Arroyo Corte Madera del Presidio
Arroyo Corte Madera del Presidio is a 4.1-mile-long year-round stream in southern Marin County, United States. This watercourse is known as Corte Madera Creek, although the actual stream of that name flows into San Francisco Bay further north at Point San Quentin; this watercourse has a catchment basin of about 8 square miles and drains the south-eastern slopes of Mount Tamalpais and much of the area in and around the town of Mill Valley. Arroyo Corte Madera del Presidio is named for the Spanish corte de madera meaning "a place where wood is cut". In this case the wood was cut for the building of the Presidio of San Francisco. In 1834, the governor of Alta California José Figueroa awarded to John T. Reed the first land grant in Marin, Rancho Corte Madera del Presidio. A 1965 stream survey indicated presence of steelhead within 100 ft of the dam. A 1990 study indicated the water quality of upper Richardson Bay below the discharge of Arroyo Corte Madera del Presidio to be impaired by high nutrient and coliform levels.
A private organization, the Mill Valley Streamkeepers, is active in research and conservation of this creek. Some historic information about Arroyo Corte Madera concerning water quality and fish habitat is found at the KRIS website. Arroyo Corte Madera del Presidio Creek is joined by Old Mill Creek on the right in Mill Valley. Old Mill Creek, its Cascade Creek tributary, begin high on the east peak of Mt. Tamalpais. Cascade Creek has a small dam and reservoir, built by noted engineer Michael M. O'Shaughnessy for The Tamalpais Land & Water Co. for water supply to Mill Valley. The stream's discharge location, into Richardson Bay occurs within the Mill Valley municipal Bayfront Park; the Arroyo Corte Madera del Presidio enters Richardson Bay from the west, while Mill Creek enters Richardson Bay nearby from the north via Bothin Marsh. Bayfront Park features many active uses including a bicycle path, walking paths, a dog park and picnic areas; the park features a pedestrian/bicycle bridge across the tidal portion of Arroyo Corte Madera del Presidio, the best single viewing location of the creek in its lower reaches.
Further upstream the stream winds through moderately dense single family development, with backyards offering terraces and decks on the banks of Arroyo Corte Madera del Presidio. The first recorded stream survey occurred in the year 1946; the next Department of Fish and Game survey transpired in 1963, finding numerous steelhead of lengths varying between 2 inches and 6 inches. The next survey in August 1965 concluded that the habitat was an excellent resource, with deep shaded pools and an average of 75 steelhead per 100 feet of lineal stream. In 1984, steelhead were still found to be present. A 1991 stream survey documented the historical presence of Coho salmon; the next survey in 1994 found abundant steelhead, ranging from densities of 0.1 to 0.6 fish per square yard. The 1997 stream survey found densities of steelhead ranging from seven to twelve fish per 100 lineal feet, depending on stream reach. In its 2004 "Recovery Strategy for California Coho Salmon" the California Department of Fish and Game recommends restoration of Arroyo Corte Madera's historic coho salmon habitat.
This is one of only two San Francisco Bay Area streams considered in the Department's Strategy to be essential to the recovery of coho salmon in California. The Mill Valley Streamkeepers is a private non-profit organizatio established to promote research and conservation of streams in the Mill Valley area; this group includes scientists and laymen and has participated in the following specific studies involving Arroyo Corte Madera del Presidio: Feasibility Study to Rehabilitate the Fishery Resources of Arroyo Corte Madera del Presidio Bio-assessment of four Marin County Watersheds Macroinvertebrate Sampling and Identification Study, Arroyo Corte Madera del Presidio and Old Mill Creek Salmonoid Habitat Survey and Erosion Survey, Arroyo Corte Madera del Presidio and Old Mill Creek Preliminary Fish Barrier Culvert Modifications and Flood Assessment, Arroyo Corte Madera/Old Mill Creek, Mill Valley, California Index of Sediment Impairment to Stream Habitat in the Arroyo Corte Madera Del Presidio Watershed, Marin County, California Bay mud List of watercourses in the San Francisco Bay Area Richardson Bay California Coastal Salmon and Steelhead Stream Habitat Distribution Table: including data for Arroyo Corte Madera del Presidio Mill Valley Streamkeepers
Pinole Creek is a stream in western Contra Costa County, in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area, California. The creek has one of the last undeveloped watersheds in the Bay Area; the headwaters of Pinole Creek are in the Briones Hills on Costa Peak, within the western area of Briones Regional Park. It flows 10 miles westerly through the towns of Pinole and El Sobrante, to its river mouth at the Chelsea Wetlands in Hercules on San Pablo Bay, its mouth is 4 miles east of Point Pinole. The name Pinole is from the Spanish term for "parched corn". In 1823, a Mexican land grant for 17,000 acres that included Pinole Creek was granted to Don Ignacio Martinez, a Commandant of the San Francisco Presidio; the land grant was known as El Rancho de La Nuestra Sonora de Merced, renamed Rancho El Pinole. Martinez built the first adobe in Pinole Valley and brought his family to settle the property with livestock and orchards; the upper watershed contains large areas of open space and managed grazing lands, with ranching and agricultural activities, residential equestrian properties.
