On a misty October morning, visitors and old friends gathered among the wetlands of San Francisco Bay to mark a conservation triumph. Fifty years ago, Congress authorized what is now the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge, protecting thousands of acres of public lands. The refuge now spans over 30,000 acres and provides crucial habitat for resident species like the endangered California clapper rail and salt marsh harvest mouse. Miles of ambling trails welcome over 800,000 visitors every year. But it wasn’t always this serene: activists and conservationists spent decades fighting to protect these wetlands nestled in the heart of Silicon Valley.