
09/20/2021

Crown Beach Construction: Restrooms at Park Street are being replaced and will be closed until project completion. Crown Beach's restrooms at Shell Gate Road, Grand Street and Willow Street will remain open. Crown Memorial State Beach

Crown Beach Construction: Restrooms at Park Street are being replaced and will be closed until project completion. Crown Beach's restrooms at Shell Gate Road, Grand Street and Willow Street will remain open. Crown Memorial State Beach

Saturday Strolls are back! We are so happy to re-start the popular Strolls weekend hiking program!  Crab Cove Naturalist...
09/09/2021

Saturday Strolls are back!

We are so happy to re-start the popular Strolls weekend hiking program! Crab Cove Naturalists will be leading two-hour hikes/strolls in one of our local Regional Parks, where you can learn about flora, fauna and land-use history along the way. For September and October, hikes will be every other Saturday. Below are hike descriptions and links to pages with more info, including a map of the meeting location.

Sat, Sept 11, 10-noon: Reinhardt Redwood Regional Park (Oakland), Wayside Staging Area. Take a 3 mile mostly flat stroll into the redwood forest. https://anc.apm.activecommunities.com/ebparks/activity/search/detail/41687?onlineSiteId=0&from_original_cui=true.

Sat, Sept 25, 10-noon: Lake Chabot Regional Park (Marina). Hike along the shady East Shore Trail to Huck’s trail and back, about 3.5 miles. https://anc.apm.activecommunities.com/ebparks/activity/search/detail/41688?onlineSiteId=0&from_original_cui=true.

Sat, Oct 9, 10-noon: Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve, Skyline Blvd Staging Area. Witness this volcanic wonderland’s diverse landscapes on a 3.25-mile moderate hike. https://anc.apm.activecommunities.com/ebparks/activity/search/detail/41689?onlineSiteId=0&from_original_cui=true.

Sat, Oct 23, 10-noon: Roberts Regional Recreation Area, Redwood Bowl Staging Area. Hike 3 miles through redwood forest, mixed chaparral, and oak woodland. Moderate. https://anc.apm.activecommunities.com/ebparks/activity/search/detail/41690?onlineSiteId=0&from_original_cui=true.

Saturday Strolls are back!

We are so happy to re-start the popular Strolls weekend hiking program! Crab Cove Naturalists will be leading two-hour hikes/strolls in one of our local Regional Parks, where you can learn about flora, fauna and land-use history along the way. For September and October, hikes will be every other Saturday. Below are hike descriptions and links to pages with more info, including a map of the meeting location.

Sat, Sept 11, 10-noon: Reinhardt Redwood Regional Park (Oakland), Wayside Staging Area. Take a 3 mile mostly flat stroll into the redwood forest. https://anc.apm.activecommunities.com/ebparks/activity/search/detail/41687?onlineSiteId=0&from_original_cui=true.

Sat, Sept 25, 10-noon: Lake Chabot Regional Park (Marina). Hike along the shady East Shore Trail to Huck’s trail and back, about 3.5 miles. https://anc.apm.activecommunities.com/ebparks/activity/search/detail/41688?onlineSiteId=0&from_original_cui=true.

Sat, Oct 9, 10-noon: Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve, Skyline Blvd Staging Area. Witness this volcanic wonderland’s diverse landscapes on a 3.25-mile moderate hike. https://anc.apm.activecommunities.com/ebparks/activity/search/detail/41689?onlineSiteId=0&from_original_cui=true.

Sat, Oct 23, 10-noon: Roberts Regional Recreation Area, Redwood Bowl Staging Area. Hike 3 miles through redwood forest, mixed chaparral, and oak woodland. Moderate. https://anc.apm.activecommunities.com/ebparks/activity/search/detail/41690?onlineSiteId=0&from_original_cui=true.

Hikes for Tykes is Starting up Again!  Our first nature hike for youngsters and their adults is Tuesday, September 7th f...
09/03/2021

Hikes for Tykes is Starting up Again! Our first nature hike for youngsters and their adults is Tuesday, September 7th from 10:30-11:45am at MLK Jr. Regional Shoreline, starting at the Arrowhead Marsh parking area. Click on the link for more info about the next four programs, including links to maps for where to meet. https://mailchi.mp/285629bdf39f/hikes-for-tykes-starting-up-again

Hikes for Tykes is Starting up Again! Our first nature hike for youngsters and their adults is Tuesday, September 7th from 10:30-11:45am at MLK Jr. Regional Shoreline, starting at the Arrowhead Marsh parking area. Click on the link for more info about the next four programs, including links to maps for where to meet. https://mailchi.mp/285629bdf39f/hikes-for-tykes-starting-up-again

