|San Rafael Creek|
|- location||San Rafael, California|
|Mouth||San Rafael Bay|
|- location||1.5 mi (2 km) north of San Quentin State Prison|
|- elevation||0 ft (0 m)|
|Length||3 mi (5 km)|
San Rafael Creek is a watercourse in Marin County, California, 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(d) as impaired by diazinon, the principal pollutant causing impairment designations for streams discharging to San Pablo Bay, which is 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.
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.
San Rafael Bay is an embayment of San Pablo Bay, located in Marin County and the northern San Francisco Bay Area, California.
San Francisco Bay is a shallow estuary in the US state of California. It is surrounded by a contiguous region known as the San Francisco Bay Area, and is dominated by the large cities of San Jose, San Francisco and Oakland.
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 (18–20 meters) 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, particularly in the winter migration season.
Clay is a finely-grained natural rock or soil material that combines one or more clay minerals with possible traces of quartz (SiO2), metal oxides (Al2O3, MgO etc.) and organic matter. Geologic clay deposits are mostly composed of phyllosilicate minerals containing variable amounts of water trapped in the mineral structure. Clays are plastic due to particle size and geometry as well as water content, and become hard, brittle and non–plastic upon drying or firing. Depending on the soil's content in which it is found, clay can appear in various colours from white to dull grey or brown to deep orange-red.
Bay mud consists of thick deposits of soft, unconsolidated silty clay, which is saturated with water; these soil layers are situated at the bottom of certain estuaries, which are normally in temperate regions that have experienced cyclical glacial cycles. Example locations are Cape Cod Bay, Chongming Dongtan Reserve in Shanghai, China, Banc d'Arguinpreserve in Mauritania, The Bristol Channel in the United Kingdom, Mandø Island in the Wadden Sea in Denmark, Florida Bay, San Francisco Bay, Bay of Fundy, Casco Bay, Penobscot Bay, and Morro Bay. Bay mud manifests low shear strength, high compressibility and low permeability, making it hazardous to build upon in seismically active regions like the San Francisco Bay Area.
Groundwater is the water present beneath Earth's surface in soil pore spaces and in the fractures of rock formations. A unit of rock or an unconsolidated deposit is called an aquifer when it can yield a usable quantity of water. The depth at which soil pore spaces or fractures and voids in rock become completely saturated with water is called the water table. Groundwater is recharged from and eventually flows to the surface naturally; natural discharge often occurs at springs and seeps, and can form oases or wetlands. Groundwater is also often withdrawn for agricultural, municipal, and industrial use by constructing and operating extraction wells. The study of the distribution and movement of groundwater is hydrogeology, also called groundwater hydrology.
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 generally southward through Petaluma's old town, where the waterway becomes navigable, and then flows another 10 mi (16 km) through tidal marshes before emptying into the northwest corner of San Pablo Bay.
Sonoma Creek is a 33.4-mile-long (53.8 km) stream in northern California. It is one of two principal drainages of southern Sonoma County, California, 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 roughly equivalent to the wine region of Sonoma Valley, an area of about 170 square miles (440 km2). The State of California has designated the Sonoma Creek watershed as a “Critical Coastal Water Resource”. To the east of this generally rectangular watershed is the Napa River watershed, and to the west are the Petaluma River and Tolay Creek watersheds.
Americano Creek is a 7.5-mile (12 km) long westward-flowing stream in the California counties of Sonoma and Marin. It flows into the Estero Americano, a 9.2 mi (15 km) long estuary, and thence to the Pacific Ocean. This article covers both watercourses.
Redwood Creek is a short but significant stream in Marin County, California. 4.7 miles (7.6 km) long, it drains a 7-square-mile (18 km2) watershed which includes the Muir Woods National Monument, and reaches the Pacific Ocean north of the Golden Gate at Muir Beach.
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.
Blue Rock Springs Creek is a 3.4-mile-long (5.5 km) stream that rises on Sulfur Springs Mountain in southwestern Solano County, California. A bicycle trail is positioned along the creekside in some of the lower reaches. Water quality is impaired in Blue Rock Springs Creek due to historic cinnabar extraction in this watershed. Blue Rock Springs Creek has been tested for the toxin diazinon and found to have attained an elevated value of 40.9 micrograms per liter; diazinon is a toxic pesticide associated with golf course maintenance. The 36-hole Blue Rock Springs Golf Course lies in this watershed; although diazinon has been banned for golf course use in the U.S., its persistence in the environment is quite high. The stream has had application of a hydrological transport model to analyze flooding potential and to aid in the design of certain stream channel modification carried out in the last quarter of the 20th century to accommodate urbanization of some of the lower reaches.
