San Mateo Creek (San Francisco Bay Area)
San Mateo Creek is a perennial stream whose watershed includes Crystal Springs Reservoir, for which it is the only natural outlet after passing Crystal Springs Dam. After discovering San Francisco Bay from Sweeney Ridge on November 4, 1769, the Portolà expedition descended what Portolà called the Cañada de San Francisco, now San Andreas Creek, both of which emptied into the "Laguna Grande" where the party camped; the Laguna Grande place name is shown on the 1840s diseño del Rancho Cañada de Raymundo and an 1856 plat. The campsite is marked by California Historical Marker No. 94 "Portola Expedition Camp", located at Crystal Springs Dam, on Skyline Boulevard, 0.1 mi south of Crystal Springs Road. They camped here a second time on November 12, on their return trip. Padre Palóu, on an expedition from Mission San Carlos Borromeo to explore the western side of San Francisco Bay led by Captain Fernando Rivera, renamed Portola's Cañada de San Francisco to Cañada de San Andrés on November 30, 1774, it being the feast day of St. Andrew.
Palou's name was applied to the San Andreas fault when the fault was discovered to be the creator of the valley. In 1776, the expedition led by Captain Juan Bautista de Anza, rather than stay on the coast as Portola had done, followed an inland route from Monterey, California established by Pedro Fages in 1770. De Anza descended the Santa Clara Valley to San Francisco Bay and followed its western shoreline up the peninsula to San Francisco; the de Anza party selected the sites for Mission San Francisco de Asís and the Presidio of San Francisco. De Anza picked up Portola's trail at San Francisquito Creek, following the Cañada de San Andrés north from there. On the return to Monterey, the party camped on the banks of San Mateo Creek on March 29, 1776. In de Anza's diary on March 29, 1776, he wrote: "Night having fallen, at a quarter past six I went down to the arroyo of San Andreas and to another, that of San Matheo, where it descends to empty into the estuary. There I found in our camp nearly all the men of the village friendly and joyful, putting themselves out to serve us in every way, a circumstance which I have noted in all the natives seen from the 26th up to now, but one which I had not experienced theretofore since leaving the people of the Colorado River."Shortly thereafter, the rest of the de Anza party - families and priests on their way to help establish the presidio and mission - camped here for three days, June 24–27, 1776.
A plaque labelled "California State Historical Landmark No. 47 Anza Expedition Camp" is located at Arroyo Court, one block west on West 3rd Avenue, San Mateo. San Mateo Creek's source elevation is at 1,000 feet on Sweeney Ridge from which it flows southeasterly for 11.2 km before entering the northwest arm of Lower Crystal Springs Reservoir. The northeast arm of Lower Crystal Springs Reservoir is formed by San Mateo Creek's tributary, San Andreas Creek which descends to the Reservoir southeast along the San Andreas Rift. Another tributary, Laguna Creek, flows northwards from Woodside with its source on Edgewood County Park and Natural Preserve, fed Laguna Grande and joined San Mateo Creek just upstream from Crystal Springs Canyon, where San Mateo Creek turned east to flow through the canyon. Laguna Grande was submerged when an earthen dam was constructed in 1877, forming Upper Crystal Springs Reservoir; the old earthen dam became a causeway between Upper and Lower Crystal Springs Reservoirs when the latter was formed by Herman Schussler's concrete Crystal Springs Dam, which dammed up San Mateo Creek in 1888 to form the lower reservoir.
The causeway is now crossed by Highway 92. In addition to San Mateo Creek and its San Andreas Creek and Laguna Creek tributaries, the waters of Crystal Springs Reservoir consist of runoff from the eastern slopes of the Montara block of the Santa Cruz Mountains and imported Hetch Hetchy Aqueduct water deriving from the Sierra Nevada; the two Crystal Springs lakes and San Andreas Lake used to be known as Spring Valley Lakes for the Spring Valley Water Company which owned them. Lower Crystal Springs Reservoir now covers the town of Crystal Springs which grew up around a resort of the same name. From the Crystal Springs Dam San Mateo Creek flows northeast 8 km through San Mateo where it is intermittent and altered, to San Francisco Bay about 1.1 km west of the mouth of Seal Slough. This watercourse lies within San Mateo County and flows eastward to discharge into San Francisco Bay. San Mateo Creek once hosted coho salmon as evidenced by specimens collected by Professor Alexander Agassiz of Harvard University in the 1850s and 1860s.