SURVEY CLOSES TODAY: Tell us what you think about the new design concepts for the Crown Memorial State Beach “McKay Mast...
08/31/2021

SURVEY CLOSES TODAY: Tell us what you think about the new design concepts for the Crown Memorial State Beach “McKay Master Plan”, 3.89 acres of new parkland being planned along McKay Avenue in Alameda. SURVEY: http://McKayMasterPlan.com

SURVEY CLOSES TODAY: Tell us what you think about the new design concepts for the Crown Memorial State Beach “McKay Master Plan”, 3.89 acres of new parkland being planned along McKay Avenue in Alameda. SURVEY: http://McKayMasterPlan.com

There’s still time to offer your feedback about new design concepts for the Crown Memorial State Beach “McKay Master Pla...
08/28/2021

There’s still time to offer your feedback about new design concepts for the Crown Memorial State Beach “McKay Master Plan”! TAKE THE ONLINE SURVEY, closing August 31, and tell us what you think about the preliminary design concepts for 3.89 acres of new parkland being planned along McKay Avenue. Visit McKayMasterPlan.com for a link to the survey - your input will be used to refine the design concepts in fall 2021.

There’s still time to offer your feedback about new design concepts for the Crown Memorial State Beach “McKay Master Plan”! TAKE THE ONLINE SURVEY, closing August 31, and tell us what you think about the preliminary design concepts for 3.89 acres of new parkland being planned along McKay Avenue. Visit McKayMasterPlan.com for a link to the survey - your input will be used to refine the design concepts in fall 2021.

08/25/2021
Experience

The climate has always been changing throughout the Earth’s history, so why do we hear so much about global warming nowadays? Because it’s happening much faster than it has in the past. Human activities, such as burning fossil fuels, accelerate climate change as we create profuse amounts of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses that hold more of the sun’s heat in the atmosphere. Ice on land melts much faster than it reforms. Much of that water flows to the ocean, causing sea levels to rise, which has significant consequences for the Bay Area.

Many areas near the shore may be in water sooner than we think, Crab Cove included. How can we help lessen our impact on climate change? Here’s just a few examples: biking, walking, taking public transportation and carpooling; buying environmentally friendly products; recycling and composting; saving energy at home and work.

Sea level rise is an important consideration in Crab Cove’s Land Use Plan, which includes the creation of new park space. Please consider commenting on the three different potential plans by August 31st. Your voice is important! www.MckayMasterPlan.com.

08/21/2021

It is so entertaining to watch Brown Pelicans hunt! Their head is especially adapted to withstand the intense pressure of plunge-diving, which is slamming into the water beak-first from high up in the air. The air sacs just beneath their skin inflate and they tilt their head to the left just before impact to protect different parts of their bodies. If successful in scooping up prey, they will drain up to three gallons of water from their pouch (the largest of any bird in the world) before tilting their head back to swallow their catch. The pouch of the Brown Pelican certainly can hold more than their belly can.

In this video at Crab Cove, the pelicans are hunting but are not plunge-diving. They are swimming while shooting their beaks into the water to catch schooling fish. Most days for the past few months we have been able to observe groups of pelicans using both hunting techniques. If you like watching Brown Pelicans, Crab Cove is a great place to visit during the summer!

For the past 16 months Esmerelda, our three-toed box turtle, has been living the good life at the home of one of our for...
07/07/2021

For the past 16 months Esmerelda, our three-toed box turtle, has been living the good life at the home of one of our former staff members. She has enjoyed her relaxation and enrichment activities so much that she decided to stay there. So, after more than 20+ years of being an interpretive ambassador, "Ezzie" has now officially retired! Box turtles can live to be 50, and some have even been known to live 100 years! We wish Ezzie the best in this next stage of her life as she moves on to greener pastures!

Release and a Fresh Beginning********************************Our wriggly, squishy, hungry little black and yellow-stripe...
07/01/2021

Release and a Fresh Beginning
********************************

Our wriggly, squishy, hungry little black and yellow-striped friends disappeared mysteriously a little over a week ago. Suddenly this morning they emerged in the full glory of their outrageously beautiful new garments, settled themselves on twigs for a while, and became creatures of the open sky. We wish them well on their journeys.

Photos are of a female monarch and the chrysalis she emerged from this morning. A male had emerged just a little earlier.

Remember not to try to raise monarch butterflies in the home. The caterpillars do fine eating locally native milkweeds (never tropical milkweeds) in an outdoor garden.

