San Francisco Bay Area
|San Francisco Bay Area|
|Nickname(s): "The Bay Area"|
|• Metro||4,984 sq mi (16,088 km2)|
at Mount Hamilton
|4,360 ft (1,330 m)|
|-10 ft (−3 m)|
|Population (July 1, 2014)|
|• Six-county region||5.56 million|
|• Density||865/sq mi (334/km2)|
|Time zone||Pacific (UTC−8)|
|• Summer (DST)||PDT (UTC−7)|
The San Francisco Bay Area, commonly referred to as the Bay Area, is a populated region that surrounds the San Francisco and San Pablo estuaries in Northern California. The region also surrounds a number of other bays including San Leandro Bay, San Rafael Bay, and Richardson Bay. The region encompasses the major cities of San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose. The Bay Area's six counties are western Alameda, western Contra Costa, eastern Marin, San Francisco, eastern San Mateo, and northern Santa Clara. Home to approximately 5.56 million people, the six-county Bay Area contains many cities, towns, airports, and associated regional, state, and national parks, connected by a network of roads, highways, railroads, bridges, tunnels and commuter rail. The urban area of the region is the second-largest in California (after the Greater Los Angeles area), the fifth-largest in the United States, and the 43rd-largest urban area in the world.
The Bay Area has the 2nd most Fortune 500 Companies in the United States, and is known for its natural beauty, liberal politics, entrepreneurship, and diversity. The area ranks second in highest density of College graduates, and performs above the state median household income in the 2010 census; it includes the five highest California counties by per capita income and two of the top 25 wealthiest counties in the United States. Based on a 2013 population report from the California Department of Finance, the Bay Area is the only region in California where the rate of people migrating in from other areas in the United States is greater than the rate of those leaving the region, led by Alameda and Contra Costa counties.
- 1 Sub-regions
- 2 History
- 3 Economy
- 4 Demographics
- 5 Politics
- 6 Climate
- 7 Ecology
- 8 Geology and landforms
- 9 Natural hazards
- 10 Transportation
- 11 Higher education
- 12 Culture
- 13 Regional counties, cities, and suburbs
- 14 See also
- 15 References
- 16 External links
The eastern side of the bay, consisting of western Alameda and Contra Costa counties, is known locally as the East Bay. It includes the cities of Oakland, Hayward, Fremont, Berkeley, and Richmond, as well as many smaller suburbs such as Alameda, Castro Valley, Newark, Union City, Emeryville, Albany, San Leandro, San Pablo, Crockett, El Sobrante, Pinole, San Lorenzo, Hercules, Rodeo, Piedmont, and El Cerrito. This region contains the Bay Area's largest seaport, the Port of Oakland, the headquarters of Pixar Animation Studios, and hosts the professional sports franchises the Golden State Warriors, Oakland Raiders, and Oakland Athletics.
The region north of the Golden Gate Bridge is known locally as the North Bay. This area encompasses the eastern portion of Marin County. With few exceptions, this region is quite affluent: Marin County is ranked as the wealthiest in the state.
The area south of San Francisco to the South Bay, geographically part of the San Francisco Peninsula, is known locally as The Peninsula. This area consists of cities and suburban communities in eastern San Mateo County, and the northwestern part of Santa Clara County. This area is extremely diverse. Many of these families are of foreign background and have significantly contributed to the diversity of the area. Peninsula cities include: Atherton, Belmont, Brisbane, Burlingame, Colma, Daly City, East Palo Alto, Foster City, Hillsborough, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Menlo Park, Millbrae, Mountain View, Palo Alto, Pacifica, Portola Valley, Redwood City, Redwood Shores, San Bruno, San Carlos, San Mateo, South San Francisco and Woodside.
San Francisco is surrounded by water on three sides; the north, east, and west. The city squeezes approximately 805,000 people in under 46.9 square miles (121 km2), making it the second-most densely populated major city in North America after New York City. On any given day, there can be as many as 1 million people in the city because of the commuting population and tourism. San Francisco also has the largest commuter population of the Bay Area cities. The limitations of land area, however, make continued population growth challenging, and also has resulted in increased real estate prices.
