Pacheco Pass, elevation 1,368 ft, is a low mountain pass located in the Diablo Range in southeastern Santa Clara County, California. It is the main route through the hills separating the Central Valley; as with most passes in the California Coast Ranges, it is not high when compared to those in other mountain areas within the state. The road that traverses Pacheco Pass is State Route 152, which runs for 106 miles between SR 1 in Watsonville and SR 99. Pacheco Pass Road, the western section between Gilroy and the pass itself, is a single-lane state highway in each direction from Gilroy to the junction with SR 156 and double-lane over the pass; the pass was named for Francisco Perez Pacheco of the Rancho Ausaymas y San Felipe. In the 1850s, an informal variant name for the pass was Robber's Pass attributed to the frequent hold-ups experienced by travelers using the route. A trail nearby, through what is now Pacheco State Park, was used by the Yokuts people to cross the mountains and trade with other native people on the coast.
Spanish army officer Gabriel Moraga first recorded the pass in 1805. From that time it was used by Spainsh and Mexican soldiers to cross over into the San Joaquin Valley, for Native Americans in the 1820s and 1830s to cross westward to raid the missions and ranchos for horses and cattle. During the California Gold Rush it was used to travel between the Santa Clara Valley settlements and the goldfeilds and settlements in the San Joaquin Valley; however the east face of the pass was a steep and rough horse and mule trail, difficult for wheeled vehicles, until 1857 when Andrew D. Firebaugh built a wagon road with a gentler grade across the pass to what is now Bell Station, California from the Rancho San Luis Gonzaga at the foot of the Diablo Range to the east. Since it has been a major route between the Santa Clara Valley and the Central Valley, it was the site of Pacheco Pass Station one of the stage stations on the route of the Butterfield Overland Mail stagecoach route which connected the Saint Louis, Missouri with San Francisco from 1858 until 1861.
Other stage lines used the route thereafter until completion of the railroads within the state. Pacheco Pass is registered as California Historical Landmark #829. There are no major communities between Gilroy in the Santa Clara Valley and Los Banos in the Central Valley. There are no other major crossings of the Diablo range farther south until they are crossed again by California State Route 198 at an unnamed pass some 75 miles to the south. On the west side of the pass lies Casa de Fruta, an extensive trading post in the valley of Pacheco Creek. A site devoted to selling locally produced fruit and nuts to travelers, Casa de Fruta has expanded to include a delicatessen, truckstop, RV park, other facilities. A rural locale named Bell Station lies along the route, between Casa de Fruta and the pass. On the eastern slope of the pass lies the San Luis Reservoir, which stores water for the Central Valley Project and the California State Water Project; the San Luis Reservoir and O'Neill Forebay operate as a pumped storage hydroelectric plant.
The roadway entrances to the San Luis Reservoir state recreational area and Pacheco State Park require caution entering or exiting because there are no stop signs or traffic lights and two lanes of heavy traffic in each direction. Pacheco State Park extends to the south of the pass from its entrance on Dinosaur Point Road near the pass. There is a small windfarm located at the top of the pass; the Pacheco Pass American Viticultural Area is nearby. Pacheco Pass has been selected as the route that the California High-Speed Rail will take between the Bay Area and the Central Valley; the rail line is planned to travel under the pass in the 13-mile Pacheco Pass Tunnel, which upon completion are expected to become North America's longest rail tunnels. California State Route 152 Diablo Range−related topics San Luis Reservoir state recreational area webpage
Hollister is a agricultural town county seat of San Benito County, California. Located in Northern California, Hollister is part of the Monterey Bay Area and a member of the Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments. With a 2010 census population of 34,928, Hollister is one of the largest cities in the rural Central California subregion. A small residential town, Hollister is the closest rural community to Silicon Valley, in Santa Clara County; the area of modern day Hollister was inhabited by the Mutsun band of the Ohlone Native Americans. With the construction of Mission San Juan Bautista in 1797, the Ohlone were forced into the California mission system; the town of Hollister was founded on 19 November 1868, by William Welles Hollister on the grounds of the former Mexican land-grant Rancho San Justo. At the time, Hollister was located within Monterey County, until San Benito County was formed by the California Legislature in 1874 from portions of Monterey and Fresno counties; the Hollister Hills Vehicular Recreation Area, southwest of the main town, draws over 100,000 vehicles per year.
