San Francisco Bay

The Bay of San Francisco (English San Francisco Bay ) is a through the Golden Gate (Golden Gate) associated with the Pacific ocean bay of the Pacific Ocean in the west of the U.S. state of California. It is about 70 kilometers long and up to 20 kilometers wide. At about the level of the cities of San Pablo and San Rafael, she goes over to the bay of San Pablo. The Bay of San Francisco is the most important estuary on the West Coast of the North American continent.

The area surrounding the bay is called San Francisco Bay Area ( Area, area ') and forms a metropolitan area around the largest cities (San Jose, San Francisco and Oakland ) this region.

In the bay are, among others, the former prison island of Alcatraz, the artificial island Treasure Iceland and the Coast Guard Base Coast Guard Iceland.


The first European who sailed the Bay through the Golden Gate, was probably the Spanish explorer Juan de Ayala. He went through the Golden Gate on August 5, 1775 his ship San Carlos, and anchored in a bay of Angel Iceland.

The Bay of San Francisco was in the 19th century at the center of American colonization of the Far West. From the 1820s to American presidents and expansionists coveted the bay because it was used as a giant natural harbor Pacific. After many unsuccessful attempts to buy the bay and adjacent areas to change, conquered the U.S. Navy and Army in the Mexican-American War (1845-1848), the region that was previously in Mexican hands. During the California Gold Rush (1848-1850) once the San Francisco Bay rose to become one of the world's most important seaports and dominated in the American West until the last years of the 19th century, shipping and transport. Preeminent got the bay, as in 1869 the terminus of the transcontinental railroad was located in Oakland.

The Bay of San Francisco has continued the densest industrial production and urban development of the United States. Will provide you with nearly eight million inhabitants, is the second largest urban area in West - America dar.

Despite their benefits, as a shipping lane and port the many square kilometers of marshy wetlands that surround the bay, have long been viewed as a waste of space. This meant that for building projects excavated and dredged from channels earth has often been tipped as a fill on wetlands and other parts of the bay. From the mid- 18th to the late 19th century, more than a third of the original bay was shoveled and partly cultivated. The deep, moist soil in these areas can be repeatedly during earthquake ground liquefaction occur, and most of the major damage in the vicinity of the bay during the Loma Prieta earthquake of 1989 caused to buildings in these areas. In the 1990s, the San Francisco International Airport proposed to fill up more square kilometers, to expand the crowded start and runways and acquire in return other parts of the bay, to convert it back into wetlands. The idea was and remains controversial.

Ecology, flora and fauna

Despite its urban and industrial character of the bay of San Francisco is perhaps California's most important biotope. California crabs ( the crabs belonging ), Pacific halibut, and Pacific salmon fisheries rely on the bay as a nursery. The few remaining salt marshes currently represent the major part of California's remaining salt marsh area. They are home to a rich biodiversity and play a key role in the ecosystem. To filter pollutants and sediments from the rivers.

The bay plays an important role for the Pacific Flyway. Millions of waterfowl annually use their Watten as a refuge.

In the Bay of San Francisco was founded with the San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge, the first wildlife reserve of the United States, located in a metropolitan area (1972). It consists to a large extent of salt evaporation ponds that have been purchased or leased from Leslie Salt Company and its successor, Cargill Corporation. These salt pans produce salt for a variety of industrial purposes, including chlorine bleach and plastics processing. In 2003, California and Cargill committed one of the largest private land purchases in American history. The state and federal governments paid 200 million U.S. dollars for about 65 square kilometers of salt basins in the south of the bay. SFBNWR and state biologists hope to restore some of the now acquired basin as the tide subjected wetlands.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has once built and used to investigate the environmental impact of the Reber plan for damming the bay of San Francisco, a hydraulic model of the San Francisco Bay. Later, the model was used to investigate the effects of landfills and wastewater discharges in consideration of freshwater inflows and the course of the day flowing in and out of salt water of the Pacific, for example. This three-dimensional hydraulic model is unique with over 4000 square feet of space one of the largest ever built models of the world and in his own way. It enables measurements of changes in water temperature and salinity as well as the movements of oil spills and introduced toxins, so is the assessment of hazards and their defense. The model is no longer in operation, but can be seen in the Bay Model Visitor Center in Sausalito ( Sausalito is the first place after crossing the Golden Gate Bridge in North direction); Charts and audio tour information on the sensitive ecosystems of San Francisco Bay.