The communities at the southern region of the Bay Area are located in what is locally known as the South Bay. These include the city of San Jose, and surrounding municipalities, including the high-tech hubs of Santa Clara, Milpitas, Cupertino, Sunnyvale as well as many other cities like Saratoga, Campbell, and Los Gatos. Some Peninsula and East Bay towns are sometimes recognized as being in the South Bay. Generally, the term South Bay refers to northern Santa Clara County, but the northwest portion of the county (Palo Alto, Mountain View, Los Altos and Los Altos Hills) is considered part of the Peninsula (even though these cities are in Santa Clara County).
San Jose is home to many sports teams both amateur and professional, such as the San Jose Sharks of the NHL, and the San Jose Earthquakes of MLS. The San Francisco 49ers moved to a new stadium in Santa Clara in 2014.
The South Bay has a large transportation infrastructure that includes many freeways, VTA bus service and light rail, Amtrak, and commuter rail such as Caltrain. The San Jose International Airport serves air traffic in the South Bay and is conveniently located just north of downtown. The height of buildings in Downtown is limited (due to FAA regulations and city ordinance) because it is situated directly under the flight path. The South Bay is poised to have a more efficient transportation network with the extension of the BART system to San Jose, which would allow elevated/subway travel into San Francisco. San Jose will also be a major stop on the proposed California High-Speed Rail system.
Silicon Valley is located within the southern reaches of the Bay Area. The leading high technology region in the world, Silicon Valley covers San Jose and several cities of South Bay. The Valley is home to many of the industry leaders in technology such as Google, Yahoo!, Facebook, eBay, Cisco, Apple, Oracle, Marvell, Intel, and Hewlett-Packard. Major corporations in San Jose, San Francisco, Oakland, and the surrounding cities help make the region second in the nation in concentration of Fortune 500 companies, after New York. The Bay Area is a leader in sustainable agriculture, organic farming, and sustainable energy and a leading producer of high quality food and innovation in the culinary arts. California Cuisine was developed primarily in the Bay Area, as was the organic farming movement. The area is renowned for its natural beauty. It is also known as being one of the most expensive regions to live in the country.
Changes in house prices for the Bay Area are publicly tracked on a regular basis using the Case–Shiller index; the statistic is published by Standard & Poor's and is also a component of S&P's 10-city composite index of the value of the U.S. residential real estate market.
The Bay Area led the United States in sustainable energy and "clean tech" development in 2012, with San Francisco and San Jose having significantly higher ratings than any other US cities, according to Clean Edge.
|Note: 6 County Population Totals|
According to the 2010 United States Census, the population was 5.45 million in the six-county Bay Area, with 49.6% male and 50.4% female. In 2010 the racial makeup of the six-county Bay Area was 42.5% White including white Hispanic, 7.7% non-Hispanic African American, 0.7% Native American, 33.3% Asian (8.9% Chinese, 6.1% Filipino, 4.3% Indian, 3.5% Vietnamese, 2.0% Korean, 1.2% Pakistani, 1.2% Cambodian, 1.2% Laotian, 0.9% Japanese, 0.2% Thai, 0.2% Burmese), 0.6% Pacific Islander (0.1% Tongan, 0.1% Samoan, 0.1% Fijian, >0.1% Guamanian, >0.1% Native Hawaiian), 10.8% from other races, and 5.4% from two or more races. The population was 33.5% Hispanic or Latino of any race (27.9% Mexican, 2.3% Salvadoran, 1.6% Guatemalan, 1.6% Puerto Rican, 1.5% Nicaraguan, 1.3% Peruvian, 1.2% Cuban).
The Bay Area cities of San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, San Leandro, Fremont, Milpitas, Cupertino, Hayward, Daly City, South San Francisco, Millbrae, and Richmond are among the most ethnically diverse cities in the United States.