The city is intermittently the site of an annual motorcycle rally around July Fourth. The riot at the original 1947 event was the basis for the 1953 film The Wild One; the rally was revived in 1997 as the Hollister Independence Rally. In 2005, the Hollister City Council discontinued their contract with the event organizers, the Hollister Independence Rally Committee, due to financial and public safety concerns; the event was canceled in 2006 due to lack of funding for security, but returned in 2007 and 2008. The format of the rally in 2007 differed markedly from previous rallies, with vendors on San Benito Street instead of motorcycles; the bikes were forced to park on side streets and a strict downtown curfew was imposed, with the entire area being locked up at 9:00 pm. This event was popular with bikers and some local establishments profited, but the city footed the bill for much of the expenses and was left liable when organizers filed bankruptcy; the 2009-2012 rallies were canceled, but the annual rally was reinstated in 2013, was expected to be profitable for the town.
Following a biker gang shooting at the 2014 rally, Hollister mandated that bars must stop selling alcohol after midnight during the 2015 rally. The 2015 rally unexpectedly left the city with a $92,000 loss following a dispute with the promoter. In 2016, the city hired its third promoter in four years; the San Francisco Chronicle characterized the 2017 rally crowd as "retired, weather-worn and excruciatingly law abiding", estimated the motorcycle attendance around 10,000. The 2018 rally was cancelled due to loss of a major sponsor and concerns about the cost of workers compensation liability. Hollister Co. is an American lifestyle brand by Abercrombie & Fitch Co. that projects a Southern California image. According to Abercrombie & Fitch, the name "Hollister" was pulled out of thin air; the city of Hollister is not affiliated with Hollister Co. and Hollister Co. does not manufacture goods nor operate a store in the city of Hollister. In 2009 Abercrombie & Fitch threatened to sue local merchants in the city of Hollister for trademark infringement for attempting to sell clothes bearing the name "Hollister", prompting at least one merchant to back down.
Hollister has a warm-summer mediterranean climate that has warmer summers than the Monterey–Salinas area but being cooler than many other inland cities of the central part of the state. Despite this, daytime temperatures of 80 °F or warmer are commonplace between June and October, but hot extremes can be much more severe. Hollister is well-known among geologists because it portrays one of the best examples of aseismic creep anywhere in the world; the Calaveras Fault bisects the city north and south along Locust Ave. and Powell St. The streets running east/west across the fault have significant visible offsets; the fault runs directly under several houses. Though they are visibly contorted the houses are still habitable as the owners have reinforced them to withstand the dislocation of their foundations. Although there was extensive damage in the town after the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, the governor of California came to visit, this was due to a slip of the San Andreas Fault and was not related to the aseismic creep on the Calaveras Fault.
Hollister is one of at least three California towns to claim the title of "Earthquake Capital of the World" the other two being Coalinga and Parkfield. As of the census of 2000, there were 34,413 people, 9,716 households, 8,044 families residing in the city; the population density was 5,237.7 people per square mile. There were 9,924 housing units at an average density of 1,510.5 per square mile. The racial makeup of the city in 2010 was 29.1% non-Hispanic White, 0.7% non-Hispanic African American, 0.3% Native American, 2.4% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 0.1% from other races, 1.5% from two or more races. 65.7% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. There were 9,716 households out of which 52.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 65.3% were married couples living together, 12.2% had a female householder with no husband present, 17.2% were non-families. 12.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.7% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older.
The average household size was 3.52 and the average family size was 3.82. In the city, the population was spread out with 34.6% under the age of 18, 9.5% from 18 to 24, 33.8% from 25 to 44, 15.8% from 45 to 64, 6.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 29 years. For every 100 females, there
The largemouth bass is a carnivorous freshwater gamefish in the Centrarchidae family, a species of black bass native to much of the United States And Northern Mexico. It is known by a variety of regional names, such as the widemouth bass, bigmouth bass, black bass, largies, Potter's fish, Florida bass, Florida largemouth, green bass, Green trout, gilsdorf bass, Oswego bass, southern largemouth and northern largemouth, LMB; the largemouth bass is the state fish of Georgia and Indiana, the state freshwater fish of Florida and Alabama, the state sport fish of Tennessee. The largemouth bass is an olive-green to greenish gray fish, marked by a series of dark, sometimes black, blotches forming a jagged horizontal stripe along each flank; the upper jaw of a largemouth bass extends beyond the rear margin of the orbit. In comparison to age, a female bass is larger than a male; the largemouth is the largest of the black basses, reaching a maximum recorded overall length of 29.5 in and a maximum unofficial weight of 25 pounds 1 ounce.