The lower watershed contains the historic Old Town District of Pinole, suburban neighborhoods in Pinole, El Sobrante, Hercules. The watershed follows the regional geologic northwest-southeast orientation, similar to the orientation of the Berkeley Hills, is located just northeast of the Sobrante Ridge; the watershed is 39.6 square miles in area, extending from headwaters on Costa and Duarte Peaks in the Briones Hills, northwest to the San Pablo Bay just east of Wilson Point. The average annual rainfall for the Pinole Creek watershed is 610 mm, with 90% falling between November and April. There are twelve minor, locally named tributaries and the gradient is 1%. In 1965, the Army Corps of Engineers armored the creek channel between Interstate 80 and San Pablo Bay for flood control. However, this removed riparian zone vegetation and tree cover needed for food and shade for fish and other wildlife. Biologists from the East Bay Municipal Utility District have observed Steelhead trout in the Pinole Creek watershed of multiple ages.
Genetic studies by EBMUD in 1999 suggest that the trout are native Central California stock and not introduced. Perennial flows are jeopardized by water usage in the upper watershed but the creek may have the best trout restoration potential in the East Bay because large portions of the watershed are in open space. However, the I-80 crossing may be a significant obstacle to upstream trout migration. Pinole Creek supports a native fish assemblage including rainbow/steelhead trout, California roach, Sacramento sucker, Threespine stickleback, Prickly sculpin. Mosquitofish and Common carp are nonnative fishes found predominately in the lower section of Pinole Creek, below Interstate 80. Native plants are woodlands and riparian forest habitats. Invasive plant species such as Giant reed, Scotch broom, Yellow star thistle, Himalayan blackberry and many others are established along riparian zone sections of Pinole Creek. List of watercourses in the San Francisco Bay Area Flora of the California chaparral and woodlands Friends of Pinole Creek Pinole Creek Map at Oakland Museum
The Petaluma River is a river in the California counties of Sonoma and Marin that becomes a tidal slough for the majority of its length. The headwaters are in the area southwest of Cotati; the flow is southward through Petaluma's old town, where the waterway becomes navigable, flows another 10 mi through tidal marshes before emptying into the northwest corner of San Pablo Bay. The word Petaluma may derive from the Miwok words pe’ta, luma, back; the Miwok people lived in Sonoma County for more than 2500 years. Petaluma was the name of a village on a low hill east of Petaluma creek and north east of the present day town of Petaluma; the first recorded exploration of the Petaluma River was by Captain Fernando Quiros in October, 1776. While other members of his Spanish expedition collected adobe and timber for the new Presidio of San Francisco and for the Mission San Francisco de Asís, Quiros and his sailors tried unsuccessfully to sail from San Pablo Bay to Bodega Bay. Located in southern Sonoma County, a portion of northeastern Marin, the Petaluma River Watershed drains 146 square miles.
The watershed is 19 miles long and 13 miles wide with the City of Petaluma near its center. At 2,295 feet, Sonoma Mountain is the highest point in the watershed, its western slopes drain to the Petaluma River by way of tributaries such as Lichau Creek, Lynch Creek, Washington Creek, Adobe Creek; the lower 12 miles of the Petaluma River flow through the Petaluma Marsh, the largest remaining salt marsh in San Pablo Bay. The marsh covers 5,000 acres and is surrounded by 7,000 acres of reclaimed wetlands. In the marshes west of Lakeville, the river is joined by San Antonio Creek, at which point it becomes the boundary between Marin County and Sonoma County; the river flows under State Route 37 at Green Point and enters northwest San Pablo Bay just north of Petaluma Point. While the river's source lies over 300 ft above sea level, it descends to 50 ft within about 0.4 mi. The river is tidal 11 mi from its mouth, indicating its slight gradient through the marshes below Petaluma; the United States Army Corps of Engineers dredges this section to keep it navigable by gravel barges and pleasure craft.
