Location of Bodega Bay and Bodega Harbor
|Nearest city||Bodega Bay, California|
|Area||3,170 acres (1,283 ha)|
|NRHP Reference #||73000461|
|Added to NRHP||December 18, 1973|
|Designated CHISL||November 3, 1969|
Bodega Bay is a shallow, rocky inlet of the Pacific Ocean on the coast of northern California in the United States. It is approximately 5 mi (8 km) across and is located approximately 40 mi (60 km) northwest of San Francisco and 20 mi (32 km) west of Santa Rosa. The bay straddles the boundary between Sonoma County to the north and Marin County to the south. The bay is a marine habitat used for navigation, recreation, and commercial and sport fishing including shellfish harvesting.
Bodega Bay is protected on its north end from the Pacific Ocean by Bodega Head, which shelters the small Bodega Harbor and is separated from the main bay by a jetty. The San Andreas Fault runs parallel to the coastline and bisects Bodega Head, which lies on the Pacific Plate; the town is on the North American Plate. The village of Bodega Bay sits on the east side of Bodega Harbor. The bay connects on its south end to the mouth of Tomales Bay.
Streams flowing into Bodega Bay include the Estero de San Antonio and the Estero Americano. Accessible beaches on Bodega Bay include Doran Regional Park (on the jetty) and Pinnacle Gulch. Apart from the harbor, all of Bodega Bay lies within the boundaries of the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary.
Coast Miwok native Americans lived on the shores of Bodega Bay. Documented village names include: Helapattai, Hime-takala, Ho-takala, and Tokau. There is speculation that Bodega Bay may have been Sir Francis Drake's Nova Albion landing location on the California coast.
Present day Bodega Bay was first charted in 1775 by the Spanish Peruvian explorer of the Spanish Navy Juan Francisco de la Bodega y Quadra, but the bay that was originally named for him was not present day Bodega, but Tomales Bay. His ship, the Sonora, anchored in the lee of Tomales Point on October 3, 1775, departing the next day. Bodega y Quadra named Tomales Bay Puerto de la Bodega. "There is no evidence in the journal or on the charts that Bodega y Quadra ever saw the entrance to [present day] Bodega Harbour or knew of the lagoon to the north". Bodega y Quadra planned to return, but was not able to. Later, as commandant of the naval base at San Blas, New Spain, Bodega y Quadra sent other expeditions to Bodega Bay with the intention of establishing a colony and mission there. It was decided, however, that the location was non-ideal. "With the failure of the Bodega settlement, the Spanish left the field clear for Russian occupation" The first Russians to see Bodega Bay were the supervisors of the Aleut hunting parties aboard the American otter hunting ship Peacock in 1807. Timofei Osipovich Tarakanov of the Russian-American Company returned to Novo Arkhangelsk, Alaska and reported the location to Alexander Andreyevich Baranov the chief administrator of the RAC. Baranov instructed his assistant Kuskov to reconnoiter the area for a settlement. Commerce Counselor Ivan Alexandrovich Kuskov, of the Russian-American Company,sailing in the Kodiak, entered Bodega Bay on January 8, 1809. Instructed by Baranov to leave "secret signs" (possession plates), Kuskov buried possession plaques at Trinidad Harbour, Bodega Head,(or Tomales Point) and on the north shore of San Francisco Bay, indicating the Company's intention to claim this section of northern California for Russia. Temporary buildings were erected to house the Kodiak's complement of 190 crew (130 native Alaskan males, 20 native females,and 40 Russians)
The Kodiak remained in Bodega Bay until October, 1809, returning to Alaska with over 2,000 otter pelts. Kuskov returned to Novo Arkhangelsk, Alaska, reporting abundant fur bearing mammals, fish, timber and tillable lands. Baranov instructed Kuskov to return and establish a permanent settlement in the area. In 1811 Kuskov returned, this time aboard the Chirikov but found fewer otter in Bodega Bay (only 1,160 otter skins were taken). Three American ships were also operating in the area from a base in Drake's Bay, sending hunters into San Francisco Bay and the surrounding bays. Kuskov sailed the Brig Chirikov back to present day Bodega Harbour on March 15,1812, and "Since Bodega Anchorage and Bodega Harbour had not been claimed or named by the Spanish" Kuskov named it Rumyantzev, in honor of the Russian Minister of Commerce, Count Nikolai Petrovich Rumiantzof.