The fish lives 10 to 16 years on average. The juvenile largemouth bass consumes small bait fish, small shrimp, insects. Adults consume smaller fish, snails, frogs, salamanders and small water birds and baby alligators. In larger lakes and reservoirs, adult bass occupy deeper water than younger fish, shift to a diet consisting entirely of smaller fish like shad, yellow perch, ciscoes and sunfish, it consumes younger members of larger fish species, such as catfish, walleye, white bass, striped bass, smaller black bass. Prey items can be larger. Studies of prey utilization by largemouths show that in weedy waters, bass grow more due to difficulty in acquiring prey. Less weed cover allows bass to more find and catch prey, but this consists of more open-water baitfish. With little or no cover, bass can starve or be stunted. Fisheries managers must consider these factors when designing regulations for specific bodies of water. Under overhead cover, such as overhanging banks, brush, or submerged structure, such as weedbeds, humps and drop-offs, the largemouth bass uses its senses of hearing, sight and smell to attack and seize its prey.
Adult largemouth are apex predators within their habitat, but they are preyed upon by many animals while young. Notably in the Great Lakes Region, Micropterus salmoides along with many other species of native fish have been known to prey upon the invasive round goby. Remains of said fish have been found inside the stomachs of largemouth bass consistently; this feeding habit may impact the ecosystem positively, but more research must be conducted to verify this. Note that it is illegal to use Neogobius melanostomus as bait in the Great Lakes Region. Largemouth bass reach sexual maturity and begin spawning when they are about a year old. Spawning takes place in the spring season when the water temperature first holds steady above 60˚F. In the northern region of the United States, this occurs anywhere from late April until early July. In the southern states, where the largest and healthiest specimens inhabit, this process can begin in March and is over by June. Males create nests by moving debris from the bottom of the body of water using their tails.
These nests are about twice the length of the males, although this can vary. Bass prefer sand, muck, or gravel bottoms, but will use rocky and weedy bottoms where there is cover for their nest, such as roots or twigs. After finishing the nest, the males swim near the nest looking for a female to mate with. After one is found, the two bass swim around the nest together, turning their bodies so that the eggs and sperm that are being released will come in contact on the way down to the nest. Bass will spawn twice per spring, with some spawning three or four times, although this is not as common; the male will guard the nest until the eggs hatch, which can take about 2 to 4 days in the southern U. S and Northern Mexico, longer in the northern part of its Native Range. Depending on the water temperature, the male will stay with the nest until the infant bass are ready to swim out on their own, which can be about two more weeks after they hatch. After this, the male and newborns will switch to more of a summer mode, in which they focus more on feeding.
Largemouth bass are keenly sought after by anglers and are noted for the excitement of their'fight,' meaning how vigorously the fish resists being hauled into the boat or onto shore after being hooked. The fish will become airborne in their effort to throw the hook, but many say that their cousin species, the smallmouth bass, is more aggressive. Anglers most fish for largemouth bass with lures such as plastic worms, jigs and live bait, such as worms and minnows. A recent trend is the use of large swimbaits to target trophy bass that forage on juvenile rainbow trout in California. Fly fishing for largemouth bass may be done using both topwater and worm imitations tied with natural or synthetic materials. Other Live baits, such as frogs or crawfish, can be productive. In fact, large golden shiners are a popular live bait used to catch trophy bass when they are sluggish in the heat of summer or in the cold of winter. Largemouth bass hang around big patches of weeds and other shallow water cover.