The Chinese population of the Bay Area is concentrated in San Francisco, where 30% of the Bay Area's Chinese American population resides, as well as in Oakland and in San Jose, which is also home to a significant Indian American and Vietnamese American community. The San Francisco Bay Area is home to over 282,950 Filipino Americans, one of the largest communities of Filipino people outside of the Philippines with the largest proportion of Filipino Americans concentrating themselves within Daly City. There are more than one hundred thousand people of Vietnamese ancestry residing within San Jose city limits, the largest population of any city in the world outside of Vietnam, as well as Milpitas. There is a sizable community of Korean Americans in Santa Clara County, and there is a large strip of Korean restaurants and businesses located in Santa Clara. East Bay cities such as Richmond and Oakland, and the South Bay city of Milpitas and San Jose, have plentiful populations of Laotian and Cambodians in certain neighborhoods.
Pacific Islanders such as Samoans and Tongans have the largest presence in East Palo Alto, San Mateo, San Bruno, Redwood City and the Bayview-Hunters Point and Visitacion Valley neighborhoods of San Francisco.
The Latino population is widely spread out through the Bay Area, but have largest populations in San Jose, in The Peninsula the cities of Redwood City, East Palo Alto, South San Francisco, San Bruno, as well the cities of San Mateo, Daly City, and Menlo Park. East Bay cities namely Oakland, Richmond, Hayward and Fremont, and in South Bay cities such as Milpitas, Cupertino, and San Jose. San Francisco's Mission District is home to a thriving Mexican American community, as well as many residents of Salvadoran and Guatemalan descent.
The African American population is significant throughout the Bay Area.
San Francisco's North Beach district is considered the Little Italy of the city, and was once home to a significant Italian American community. San Francisco and Marin County both have substantial Jewish communities.
In 2007 the population density was 857 people per square mile. There were 1,499,702 housing units with an average family size of 3.3. Of the 1,499,702 households, approximately one-third were renter occupied housing units, while two-thirds were owner occupied housing units. 12.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 11.6% of households had someone 65 years of age or older, and 27.4% of households were non-families.
Forty-seven Bay Area residents made the Forbes magazine's 400 richest Americans list, published in 2007. Thirteen lived in San Francisco proper, placing it seventh among cities in the world. Among the forty-seven were several well-known names such as Steve Jobs, George Lucas, and Charles Schwab. The wealthiest resident was Larry Ellison of Oracle, worth $25 billion.
A study by Capgemini indicates that in 2009, 4.5% of all households within the San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose metropolitan area held $1 million in investable assets, placing the region No. 1 in the United States (Metro New York City placed second at 4.3%).
As of 2007, there were approximately 80 public companies with annual revenues of over $1 billion a year, and 5–10 more private companies. Nearly 2/3 of these are in the Silicon Valley section of the Bay Area. According to the May 2010 Fortune Magazine analysis of the US "Fortune 500" companies, the San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose metropolitan region ranks second (after metro New York City and before Chicago) with 30 companies (May 2011, Fortune Magazine).
The San Francisco Bay Area is widely regarded as one of the most liberal areas in the country. According to the Cook Partisan Voting Index (CPVI), congressional districts the Bay Area tends to favor Democratic candidates by roughly 40 to 50 percentage points, considerably above the mean for California and the nation overall. All congressional districts in the region voted for Democrat Barack Obama over Republican John McCain in the 2008 Presidential Election. Over the last four and a half decades the 6-county Bay Area voted for Republican candidates only twice, once in 1972 for Richard Nixon and again in 1980 for Ronald Reagan, both Californians.