Zaliv Rumiantsev (Rumiantsev Bay) appears on the earliest Russian charts of Bodega Bay (1817–1819) identifying present day Bodega Bay and Bodega Harbour. Bodega Head was named Mouis Rumiantsev (Point Rumiantsev) While Tomales Point was named Point Great Bodega and Tomales Bay Great Bodega Bay, more or less conforming to Bodega y Quadra's original naming.
On his return Kuskov found otter now scarce in Bodega Bay, the harbour having been frequented by numerous American and English otter-hunting expeditions. After exploring the area they ended up selecting a place 15 mi (24 km) north that the native Kashaya Pomo people called Mad shui nui or Metini. Metini, the seasonal home of the native Kashaya Pomo people, had a modest anchorage and abundant natural resources and would become the Russian settlement of Fort Ross. By 1817 sea otter in the area were practically eliminated by international over-hunting. Zaliv Rumiantsev continued to be the main entre'port for the Russian Colony until January,1842, and the earliest European structures built at Bodega Bay were the wharf, warehouse and barracks of the Russian-American Company. Bodega Bay remained an active harbor for shipping lumber until the 1870s, when the North Pacific Coast Railroad was built, bypassing the coast in favor of a more inland route.
Bodega Bay was the setting for the 1963 Alfred Hitchcock film, The Birds, starring Rod Taylor, Tippi Hedren and Suzanne Pleshette. The original 1980 horror film The Fog was also filmed in both Bodega Bay and the town as both locations are subject to thick and heavy fog.
Pacific Gas & Electric planned to build the first commercially viable nuclear power plant in the USA at Bodega Bay. The proposal was controversial and conflict with local citizens began in 1958. In 1963 there was a large demonstration at the site of the proposed Bodega Bay Nuclear Power Plant. The conflict ended in 1964, with the forced abandonment of plans for the power plant.
Marine protected areas near Bodega Bay
Like underwater parks, these marine protected areas help conserve ocean wildlife and marine ecosystems.
- Russian River State Marine Reserve and Russian River State Marine Conservation Area
- Bodega Head State Marine Reserve & Bodega Head State Marine Conservation Area
- Estero Americano State Marine Recreational Management Area
- Estero de San Antonio State Marine Recreational Management Area
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09.
- "Bodega Bay and Harbor". Office of Historical Preservation, California State Parks. Retrieved 2012-10-15.
- State of California Water Quality Control Plan North Coastal Basin 1B July 1975 p.13
- "Sonoma County Regional Parks".
- "Access Genealogy: Miwok Indian Tribe".
- "Drake Latitudes on the Coast of California in 1579". Retrieved 2009-08-21.
- Clinton R. Edwards, Pacific Historical Review, 1964 vol.33: Wandering Toponyms:Puerto de la Bodega and Bodega Bay
- Adele Ogden, The California sea otter trade, 1784-1848, pg.58
- Hubert Howe Bancroft, Alfred Bates, Ivan Petroff, William Nemos (1887). History of Alaska: 1730-1885. San Francisco, California: A. L. Bancroft & company. p. 482. Retrieved Jan. 10, 2010.
- Thompson, R. A. (1896). The Russian Settlement in California Known as Fort Ross, Founded 1812...Abandoned 1841: Why They Came and Why They Left. Santa Rosa, California: Sonoma Democrat Publishing Company. p. 3. ISBN 0-559-89342-6. Retrieved Jan. 9, 2010.
- Suzanne Stewart and Adrian Praetzellis (November, 2003). Archeological Research Issues for the Point Reyes National Seashore - Golden Gate National Recreation Area (Report). Anthropological Studies Center, Sonoma State University. p. 335. http://www.sonoma.edu/asc/projects/pointreyes/overview4.pdf. Retrieved Jan. 10, 2010.
- "Salmon Creek Estuary: Study Results and Enhancement Recommendations". 2006. Archived from the original on 2007-07-15. Retrieved 2007-12-04.
- "IMDb: Filming locations for The Birds".
- Paula Garb. Critical Masses: Opposition to Nuclear Power in California, 1958-1978 (book review) Journal of Political Ecology, Vol 6, 1999.
- Office of Technology Assessment. (1984). Public Attitudes Toward Nuclear Power p. 231.
- U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Bodega Bay
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