These fish are capable of surviving in a wide variety of climates and waters
A polychlorinated biphenyl is an organic chlorine compound with the formula C12H10−xClx. Polychlorinated biphenyls were once deployed as dielectric and coolant fluids in electrical apparatus, carbonless copy paper and in heat transfer fluids; because of their longevity, PCBs are still in use though their manufacture has declined drastically since the 1960s, when a host of problems were identified. With the discovery of PCBs' environmental toxicity, classification as persistent organic pollutants, their production was banned by United States federal law in 1978, by the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants in 2001; the International Agency for Research on Cancer, rendered PCBs as definite carcinogens in humans. According to the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency, PCBs are probable human carcinogens. Many rivers and buildings, including schools and other sites, are contaminated with PCBs and there has been contamination of food supplies with the substances; some PCBs share a structural similarity and toxic mode of action with dioxins.
Other toxic effects such as endocrine disruption and neurotoxicity are known. The maximum allowable contaminant level in drinking water in the United States is set at zero, but because of the limitations of water treatment technologies, a level of 0.5 parts per billion is the de facto level. The bromine analogues of PCBs are polybrominated biphenyls, which have analogous applications and environmental concerns; the compounds are pale-yellow viscous liquids. They are hydrophobic, with low water solubilities: 0.0027–0.42 ng/L for Aroclors, but they have high solubilities in most organic solvents and fats. They have low vapor pressures at room temperature, they have dielectric constants of 2.5–2.7 high thermal conductivity, high flash points. The density varies from 1.182 to 1.566 g/cm3. Other physical and chemical properties vary across the class; as the degree of chlorination increases, melting point and lipophilicity increase, vapour pressure and water solubility decrease. PCBs do not break down or degrade, which made them attractive for industries.
PCB mixtures are resistant to acids, oxidation and temperature change. They can generate toxic dibenzodioxins and dibenzofurans through partial oxidation. Intentional degradation as a treatment of unwanted PCBs requires high heat or catalysis. PCBs penetrate skin, PVC, latex. PCB-resistant materials include Viton, polyvinyl acetate, polytetrafluoroethylene, butyl rubber, nitrile rubber, Neoprene. PCBs are derived from biphenyl, which has the formula C12H10, sometimes written 2. In PCBs, some of the hydrogen atoms in biphenyl are replaced by chlorine atoms. There are 209 different chemical compounds in which one to ten chlorine atoms can replace hydrogen atoms. PCBs are used as mixtures of compounds and are given the single identifying CAS number 1336-36-3. About 130 different individual PCBs are found in commercial PCB products. Toxic effects vary depending on the specific PCB. In terms of their structure and toxicity, PCBs fall into two distinct categories, referred to as coplanar or non-ortho-substituted arene substitution patterns and noncoplanar or ortho-substituted congeners.
Coplanar or non-ortho The coplanar group members have a rigid structure, with their two phenyl rings in the same plane. It renders their structure similar to polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and polychlorinated dibenzofurans, allows them to act like PCDDs, as an agonist of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor in organisms, they are considered as contributors to overall dioxin toxicity, the term dioxins and dioxin-like compounds is used interchangeably when the environmental and toxic impact of these compounds is considered. Noncoplanar Noncoplanar PCBs, with chlorine atoms at the ortho positions can cause neurotoxic and immunotoxic effects, but only at concentrations much higher than those associated with dioxins, they do not activate the AhR, are not considered part of the dioxin group. Because of their lower toxicity, they are of less concern to regulatory bodies. Di-ortho-substituted, non-coplanar PCBs interfere with intracellular signal transduction dependent on calcium which may lead to neurotoxicity.
Ortho-PCBs can disrupt thyroid hormone transport by binding to transthyretin. Commercial PCB mixtures were marketed under the following names: The only North American producer, Monsanto Company, marketed PCBs under the trade name Aroclor from 1930 to 1977; these were sold under trade names followed by a four-digit number. In general, the first two digits refer to the product series. Thus, Aroclor 1260 contains 60 % chlorine by mass, it is a myth. The 1100 series was a crude PCB material, distilled to create the 1200 series PCB product; the exception to the naming system is Aroclor 1016, produced by distilling 1242 to remove the chlorinated congeners to make a more biodegradable product. "1016" was given to this product during Monsanto's research stage for tracking purposes but the name stuck after it was commercialized. Different Aroclors were used for different applications. In electrical equipment manufacturing in the US, Aroclor 1260 and Aroclor 1254 were the main mixtures used before 1950.
