Yerba Buena Island sits in the San Francisco Bay between San Francisco and Oakland, California. The Yerba Buena Tunnel runs through its center and connects the western and eastern spans of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. It has had several other names over the decades: Sea Bird Island, Wood Island, and Goat Island. The island is named after the town of Yerba Buena, which was named for the plant of the same name that was abundant in the area. The plant's English and Spanish common name, Yerba buena, is an alternate form of the Spanish hierba buena (literally meaning "good herb"), generally used to describe local species of the mint family.
The island is currently part of District 6 of the City and County of San Francisco. According to the United States Census Bureau, Yerba Buena Island and Treasure Island together have a land area of 2.334 km (0.901 sq mi) with a total population of 1,453 as of the 2000 census.
Today the land southeast of the Yerba Buena Tunnel belongs to the United States Coast Guard (USCG). The USCG Sector San Francisco - Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) tower and traffic operations center are located on the peak of the island. USCG Sector San Francisco headquarters base is located at water-level on the southeast coast of the island. During Summer 2011 the USCG will open the new Interagency Operations Center (IOC) on the base. The IOC will house the VTS and the USCG Sector San Francisco Command Center, together in one building.