Arroyo Corte Madera del Presidio is a 4.1-mile-long (6.6 km) year-round stream in southern Marin County, California, United States. This watercourse is also 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 (21 km2) and drains the south-eastern slopes of Mount Tamalpais and much of the area in and around the town of Mill Valley; this stream discharges to Richardson Bay.
Branciforte Creek is a 5.8-mile (9.3 km) long watercourse in Santa Cruz County, California, United States. Branciforte Creek rises on the western slopes of the Santa Cruz Mountains and discharges to the San Lorenzo River, which in turn empties into the Pacific Ocean. Within the State of California Branciforte Creek is classified within the Central Coast Basin. As of the year 2002, the State of California has designated Branciforte Creek as impaired with respect to turbidity and pathogens. The Branciforte watershed consists of 6,231 acres (25.22 km2), approximately 70 percent of which is covered with mixed evergreen forest, conifer forest and other undisturbed habitats.
Pilarcitos Creek is a 13.5-mile-long (21.7 km) coastal stream in San Mateo County, California, United States, that rises on the western slopes of the Santa Cruz Mountains and descends through Pilarcitos Canyon to discharge into the Pacific Ocean Half Moon Bay State Beach.
Naples Creek is a stream in San Mateo County, California, United States that rises on the western slopes of the Santa Cruz Mountains and discharges to the Pacific Ocean. The specific point of discharge is onto Naples Beach, a unit of the Half Moon Bay State Beach. This watercourse runs through the city of Half Moon Bay, which municipality has planning jurisdiction over the creekside area within its city boundaries. In the Open Space Element of Half Moon Bay's General Plan, Naples Creek is designated to have significant wetland and riparian zone biotic resources.
Redwood Creek is a 9.5-mile-long (15.3 km) perennial stream located in San Mateo County, California, United States which discharges into South San Francisco Bay. The Port of Redwood City, the largest deepwater port in South San Francisco Bay, is situated on the east bank of Redwood Creek near its mouth, where the creek becomes a natural deepwater channel.
Tolay Creek is a 12.5-mile-long (20.1 km) southward-flowing stream in southern Sonoma County, California, United States, which flows through Tolay Lake and ends in north San Pablo Bay.
Castro Creek is a creek in Richmond, California, in the western part of the city adjacent to the Chevron Oil Refinery. Wildcat Creek drains into it directly and though other Wildcat Marsh tributaries into Castro Cove of San Pablo Bay. The creek drains from the drainage basin of the surrounding area and was once part of the channel that separated the island of Point Richmond with the mainland. The stream is waterway is named after Don Víctor Castro the owner of the area when it was Rancho San Pablo. The Chevron Richmond Refinery dumps wastewater into the creek routinely 500 yards north of the confluence with Wildcat Creek and also in a drainage. Other waste may only be dumped into the creek through a drainage ditch on Castro Street during high intensity rainfall. Castro Creek is a fishing, shell-fishing, and recreation area. Its estuarine habitat is essential habitat for several endangered species. The creek is also a fish spawning and migration center. The refinery creates 5.6 million US gallons (21,000 m3) per day of byproduct refinery process water, cooling water, storm water and other wastewater which it discharges into Castro Creek, Castro Cove, Wildcat Marsh, and San Pablo Bay. Castro Cove has become very polluted from 85 years of unbridled discharge of waste waters with PAHs and mercury from the Chevron Oil Refinery and is scheduled to begin cleanup efforts in summer 2007.
Rodeo Creek is an 8.3-mile-long (13.4 km) intermittent stream in western Contra Costa County, California running through the town of Rodeo to San Pablo Bay.
Pinole Creek is a stream in western Contra Costa County, in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area, California.
Walker Creek is a northwest-flowing stream in western Marin County, California, United States. It originates at the confluence of Salmon Creek and Arroyo Sausal and empties into Tomales Bay south of Dillon Beach, California.
Novato Creek is a stream in eastern Marin County, California, United States. It originates in highlands between Red Hill and Mount Burdell above the city of Novato, California, and flows 17 miles (27 km) before emptying into San Pablo Bay south of Petaluma Point.
Miller Creek is a 7.6-mile-long (12.2 km) 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.
Coyote Creek is a stream in the Richardson Bay watershed, draining Tamalpais-Homestead Valley, California eastward into Richardson Bay, Marin County, California, United States. The stream originates on Coyote Ridge and flows 2.5 miles (4.0 km) to the bay at the south end of Bothin Marsh.
Corte Madera Creek is a short stream which flows southeast for 4.5 miles (7.2 km) in Marin County, California. Corte Madera Creek is formed by the confluence of San Anselmo Creek and Ross Creek in Ross and entering a tidal marsh at Kentfield before connecting to San Francisco Bay near Corte Madera.
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