Electric power transmission
Electric power transmission is the bulk movement of electrical energy from a generating site, such as a power plant, to an electrical substation. The interconnected lines which facilitate this movement are known as a transmission network; this is distinct from the local wiring between high-voltage substations and customers, referred to as electric power distribution. The combined transmission and distribution network is known as the "power grid" in North America, or just "the grid". In the United Kingdom, Myanmar and New Zealand, the network is known as the "National Grid". A wide area synchronous grid known as an "interconnection" in North America, directly connects a large number of generators delivering AC power with the same relative frequency to a large number of consumers. For example, there are four major interconnections in North America. In Europe one large grid connects most of continental Europe. Transmission and distribution lines were owned by the same company, but starting in the 1990s, many countries have liberalized the regulation of the electricity market in ways that have led to the separation of the electricity transmission business from the distribution business.
Most transmission lines are high-voltage three-phase alternating current, although single phase AC is sometimes used in railway electrification systems. High-voltage direct-current technology is used for greater efficiency over long distances. HVDC technology is used in submarine power cables, in the interchange of power between grids that are not mutually synchronized. HVDC links are used to stabilize large power distribution networks where sudden new loads, or blackouts, in one part of a network can result in synchronization problems and cascading failures. Electricity is transmitted at high voltages to reduce the energy loss which occurs in long-distance transmission. Power is transmitted through overhead power lines. Underground power transmission has a higher installation cost and greater operational limitations, but reduced maintenance costs. Underground transmission is sometimes used in environmentally sensitive locations. A lack of electrical energy storage facilities in transmission systems leads to a key limitation.
Electrical energy must be generated at the same rate. A sophisticated control system is required to ensure that the power generation closely matches the demand. If the demand for power exceeds supply, the imbalance can cause generation plant and transmission equipment to automatically disconnect or shut down to prevent damage. In the worst case, this may lead to a cascading series of a major regional blackout. Examples include the US Northeast blackouts of 1965, 1977, 2003, major blackouts in other US regions in 1996 and 2011. Electric transmission networks are interconnected into regional and continent wide networks to reduce the risk of such a failure by providing multiple redundant, alternative routes for power to flow should such shut downs occur. Transmission companies determine the maximum reliable capacity of each line to ensure that spare capacity is available in the event of a failure in another part of the network. High-voltage overhead conductors are not covered by insulation; the conductor material is nearly always an aluminum alloy, made into several strands and reinforced with steel strands.
Copper was sometimes used for overhead transmission, but aluminum is lighter, yields only marginally reduced performance and costs much less. Overhead conductors are a commodity supplied by several companies worldwide. Improved conductor material and shapes are used to allow increased capacity and modernize transmission circuits. Conductor sizes range from 12 mm2 with varying resistance and current-carrying capacity. For normal AC lines thicker wires would lead to a small increase in capacity due to the skin effect; because of this current limitation, multiple parallel cables are used when higher capacity is needed. Bundle conductors are used at high voltages to reduce energy loss caused by corona discharge. Today, transmission-level voltages are considered to be 110 kV and above. Lower voltages, such as 66 kV and 33 kV, are considered subtransmission voltages, but are used on long lines with light loads. Voltages less than 33 kV are used for distribution. Voltages above 765 kV are considered extra high voltage and require different designs compared to equipment used at lower voltages.
Since overhead transmission wires depend on air for insulation, the design of these lines requires minimum clearances to be observed to maintain safety. Adverse weather conditions, such as high wind and low temperatures, can lead to power outages. Wind speeds as low as 23 knots can permit conductors to encroach operating clearances, resulting in a flashover and loss of supply. Oscillatory motion of the physical line can be termed gallop or flutter depending on the frequency and amplitude of oscillation. Electric power can be transmitted by underground power cables instead of overhead power lines. Underground cables take up less right-of-way than overhead lines, have lower visibility, are less affected by bad weather. However, costs of insulated cable and excavation are much higher
Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta
The Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta, or California Delta, is an expansive inland river delta and estuary in Northern California. The Delta is formed at the western edge of the Central Valley by the confluence of the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers and lies just east of where the rivers enter Suisun Bay; the Delta is recognized for protection by the California Bays and Estuaries Policy. The city of Stockton is located on the San Joaquin River on the eastern edge of the delta; the total area of the Delta, including both land and water, is about 1,100 square miles. The Delta was formed by the raising of sea level following glaciation, leading to the accumulation of Sacramento and San Joaquin River sediments behind the Carquinez Strait, the sole outlet from the Central Valley to San Pablo and San Francisco Bays and the Pacific Ocean; the narrowness of the Carquinez Strait coupled with tidal action has caused the sediment to pile up, forming expansive islands. Geologically, the Delta has existed since the end of the last Ice Age.
