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Redwood Shores is located roughly halfway between San Francisco and San Jose, and is bordered by Belmont and San Carlos to the southwest. Foster City lies to the northwest and Bair Island to the southeast; both are separated from Redwood Shores by sloughs. To the northeast is San Francisco Bay. Bair Island technically connects Redwood Shores to Redwood City, but there are no bridges between Redwood Shores and Bair Island. As a result, there is no way to drive from Redwood City to Redwood Shores (and vice versa) without exiting Redwood City and passing through San Carlos or Belmont (via unincorporated San Mateo County).
Redwood Shores was built up from reclaimed land in the marshes of San Francisco Bay in the 1960s, much like its neighbor, Foster City, but the development almost never came to be. The owner of the land, the Leslie Salt Company, filled in soft ground known as "bay mud" formerly used for salt-evaporation ponds, but a significant controversy developed over fears of its susceptibility to serious earthquake damage because the area is between and close to the San Andreas and Hayward faults. The ensuing battle between various government agencies and business interests eventually put Leslie Salt out of business. As a result, Bank of America became the owner of the development in 1972.
It was the home of the Marine World/Africa U.S.A., California park from the 1960s to 1986, when the park moved to Vallejo, California (eventually becoming Six Flags Discovery Kingdom), and the land was occupied by the headquarters of Oracle Corporation.
Redwood Shores is populated with apartment complexes, condominiums and million-dollar homes. Many of the houses and condominiums surround lagoons and have access to inner waterways through private boating docks. According to Forbes magazine, Redwood Shores is placed on top of "America's Top Selling Luxury Neighborhoods in 2009".
Major technology companies maintain headquarters in Redwood Shores, among them Oracle and Electronic Arts. The community also includes a branch of Ernst & Young, a hotel (Sofitel Bay Area), Sandpiper Elementary School and Redwood Shores Elementary School, and a branch of the Redwood City Library. To the south Redwood Shores is bordered by the San Carlos Airport.
Redwood Shores is the setting for college rowing races, including competitions among Pacific-10 Conference universities. It is also the home of the Pacific Sports Resort (formerly known as Pacific Athletic Club--a private sports club with 2 indoor/7 outdoor tennis courts, squash, pools, yoga, gym, waterpark and clubhouse facilities).
Pacific harbor seals have occasionally been spotted in the lagoons around Redwood Shores. The areas in and around the community are home to a variety of wildlife including raccoons, skunks, ducks, geese, egrets, great blue herons, clapper rails, harvest field mice, sting rays, and many other species. Canadian geese pose a nuisance and the community is actively working on reducing their presence.
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