He collected steelhead trout from the creek. Historical records indicate that Chinook salmon occurred in at least two San Francisco Bay Area watersheds, San Mateo Creek in San Mateo County and San Leandro Creek in Alameda County. Fog drip may play a key role in the precipitation in the upper watershed. On Cahill Ridge, just west of San Mateo Creek and east of Pilarcitos Creek, at an altitude of 1,000 feet, Oberlander measured fog drip beneath tanoak, coast redwood and three Douglas fir trees, the latter 125 feet tall, he found that the trees most exposed produced the most precipitation and in five weeks of measurement fog drip below the tanoak produced 59 inches of precipitation, more than the total annual precipitation on nearby grasslands and chaparral. The Douglas fir
Sonoma Creek is a 33.4-mile-long stream in northern California. It is one of two principal drainages of southern Sonoma County, with headwaters rising in the rugged hills of Sugarloaf Ridge State Park and discharging to San Pablo Bay, the northern arm of San Francisco Bay; the watershed drained by Sonoma Creek is equivalent to the wine region of Sonoma Valley, an area of about 170 square miles. The State of California has designated the Sonoma Creek watershed as a “Critical Coastal Water Resource”. To the east of this rectangular watershed is the Napa River watershed, to the west are the Petaluma River and Tolay Creek watersheds; this south flowing river drains the western slopes of the Mayacamas Range, the southern slopes of Annadel State Park and the eastern slopes of the Sonoma Mountains with intermittent winter flows in the higher tributary reaches. As the tributaries and headwaters reach the valley floor, a perennial stream cuts through scenic and valuable vineyards of Kenwood. Sonoma Creek veers west at Kenwood and cuts a gorge running parallel to Warm Springs Road, where it turns south to historic Glen Ellen, passing within one mile of Jack London State Historic Park and the Wolf House and thence southward paralleling Arnold Drive.
In the city of Sonoma it is an urban creek. Sonoma Creek discharges to the vast Napa-Sonoma Marsh at the northern tip of San Pablo Bay. Principal tributaries to the creek include Yulupa Creek, Graham Creek, Calabazas Creek, Bear Creek, Schell Creek, Fowler Creek. Headwaters rise on the west facing slopes of the inner coast southern Mayacamas Mountains, where the highest peaks are Hood Mountain, elevation 2750 feet and Bald Mountain, elevation 2729 feet, each of which has views of the Pacific Ocean and the Sierra Nevada range; the headwaters cut through gorge and meadow of Sugarloaf Ridge State Park, which boasts 25 miles of self-guided trails and the Robert Ferguson Observatory. There is a 25 foot high waterfall, present only when fed by the winter rains but can persist until late May for high rainfall years such as 2006. In the 100 foot deep gorge into which the waterfall spills is a moist mixed forest habitat including California bay laurel, coast redwood, Douglas fir, big leaf maple, cherry holly and tanbark oak.
The understory boulder laden mosses. A prominent landform in this upper reach created by Sonoma Creek is Adobe Canyon. Locally part of this upper reach flow is sometimes called Adobe Creek. Tributaries near the headwaters include Graywood Creek. A diversity of aquatic and terrestrial organisms populate its riparian zone. Winter-run Chinook salmon, Delta smelt and steelhead are the most prominent fishes. Anadromous fish movements in Sonoma Creek have been studied extensively not only in the mainstem Sonoma Creek, but in some of the tributaries; these investigations have demonstrated a historical decline in spawning and habitat value for these species due to sedimentation and secondarily to removal of riparian vegetation since the 1800s. A variety of salamanders and frogs are present; the federally listed as threatened California red-legged frog is present in the northern reach draining the south slopes of Annadel State Park. Several endangered species present include California clapper rail, California black rail, California brown pelican, California freshwater shrimp, salt marsh harvest mouse, Suisun shrew, Sacramento splittail.
The above are endangered species with the exception of the splittail and black rail, which species are federally designated as threatened. California golden beaver were abundant along Sonoma Creek but were trapped out in the California Fur Rush of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. In 1828 fur trapper Michel La Framboise travelled from the Bonaventura River to San Francisco and the missions of San José, San Francisco Solano and San Rafael Arcángel. La Framboise stated that "the Bay of San Francisco abounds in beaver", that he "made his best hunt in the vicinity of the missions"; the beaver were wiped out by the mid-nineteenth century but returned to Sonoma Creek from the Delta, in the 1990s. In 1996 a beaver family developed a taste for merlot grapevine bark in a vineyard beside the creek and were exterminated, leading to civic uproar and a shift to accommodate beaver resettlement. Sonoma Ecology Center executive director Richard Dale reports that although beavers fell trees and dam culverts, on balance they perform nearly "perfect stream restoration," because they cause the creation of deep pools, slowing the flow of flood water and enhancing fishery habitat.