In its natural state, the Delta was a large freshwater marsh, consisting of many shallow channels and sloughs surrounding low islands of peat and tule. Since the mid-19th century, most of the region has been claimed for agriculture. Wind erosion and oxidation have led to widespread subsidence on the Central Delta islands. Much of the water supply for central and southern California is derived from here via pumps located at the southern end of the Delta, which deliver water for irrigation in the San Joaquin Valley and municipal water supply for southern California; the Delta consists of 57 reclaimed islands and tracts, surrounded by 1,100 miles of levees that border 700 miles of waterways. The southwestern side of the Delta lies at the foothills of the California Coast Ranges, while to the northwest sit the lower Montezuma Hills. Most of the Delta lies within Contra Costa, San Joaquin and Yolo Counties; the total human population of the Delta was 515,264 as of 2000. Altogether, the Delta covers 1,153 square miles, with 841 sq mi, or nearly 73 percent, devoted to agriculture.
About 100 sq mi of the Delta area is urban and 117 sq mi. The rivers, streams and waterways of the Delta total about 95 sq mi of surface, although this fluctuates with seasons and tides. Geologically, it is not considered a true river delta, but rather an inverted river delta, as it formed inward rather than outward; the only other major river delta in the world located this far inland is the Pearl River Delta in China. The main source rivers include the Sacramento River from the north, the San Joaquin from the southeast, the Calaveras and Mokelumne Rivers from the east; the Calaveras and Mokelumne are both tributaries of the San Joaquin River. The Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers join at the western end of the Delta near Pittsburg, at the head of Suisun Bay, although they are linked upstream by the Georgiana Slough, first used by steamboats in the 19th century as a shortcut between Sacramento and Stockton; the southwestern part of the Delta is transected by the Middle River and Old River, former channels of the San Joaquin.
These rivers transport more than 30 million acre feet of water through the Delta each year – about 50 percent of all California's runoff. Nearby cities include Lodi and Stockton to the east and Manteca to the south, Brentwood to the southwest, Pittsburg and Antioch to the west; the state capital, Sacramento, is located just to the north of the Delta. The Sacramento River Deep Water Ship Channel connects the Delta to the Port of Sacramento, with its terminus located near Rio Vista, on the northwestern side of the Delta; the Stockton Ship Channel is a dredged and straightened section of the San Joaquin River cutting directly through the Delta from the Port of Stockton to the San Joaquin's confluence with the Sacramento near Antioch. The Delta was located at the bottom of a large inland sea in the Central Valley, which formed as the uplift of the California Coast Ranges blocked off drainage from the Sierra Nevada to the Pacific. About 560,000 years ago, water breached the mountains, carving out the present-day Carquinez Strait and San Francisco Bay.