For more information, check out the Xerces Society.

Skyliner Special*****************Hi All,If you love Fresh Air, Good Friends, Healthy Exercise and Beautiful Views, check...
06/23/2021

Skyliner Special
*****************
Hi All,
If you love Fresh Air, Good Friends, Healthy Exercise and Beautiful Views, check out a wonderful place on the ridge above Oakland called Skyline Gardens.
We recently had the honor of being hosted by Cynthia Adkisson on a walking tour of the Skyline Trail and its many delights. Cynthia retired from a career with the East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) and has become increasingly enthralled with nature and outdoor activities in the East By. She now works with the East Bay chapter of the California Native Plant Society as the Rare Plant Committee Chair, volunteers as a docent with the East Bay Regional Park District, and still partners with EBMUD. Cynthia’s enthusiasm for this wild garden and the people she works with is contagious, and made the tour absorbing from start to finish.

Cynthia is part of the Skyline Gardens Alliance, a group who work with dedication, passion, and even joy to preserve and enhance the natural environment along a section of the Skyline Trail. Glen Schneider is the leader of the group. He has been investigating and caring for this little stretch of the East Bay since 1992.
Here is an article in Bay Nature magazine by naturalist extraordinaire Ken-ichi Ueda that gets to the heart of what is special about Skyline Gardens: https://baynature.org/article/weeding-the-wild/

Become one of the Skyliners!

https://www.skylinegardens.org/
https://www.skylinegardens.org/contact
https://www.facebook.com/SkylineGardensEBCNPS/

We at the East Bay Regional Park District are lucky to be able to collaborate with agencies like EBMUD, organizations like the California Native Plant Society, and volunteer groups like the Skyline Gardens Alliance. Even if you don’t become one of the Skyliners, you can enjoy this trail by parking at the Tilden Steam Trains and walking southeast on the Skyline Trail. If you continue on, you will eventually reach Sibley Regional Park and beyond.

The Skyline group is pretty cool, but remember that there are lots of opportunities to get involved as docents or volunteers at a park near you: https://www.ebparks.org/about/getinvolved/

I include a few photos of some of the interesting plants we encountered on our tour.

Stars of the Bay Area Butterfly World**************************************Monarchs in distress**********************Mem...
06/21/2021

Stars of the Bay Area Butterfly World
**************************************

Monarchs in distress
**********************
Memories of my childhood are highlighted by monarch butterflies. I am sure many of you have experienced the same sense of wonder at the glorious colors and graceful flight of monarchs landing to sip nectar on neighborhood flowers. Some of you may have been lucky enough to see the masses of wintering monarchs on trees along the coast, from the Bay Area to “Butterfly Town, USA” (Pacific Grove) and beyond. Your teacher may have helped your class to raise a monarch caterpillar, watch it transform, and release it. Monarchs were a part of life, and none of us every considered that one day they might be gone.

It comes as a shock that western monarchs, the monarch butterflies that call California home, are disappearing, their population plunging drastically season after season. In the East Bay Parks, at places they normally overwinter like Point Pinole and Ardenwood, only a handful were seen this last winter. At Pacific Grove, Bree Machuca, the community science specialist for the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History, said: “We can't find anything. It's very disappointing because I was expecting at least we'd see maybe a few hundred, I'd see one or two…" Connie Masotti, regional coordinator for the Monterey County monarch counts, said: “I've gone to 23 sites so far this year. I've seen 15 monarchs… I've actually sat in the parking lot the first couple of times and I cried in my car because I've seen it coming, but I did not think I would not be able to find one monarch.” (https://www.kazu.org/post/winter-without-monarchs-pacific-grove-butterfly-town-usa#stream/0)

Many factors are contributing to the monarchs’ peril, including pesticide use and habitat loss. This site gives a broad overview of problems monarchs face and strategies to solve them: https://xerces.org/western-monarch-call-to-action

Monarchs lay eggs on various milkweed plants, and milkweed is the only food that monarch caterpillars will eat. You can help monarchs at the local level by planting milkweed, but be sure that you plant only California native milkweed plants. Planting other milkweed species, like tropical milkweed, does more harm than good, since it invites parasites and confuses the monarchs’ migration and breeding cycles. (https://xerces.org/blog/tropical-milkweed-a-no-grow#:~:text=Tropical%20milkweed%20(Asclepias%20curassavica)%20is,to%20the%20demand%20for%20milkweed.&text=A%20protozoan%20parasite%20of%20monarch,and%20become%20deposited%20on%20leaves.) You can find California Native milkweeds at many nurseries in the East Bay, including Native Here, East Bay Wilds, and Annie’s Annuals. Planting good nectar plants for the adults will also help!

