Lake Merritt and the Rotary Nature Center

Right smack in the middle of Oakland, Lake Merritt is the oldest wildlife refuge in North America, but to most of the people walking by, it is just another city park. In fact, Lake Merritt was designated as a wildlife refuge in 1870, and is home to a vast array of wildlife, including dozens of species of birds, fish, shrimp, clams, mussels, and crabs. The lake is actually a tidal lagoon, fed by the San Francisco Bay to the west, and several creeks coming down from the Oakland hills to the east.

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