|Population (2010)||2012 election results||Median household income (2011)||Per capita income (2011)||Voter Registration (2013)|
|Western Alameda||1,510,271||78.9%–18.2% Obama||$67,558||$33,888||461,007||158,958||114,802|
|Western Contra Costa||1,049,025||66.2%–31.2% Obama||$74,353||$36,274||263,258||113,358||131,608|
|Eastern Marin||252,409||74.3%–23.0% Obama||$77,168||$49,439||83,853||35,251||28,116|
|San Francisco||805,235||83.5%–13.0% Obama||$69,894||$44,905||276,855||154,691||42,922|
|Eastern San Mateo||718,451||72.1%–25.5% Obama||$81,657||$44,331||185,134||92,158||69,925|
|Northern Santa Clara||1,781,642||70.1%–27.2% Obama||$84,895||$39,365||372,979||237,357||177,268|
|2012||72.9% 2,105,625||24.1% 696,656|
|2008||73.8% 2,172,411||24.4% 717,989|
|2004||69.2% 1,926,726||29.3% 815,225|
|2000||64.1% 1,607,695||30.0% 751,832|
|1996||60.5% 1,417,511||28.3% 662,263|
|1992||56.2% 1,476,971||25.0% 658,202|
|1988||57.8% 1,338,533||40.8% 945,802|
|1984||50.8% 1,157,855||47.9% 1,090,115|
|1980||40.7% 827,309||44.4% 904,100|
|1976||49.9% 950,055||45.8% 872,920|
|1972||48.2% 990,560||49.1 1,007,615|
|1968||50.8% 890,650||41.3% 725,304|
|1964||65.7% 1,116,215||34.1% 579,528|
|1960||52.0% 820,860||47.6% 751,719|
|District||Location||Representative||Cook PVI||2012 election results||Median household income (2011)|
|2nd||Eastern Marin County||Jared Huffman||D+20||69.0%–27.0% Obama||$56,576|
|11th||Western Contra Costa County||Mark DeSaulnier||D+17||67.5%–29.9% Obama||$69,586|
|12th||Most of San Francisco||Nancy Pelosi||D+34||84.0%–12.5% Obama||$69,046|
|13th||Berkeley, Oakland, and San Leandro||Barbara Lee||D+37||87.5%–9.0% Obama||$56,906|
|14th||Eastern San Mateo County||Jackie Speier||D+23||74.2%–23.6% Obama||$79,287|
|15th||Hayward and Union City||Eric Swalwell||D+16||68.0%–29.8% Obama||$82,179|
|17th||Fremont and northern Silicon Valley||Mike Honda||D+20||71.9%–25.5% Obama||$92,030|
|18th||Menlo Park and western Silicon Valley||Anna Eshoo||D+18||68.2%–28.9% Obama||$97,001|
|19th||San Jose||Zoe Lofgren||D+19||71.2%–26.5% Obama||$71,479|
During the Base Realignment and Closures (BRACs) of the 1990s, almost all the military installations in the region were closed. The only remaining major active duty military installations are Travis Air Force Base and Coast Guard Island.
High and Low Average Temperatures in Various Cities in the San Francisco Bay Area expressed in Fahrenheit and (Celsius) degrees
Despite its urban and industrial character, San Francisco and San Pablo Bays remain perhaps California's most important ecological habitats. California's Dungeness crab, Pacific halibut, and Pacific salmon fisheries rely on the bay as a nursery. The few remaining salt marshes now represent most of California's remaining salt marsh, supporting a number of endangered species and providing key ecosystem services such as filtering pollutants and sediments from the rivers. Most famously, the bay is a key link in the Pacific Flyway. Millions of waterfowl annually use the bay shallows as a refuge. Two endangered species of birds are found here: the California least tern and the California clapper rail. Exposed bay muds provide important feeding areas for shorebirds, but underlying layers of bay mud pose geological hazards for structures near many parts of the bay perimeter. San Francisco Bay provided the nation's first wildlife refuge, Oakland's artificial Lake Merritt (constructed in the 1860s) and America's first urban National Wildlife Refuge, the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge (SFBNWR) (1972). The Bay is also invaded by non-native species.
Steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) populations in California have dramatically declined due to human and natural causes. The Central California Coast distinct population segment (DPS) was listed as threatened under the Federal Endangered Species Act on August 18, 1997; threatened status was reaffirmed on January 5, 2006. This DPS includes all naturally spawned anadromous steelhead populations below natural and manmade impassable barriers in California streams from the drainages of San Francisco and San Pablo Bays. The U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service has a detailed description of threats.