As Crab Cove Naturalist Susan Ramos mentioned in a recent post, you can contribute valuable knowledge about monarchs as a citizen scientist by sharing your monarch sightings at: https://www.monarchmilkweedmapper.org/

I am sad to say that the monarch caterpillars which appeared in recent photographs from Crab Cove Visitor Center disappeared. It seems that someone, probably meaning well, plucked several milkweed stems, along with the caterpillars. We think they took the caterpillars home to raise. Those caterpillars will now probably not have the chance to transform into butterflies. The good news is that a new monarch came to lay eggs and there is a new crop of caterpillars maturing on the plants.

Here are a few great sources if you would like to dig further into the plight of western monarchs and learn more about what you can do to help.

https://www.xerces.org/blog/western-monarch-population-closer-to-extinction-as-wait-continues-for-monarchs-protection

https://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/pollinators/Monarch_Butterfly/migration/

East Bay Parks’ monarch brochure:
https://www.ebparks.org/civicax/filebank/blobdload.aspx?BlobID=24100

Classic California Pairings: Monarch, Milkweed; Swallowtail, Pipevine
********************************************************
Many kinds of butterflies, not just monarchs, are becoming rarer in California, but a recent bright spot for me was a visit to Alvarado Park in Richmond, where I planted California pipevine about ten years ago. The thriving vine was host to many black-and-orange caterpillars of the California pipevine swallowtail. I have included a few pictures here. These butterflies have their own page:
https://www.facebook.com/CaliforniaPipevineSwallowtail/

Address

1252 McKay Ave
Alameda, CA
94501

Opening Hours

Wednesday 10am - 5pm
Thursday 10am - 5pm
Friday 10am - 5pm
Saturday 10am - 5pm
Sunday 10am - 5pm

Telephone

(510) 544-3187

Alerts

Be the first to know and let us send you an email when Crab Cove Visitor Center posts news and promotions. Your email address will not be used for any other purpose, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Contact The Business

Send a message to Crab Cove Visitor Center:

Videos

Our Story

Crab Cove Visitor Center at Crown Memorial State Beach in Alameda celebrates 40 years in 2020. Since the Old Wharf Classroom opened in 1968, we have been connecting people with the marine and shoreline life, as well as Alameda history. You can see bay creatures in the 800-gallon aquarium system, use interactive stations for varying age groups to view microscopic animals, build a crab from the inside out, or get a lug worm's view of the mudflats. You'll see amazing depictions of the underwater world of San Francisco Bay. At the Visitor Center you can also plunge into San Francisco Bay without getting wet, or travel back in time to Alameda's colorful past. These entertaining educational opportunities all have a serious purpose--to increase public understanding of the environmental importance of San Francisco Bay. There is strong emphasis on the interdependence of marine life and shore life and on the urgency of preserving the marine and estuarine environment. Dedicated to interpreting relationships between people and the earth's marine environment, this center attracts visitors from all over the Bay Area. Operated by the East Bay Regional Park District. Hours vary seasonally: check our official web site before you visit. http://www.ebparks.org/parks/vc/crab_cove

Nearby government services


Other Public & Government Services in Alameda

Show All

Comments

California Brown Pelicans!
Snake Secrets!
A bit of good news- we have 8 Monarch Butterfly caterpillars at Crab Cove !
A bit of good news- we have 8 Monarch Caterpillars at Crab Cove !
Hello, is there any way to check the water quality at the cove? Thanks.
Hello, is there any way to check the water quality at the cove? Anything to be concerned about for kids?
Great time dissecting squid and feeding the fish.
Wondering if anyone can identify this? At Crown Beach Alameda. Gelatinous.
Do you know that there's a political group using your sign for their profile? https://www.facebook.com/CrabCoveFriends/?tn-str=k*F They're... not a great group. Very misleading.
Our seniors in the house enjoying the day!
June 22, 2018, SF Bay Sharks, Rays and Fish Continue to wash ashore dead in well documented 'hot spot' for chronic die offs. Investigation is ongoing and public is requested to be on the look out for any additional evidence of strandings or die offs observed in SF Bay, and in particular Alameda shore lines areas between Crown Beach Memorial Park and Crab Cover areas. Be on the look out and prompty call it in as soon as possible. Stranding Hotline: 831 459 9346. Leave detailed message if we are already on the line, its been busy. Thank you. Learn More: via Pelagic Shark Research Foundation's page. Thank you.
Lunch time at Crab Cove