18 Facts About San Francisco Bay

1. The San Francisco Bay has served as an important base for America's military forces.

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2. San Francisco Bay helps provide a high quality of life for residents.

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3. The San Francisco Bay is the largest estuary on the west coast.

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4. San Francisco Bay is filled by fresh water that flows west in the Sacramento River from near Mount Shasta and in the San Joaquin River, which starts three hundred miles away in the Sierra Nevada.

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5. The San Francisco Bay is approximately 550 square miles, which is larger than all but nine cities in the United States.

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6. The San Francisco Bay would have become little more than a broad river.

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7. In 1928, the San Francisco Bay looked much different than it does today.

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8. San Francisco Bay is a shallow, productive estuary through which water draining about forty percent of California, flowing in the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers from the Sierra Nevada mountains and Central Valley, enters the Pacific Ocean.

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9. San Francisco Bay is the largest estuary on the California coast.

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10. San Francisco Bay is spanned by nine bridges, eight of which carry cars.

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11. San Francisco Bay was traversed by watercraft since long before the coming of Europeans.

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12. San Francisco Bay is recognized for protection by the California Bays and Estuaries Policy, with oversight provided by the San Francisco Estuary Partnership.

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13. San Francisco Bay continues to support some of the densest industrial production and urban settlement in the United States.

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14. San Francisco Bay became the center of American settlement and commerce in the Far West through most of the remainder of the 19th century.

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15. At the time, Drakes San Francisco Bay went by the name Bahia de San Francisco and thus both bodies of water became associated with the name.

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16. San Francisco Bay is thought to represent a down-warping of the Earth's crust between the San Andreas Fault to the west and the Hayward Fault to the east, though the precise nature of this remains under study.

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17. San Francisco Bay was navigable as far south as San Jose until the 1850s, when hydraulic mining released massive amounts of sediment from the rivers that settled in those parts of the bay that had little or no current.

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18. San Francisco Bay is a shallow estuary in the US state of California.

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