New beavers have recolonized Sonoma Creek and are located in both Sonoma and Glen Ellen. A "keystone species", the beaver have created habitat that has, in turn, led to the return of river otter which have been sighted in the beaver pond below the Boyes Boulevard bridge in Boyes Hot Springs. Upland ecosystems drained include mixed California oak woodland and savannah woodland, In these upland reaches one finds plentiful black-tailed deer, skunk, opossum, wild turkey, turkey vulture, red-tailed hawk and bobcat and mountain lion. Prominent higher elevation trees include: coast live oak, Garry
San Lorenzo Creek
San Lorenzo Creek is a 10.7-mile-long year-round natural stream flowing through Hayward, into San Francisco Bay at the Hayward Regional Shoreline. The creek begins in Castro Valley, is the main tributary within the San Lorenzo Watershed, including the independent Sulpher Creek, which had most of its flow diverted into San Lorenzo Creek in the 1960s to reduce the risk of flooding in downtown Hayward. Only in large flow events does some of the creek flow follow its old course into the Bay; the creek runs through the town of empties into San Francisco Bay. A portion of the San Francisco Bay Trail runs along the mouth of the creek; the Cull Canyon and Don Castro reservoirs, both located within regional parks, feed into the creek. The creek marks the farthest northward point of exploration by the Portolá expedition of 1769–70. Scouts camped at the creek before turning back to join the main party on the west side of the bay. Further explorations, led by Monterey presidio commander Pedro Fages in 1770 and 1772 used the camp before continuing to the north.
From records dating to 1772, the creek was known to Spanish colonists as Arroyo de San Salvador de Horta, Arroyo de la Harina. The current name for the creek, Arroyo de San Lorenzo, dates to at least 1812, was recorded as such in land grants from 1841 and 1842. El Camino Viejo now Mission Boulevard, passed through what is now San Lorenzo, crossing San Lorenzo Creek where Mission Boulevard crosses it now. San Lorenzo Creek supported steelhead, other salmonids. A 1997 paper states that, due to reasons tied to the increasing urbanization and their effect on the area, no sign of juvenile nor mature steelhead could be found in the creek. Since steelhead in the Bay Area and California's Central Coast were listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act in 1997, numerous organizations, governmental agencies have cooperated on restoration projects to allow migratory fish from the Bay to reach spawning habitat in vairious Bay Area watersheds. List of watercourses in the San Francisco Bay Area Urban stream, which describes some sections of San Lorenzo Creek San Lorenzo Creek Watershed Archive Friends of San Lorenzo Creek watershed map information at Oakland Museum website
Coyote Creek (Marin County)
Coyote Creek is a stream in the Richardson Bay watershed, draining Tamalpais-Homestead Valley, California eastward into Richardson Bay, Marin County, United States. The stream originates on Coyote Ridge and flows 2.5 miles to the bay at the south end of Bothin Marsh. The Richardson Bay watershed is located on the aboriginal lands of the Coast Miwok. Spanish colonization began in neighboring Sausalito, California, in 1775, when Juan de Ayala sailed the first ship into San Francisco Bay; these explorers named the area Saucelito after the vegetation spotted from shipboard. When the Mission San Rafael Arcángel, established in 1817, was secularized by the Mexican government in 1834, the mission lands were granted to prominent Californios as ranchos; the Rancho Corte Madera del Presidio included a sawmill for processing redwood trees and horse ranches, a brickyard, a stone quarry. Sausalito became an important ferry port; the railroad brought supplies from the north to be shipped across San Francisco Bay.
Coyote Creek hosted California golden beaver whose beaver dams played a role in removing sediment and improving over-summering habitat for steelhead and salmon smolt. List of watercourses in the San Francisco Bay Area U. S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Coyote Creek - Geographic Names Information System Richardson Bay Watershed Map Guide to San Francisco Bay Area Creeks
San Rafael Creek
San Rafael Creek is a watercourse in Marin County, United States that discharges to San Rafael Bay, a small embayment of the San Francisco Bay. The mouth of San Rafael Creek is a channelized estuary through an industrial area. San Rafael Creek has a designation under Federal Law Section 303 as impaired by diazinon, the principal pollutant causing impairment designations for streams discharging to San Pablo Bay, the northern arm of San Francisco Bay. In September 2007, the organization Save The Bay designated San Rafael Creek as one of the top ten "worst trash hot spot" waterways flowing into the San Francisco Bay; the channel portion of San Rafael Creek below the Grand Street Bridge is dredged on a regular maintenance schedule to keep the shallow draft channel navigable. Dredge spoils are disposed of at a site near Alcatraz Island. Most of the soils in the lower watershed are clays and bay mud, resulting in a low transmissivity of groundwater. Typical vertical soil profiles in the lower watershed are four to five feet of imported fill over 60 to 65 feet of bay mud set on a basement of Franciscan Sandstone bedrock.
At the mouth of San Rafael Creek, situated on the south bank, is Pickleweed Park, where shorebirds can be seen in the winter migration season. List of watercourses in the San Francisco Bay Area Salt Marsh Harvest Mouse
Richmond Inner Harbor
Richmond Inner Harbor is a deepwater body of water in Richmond, California. The harbor lies between Ferry Point and Point Isabel, between the mainland and Brooks Island in western Contra Costa County along the East Bay's northern East Shore; the harbor provides excellent protection as it lies protected by Brooks Island an extensive breakwater inside the protected San Francisco Bay. The harbour connects to the Sante Fe Channel and its chanellets in addition to the Richmond Marina Bay and Campus Bay. Baxter Creek and Meeker Slough Creek's mouths and deltas drain into the harbor