The drainage of all the water through this narrow gap formed a bottleneck in the Central Valley's outflow. The Delta in its contemporary state began to form about 10,000 years ago at the end of the last Ice Age. During the Ice Age global sea levels were about 300 ft lower than today, the Delta region, as well as Suisun Bay, the Carquinez Strait and San Francisco Bay, were a river valley through which the continuation of the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers flowed to the Pacific Ocean; when sea levels rose again, ocean water backed up through the Carquinez Strait into the Central Valley. The early delta was composed of shifting channels, sand dunes, alluvial fans and floodplains that underwent constant fluctuation because of rising seas – one inch per year. About 8,000 years ago, the rate of sea-level rise slackened, allowing wetland plants to take hold in the Delta, trapping sediment. Th
Merced County, California
Merced County, is a county located in the northern San Joaquin Valley section of the Central Valley, in the U. S. state of California. As of the 2010 census, the population was 255,793; the county seat is Merced. The county is named after the Merced River. Merced County comprises the Merced, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area, included in the Modesto-Merced, CA Combined Statistical Area, it is located north of Fresno County and Fresno, southeast of Santa Clara County and San Jose. The county derives its name from the Merced River, or El Río de Nuestra Señora de la Merced, named in 1806 by an expedition headed by Gabriel Moraga, which came upon it at the end of a hot dusty ride on the El Camino Viejo across the San Joaquin Valley in Spanish colonial Las Californias Province. Between 1841 and 1844, during the period when Alta California was a territory of independent Mexico, four Mexican land grants were made in what became Merced County: Rancho Orestimba y Las Garzas, Rancho Panoche de San Juan y Los Carrisolitos, Rancho San Luis Gonzaga, Rancho Sanjon de Santa Rita Merced County was formed in 1855 from parts of Mariposa County.
Parts of its territory were given to Fresno County in 1856. According to the U. S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,979 square miles, of which 1,935 square miles is land and 44 square miles is water. Merced National Wildlife Refuge San Luis National Wildlife Refuge The 2010 United States Census reported that Merced County had a population of 255,793; the racial makeup of Merced County was 148,381 White, 9,926 African American, 3,473 Native American, 18,836 Asian, 583 Pacific Islander, 62,665 from other races, 11,929 from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 140,485 persons; as of the census of 2000, there were 210,554 people, 63,815 households, 49,775 families residing in the county. The population density was 109 people per square mile. There were 68,373 housing units at an average density of 36 per square mile; the racial makeup of the county was 56.2% White, 3.8% Black or African American, 1.2% Native American, 6.8% Asian, 0.2% Pacific Islander, 26.1% from other races, 5.7% from two or more races.
45.3% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 6.6% were of Portuguese and 6.0% German ancestry according to Census 2000. 55.1% spoke English, 35.3% Spanish, 3.2% Hmong, 2.9% Portuguese and 1.0% Punjabi as their first language. There were 63,815 households out of which 45.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.8% were married couples living together, 14.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 22.0% were non-families. 17.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.4% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.25 and the average family size was 3.69. In the county, the population was spread out with 34.5% under the age of 18, 10.3% from 18 to 24, 27.9% from 25 to 44, 17.8% from 45 to 64, 9.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 29 years. For every 100 females there were 99.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.6 males. The median income for a household in the county was $35,532, the median income for a family was $38,009.
Males had a median income of $31,721 versus $23,911 for females. The per capita income for the county was $14,257. About 16.9% of families and 21.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 28.4% of those under age 18 and 10.7% of those age 65 or over. As of 2008, according to the Lao Family Community, a nonprofit organization, about 8,000 Hmong lived in Merced County. Merced County is a California Constitution defined general law county and is governed by an elected Board of Supervisors; the Board consists of five members, elected by districts. The Merced County Sheriff provides court protection, jail administration, coroner service for the entire county, it provides patrol and other police services for the unincorporated parts of the county. The main sheriff station and offices are at Merced. There are two sheriff's substations. A Grand Jury report in 2010 stated that the Sheriff processed 12,746 average jail bookings per year with an average daily jail population of 1,123. Municipal police departments in the county are: Merced, population 83,000.
In the United States House of Representatives, Merced County is in California's 16th congressional district, represented by Democrat Jim Costa. In the California State Legislature, Merced County is in the 21st Assembly District, represented by Democrat Adam Gray, the 12th Senate District, represented by Democrat Anna Caballero. Merced County voted for the winning candidate for president in every election from 1972-2012, before voting for Hillary Clinton in 2016. Democrat Barack Obama won a majority in the county in both 2008 and 2012. Republican George W. Bush won a majority in the county in both 2000 and 2004. According to the California Secretary of State, as of October 20, 2008, there were 97,179 registered voters in Merced County. Of those, 44,704 are registered Democratic, 35,955 are registered Republican, 3,090 are registered with other political parties, 13,430 declined to state a political party. Atwater and the unincorporated areas of Merced County have Republican plurality registration advantages.
All of the other cities and towns in the county have Democratic pluralities or majorities in voter registration. The following table includes the number of incidents reported and t