The Central California Coast Coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) Evolutionary Significant Unit (ESU) population is the most endangered of the many troubled salmon populations on the West Coast. It was listed as threatened on October 31, 1996 and later changed to endangered status on June 28, 2005. The ESU includes all naturally spawned populations of coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) from Punta Gorda in northern California south to and including the San Lorenzo River in central California, as well as populations in tributaries to San Francisco Bay. The National Park Service has made major recent investments in restoring the tidal wetlands at the mouths of Redwood Creek including levee removal and placement of large woody debris in the creeks, which provide shelter to salmonids during heavy stream flows and flooding.  This year's coho count dropped to 64 from an average of 600 in previous years.
Western Burrowing Owls (Athene cunicularia) were listed as a Species of Special Concern (a pre-listing category under the Endangered Species Act) by the California Department of Fish and Game in 1979. California's population declined 60% from the 1980s to the early '90s, and continues to decline at roughly 8% per year. In 1994, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service nominated the Western Burrowing Owl as a Federal Category 2 candidate for listing as endangered or threatened, but loss of habitat continues due to development of the flat, grassy lands used by the owl. A 1992–93 survey reported no breeding burrowing owls in Marin and San Francisco counties, and only a few in San Mateo. The Santa Clara County population is declining and restricted to a few breeding locations, leaving only Alameda and Contra Costa counties as the remnant breeding range. In addition, in 2008, Mountain View, California evicted a pair of burrowing owls so that it could sell a parcel of land to Google to build a hotel at Shoreline Boulevard and Charleston Road. Eviction of the owls is controversial because the birds regularly reuse burrows for years, and there is no requirement that suitable new habitat be found for the owls.
Much of the SFBNWR consists of salt evaporation ponds acquired from the Leslie Salt Company and its successor, Cargill Corporation through a series of land sales and donations. Many of these salt ponds remain in operation and produce salt used throughout the Western United States in food, agriculture, industry and medicine. The refuge pond support dense populations of brine shrimp, and therefore serving as feeding areas for waterfowl. In 2003, the US Fish & Wildlife Service and California Department of Fish & Game entered one of the largest private land purchases in American history, with the state and federal governments paying $100 million for 15,100 acres (65 km²) of salt ponds (which government appraisers valued at $243 million prior to the acquisition) in the south bay and 1,400 acres near the Napa River. SFBNWR and state biologists hope to restore some of the recently purchased ponds as tidal wetlands.
Aquatic mammals recently re-colonizing the Bay Area include the North American River Otter (Lontra canadensis) which was first reported in Redwood Creek at Muir Beach in 1996, and recently in Corte Madera Creek, and in the south Bay on Coyote Creek, as well as in 2010 in San Francisco Bay itself at the Richmond Marina. Sea otter (Enhydra lutris) were hunted to extinction in San Francisco Bay by about 1817. Historical records reveal that the Russian-American Company snuck Aleuts into San Francisco Bay multiple times, despite the Spanish capturing or shooting them while hunting sea otters in the estuaries of San Jose, San Mateo, San Bruno and around Angel Island.
Humphrey the Whale, a humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae), entered San Francisco Bay twice on errant migrations, and was successfully rescued and redirected each time in the late 1980s and early 1990s. This occurred again with Dawn and Delta a mother and calf in 2007.
The seasonal range of water temperature in the Bay is from about 8 °C (46 °F) to about 23 °C (73 °F).
Industrial, mining, and other uses of mercury have resulted in a widespread distribution of that poisonous metal in the bay, with uptake in the bay's phytoplankton and contamination of its sportfish. In November 2007, a ship named Cosco Busan collided with the San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge and spilled over 58,000 gallons of bunker fuel, creating the largest oil spill in the region since 1996.
In March, 2012 a Bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) nest was reported on the northwest arm of Lower Crystal Springs Reservoir and upper San Mateo Creek. The birds were once common in the Bay Area. While visiting Santa Clara County in 1855, physician naturalist James G. