Miller Creek (Marin County, California)

Last updated
Miller Creek
Miller Creek 3563.jpg
Miller Creek in April 2010.
Country United States
State California
Region Marin County
City Lucas Valley-Marinwood
Source Big Rock Ridge
 - location southwest of Novato
 - elevation 1,670 ft (509 m)
 - coordinates 38°3′40″N122°36′48″W / 38.06111°N 122.61333°W / 38.06111; -122.61333   [1]
Mouth San Pablo Bay
 - elevation 0 ft (0 m)
 - coordinates 38°1′53″N122°29′54″W / 38.03139°N 122.49833°W / 38.03139; -122.49833 Coordinates: 38°1′53″N122°29′54″W / 38.03139°N 122.49833°W / 38.03139; -122.49833   [1]
Relief map of California.png
Red pog.svg
Location of the mouth within California

Miller Creek is a 7.6-mile-long (12.2 km) [2] stream in eastern Marin County, California, United States. It originates on Big Rock Ridge and empties into San Pablo Bay east of Marinwood. A middle school called Miller Creek Middle School was named after the creek and is home to 6th, 7th, and 8th graders.

Stream A body of surface water flowing down a channel

A stream is a body of water with surface water flowing within the bed and banks of a channel. The stream encompasses surface and groundwater fluxes that respond to geological, geomorphological, hydrological and biotic controls.

Marin County, California County in California, United States

Marin County is a county located in the San Francisco Bay Area of the U.S. state of California. As of the 2010 census, the population was 252,409. Its county seat is San Rafael. Marin County is included in the San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco.

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.



The name honors James Miller, an Irishman who settled on part of Rancho San Pedro, Santa Margarita y Las Gallinas in 1845. [3]

Rancho San Pedro, Santa Margarita y Las Gallinas was a 21,679-acre (87.73 km2) Mexican land grant in present-day Marin County, California given in 1844 by Governor Manuel Micheltorena to Timothy Murphy. Las Gallinas means "the hens" in Spanish. The grant extended from east of Nicasio, California, south-east along the Lucas Valley, California, then along Miller Creek to Las Gallinas and the San Pablo Bay.

Watershed and Course

The Miller Creek watershed drains 11.6 square miles (30 km2). [4] Miller Creek originates on Big Rock Ridge southwest of the city of Novato. It descends southward to Lucas Valley Road, where it turns eastward into Gallinas Valley, paralleling the road to Miller Creek Road. There it crosses Lucas Valley Road and jogs northward through Marinwood Park before turning east again along the southern edge of Marinwood. It crosses under U.S. Route 101 at milepost 15.35 and flows through channels in McInnes County Park to empty into the west end of San Pablo Bay. [5]

Novato, California City in California, United States

Novato is a city in northern Marin County, in the North Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area, in the U.S. state of California. As of the 2010 United States Census, its population was 51,904. Novato is located about 10 miles (16 km) northwest of San Rafael and about 30 miles (48 km) north of San Francisco on U.S. 101. Novato has been called one of the best places to live in the U.S.

Las Gallinas Valley or Gallinas Valley is a geographical valley landform of Marin County, California, United States formed by Miller Creek. It is also the name of a major planning area of Marin County.

U.S. Route 101 highway in the United States

U.S. Route 101, or U.S. Highway 101 (US 101) is a north–south United States Numbered Highway that runs through the states of California, Oregon, and Washington, on the West Coast of the United States. It is also known as El Camino Real where its route along the southern and central California coast approximates the old trail which linked the Spanish missions, pueblos, and presidios. It merges at some points with California State Route 1 (SR 1).


In recent years, steelhead trout (Oncorhyncus mykiss) of multiple ages have been identified in Miller Creek. It has been identified by EPA, Marin County Public Works and California Department of Fish and Game for restoration potential for trout because it has high quality connected riparian habitat, minimal barriers to fish passage and no reservoirs. [6]

United States Environmental Protection Agency Agency of the U.S. Federal Government

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is an independent agency of the United States federal government for environmental protection. President Richard Nixon proposed the establishment of EPA on July 9, 1970 and it began operation on December 2, 1970, after Nixon signed an executive order. The order establishing the EPA was ratified by committee hearings in the House and Senate. The agency is led by its Administrator, who is appointed by the President and approved by Congress. The current Administrator is former Deputy Administrator Andrew R. Wheeler, who had been acting administrator since July 2018. The EPA is not a Cabinet department, but the Administrator is normally given cabinet rank.

Habitat and pollution

The California Coastal Commission considers Miller Creek a Critical Coastal Area because it is an impaired water body (listed under Section 303(d) of the U.S. Clean Water Act) which adjoins the San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge. Livestock have grazed on the watershed since the 1800s, causing widening and downcutting of the creek. It continues to carry a heavy load of sediment from grazing activity, and its lower reaches are also impacted by suburban development. [5]

Clean Water Act Primary federal law in the United States governing water pollution

The Clean Water Act (CWA) is the primary federal law in the United States governing water pollution. Its objective is to restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the nation's waters; recognizing the responsibilities of the states in addressing pollution and providing assistance to states to do so, including funding for publicly owned treatment works for the improvement of wastewater treatment; and maintaining the integrity of wetlands. It is one of the United States' first and most influential modern environmental laws. As with many other major U.S. federal environmental statutes, it is administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in coordination with state governments. Its implementing regulations are codified at 40 C.F.R. Subchapters D, N, and O.

San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge

San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge is a 13,190-acre (53.4 km2) National Wildlife Refuge in California established in 1970. It extends along the northern shore of San Pablo Bay, from the mouth of the Petaluma River, to Tolay Creek, Sonoma Creek, and ending at Mare Island.


Miller Creek is spanned by numerous bridges, including: [7]

See also

Related Research Articles

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  1. 1 2 U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Miller Creek
  2. U.S. Geological Survey. National Hydrography Dataset high-resolution flowline data. The National Map Archived 2012-04-05 at WebCite , accessed March 9, 2011
  3. David L. Durham (2000). Durham's place names of the San Francisco Bay area: includes Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, Contra Costa, Alameda, Solano & Santa Clara counties. Quill Driver Books. p. 106. ISBN   978-1-884995-35-4 . Retrieved 2010-09-05.
  4. "The Historical Ecology of Miller Creek". San Francisco Estuary Institute. Retrieved 2014-12-21.
  5. 1 2 California’s Critical Coastal Areas State of the CCAs Report - Miller Creek (PDF) (Report). 2006-06-05. Retrieved 2010-09-05.
  6. San Francisco Estuary Watersheds Evaluation - Identifying Promising Locations for Steelhead Restoration in Tributaries of the San Francisco Estuary (PDF) (Report). San Francisco Estuary Institute. August 2007. p. 30. Retrieved 2010-09-05.
  7. "National Bridge Inventory Database".