Bair Island and Turboprop Plane Noise

Noise from turboprop planes is affecting the visitor experience at the National Wildlife Refuge on Bair Island in Redwood City.

Bair Island in Redwood City provides public trails, observation decks, wildlife viewing, spring wildflowers, and outstanding educational exhibits. As a National Wildlife Refuge, it is a place for public recreation and appreciation of nature, and personal renewal in the midst of our urbanized lives. Bair Island was preserved only through the efforts of many dedicated people who stopped the plan for a massive “South Shores” development. Several of these stalwart champions are no longer with us, never having had the chance to enjoy the restored island as we do today.

The levee separating Inner Bair Island from San Francisco Bay was breached in December 2015, returning tidal waters to the island after over one hundred years of separation.

Unfortunately, while the island was closed to the public for habitat restoration, commercial turboprop planes began flying into nearby San Carlos Airport in 2013. Over the past three years, these flights have increased to up to 24 per day. This video shows how the noise from turboprop planes is affecting the visitor experience at Bair Island. The airport is owned and operated by San Mateo County, but officials have told County residents that they are powerless to stop the negative impacts of turboprop planes on our quality of life, and enjoyment of the Refuge.

This video was made with a Nikon D5200 camera on one day, with the microphone volume setting constant throughout the recording.