The Petaluma River Watershed hosts several federally endangered animals including the salt marsh harvest mouse and California clapper rail. Endangered flora include soft bird’s-beak, Baker’s stickyseed, Burke’s goldfields, showy Indian clover, North American River Otter, Sebastopol meadowfoam. Steelhead that spawn and rear in the Petaluma River watershed are wild, not hatchery, stock. Chinook salmon are seen in the main stem of the Petaluma River and The United Anglers of Casa Grande High School have seen chinook at the turning basin, near the Lynch Creek confluence; the high school students constructed a salmonid hatchery in 1993 and in 2002 74 Chinook salmon returned to spawn in the Adobe Creek tributary. The marshes provide an important wildlife fish hatchery. However, since the onset of intensive immigration in the mid-1850s, the water quality has diminished due to overgrazing and other agricultural uses. Pollutants present in the river include nitrates, petroleum hydrocarbons and sediment.
Urban runoff from the City of Petaluma, adds heavy metals and hydrocarbons to the river. Starting about 1990, material steps were taken to mitigate the pollution; because the Petaluma River is well-protected, most of the pollution comes from nearby storm drains. It is up to the people of Petaluma to keep the river clean; because most of the length of the waterway is tidal and urban/suburban, there is a significant collection of tidally deposited debris along the banks. Despite the poor aesthetics including turbidity, the water quality is not poor, it has been alleged that the greatest threat to the Petaluma River is the planned Dutra asphalt plant. The reported concerns involve the "loud noises it will create" that will scare away the birds and "throw off the entire ecosystem"; the following bridges span the Petaluma River moving upstream from San Pablo Bay through Petaluma: Northwestern Pacific Railroad, California State Route 37, NWP, U. S. 101, D Street, Washington Street, Lakeville Street, NWP, Payran Street, NWP, Oak Drive, Corona Road, Petaluma Boulevard North, Rainsville Road.
The longest highway span, the 4-lane Route 37 bridge, is 2,183 ft long and was built in 1958. The oldest public bridge, built in 1925, is a 114 ft concrete triple span carrying two lanes of Petaluma Boulevard North; the Petaluma Blvd South Interchange project will construct a new interchange at Petaluma Blvd South, frontage roads and replace the Petaluma River bridge. The existing Petaluma River bridge is an 866 feet long, twin reinforced concrete box girder bridge, built in 1955; the existing bridge has two lanes of traffic in each direction and no shoulders The new bridge will be 907 feet long with three lanes of traffic in each direction and standard shoulders. This will be one of the longest precast, post-tensioned spliced concrete girder bridges in the U. S. Constructing the new bridge over the Petaluma River, a navigation channel, will be challenging; the bridge will be constructed in three stages and require erection of 99 girders up to 130 feet in length and weighing up to 60 tons each.
The project will replace the existi
Suisun Bay is a shallow tidal estuary in northern California. It lies at the confluence of the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers, forming the entrance to the Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta, an inverted river delta. Suisun Marsh, the tidal marsh land to the north, is the largest marsh in California. Grizzly Bay forms a northern extension of Suisun Bay; the bay is directly north of Contra Costa County. The bay was named after the Suisunes, a Native American tribe of the area; the word originates with the Patwin. On the west, Suisun Bay is drained by the Carquinez Strait, which connects to San Pablo Bay, a northern extension of San Francisco Bay. In addition to the major bridges at the Carquinez Strait, it is spanned in its center by the Benicia-Martinez Bridge and at its eastern end by the State Route 160 crossing between Antioch and Oakley, it is the anchorage of the Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet, a collection of U. S. Navy and merchant reserve ships, created in the period following World War II; the Glomar Explorer was anchored here after recovering parts of a sunken Soviet submarine in the mid-1970s.
Many ships were sold for scrap in the 1990s. In 2010, plans were announced to remove the mothball fleet in stages, with final removal by 2017; the Central Pacific Railroad built a train ferry that operated between Benicia and Port Costa, California from 1879 to 1930. The ferry boats Solano and Contra Costa were removed from service when the nearby Martinez railroad bridge was completed in 1930. From 1913 until 1954 the Sacramento Northern Railway, an electrified interurban line, crossed Suisun Bay with the Ramon, a distillate-powered train ferry. On April 28, 2004, a petroleum pipeline operated by Kinder Morgan Energy Partners ruptured reported as spilling 1,500 barrels of diesel fuel in the marshes, this was updated to about 2,950 barrels. Kinder Morgan pleaded guilty to operating a corroded pipeline and paid three million dollars in penalties and restitution. Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet Kinder Morgan Information Regarding Pipeline Release Carl Nolte. "Suisun Bay's ghost fleet may R. I. P." SF Gate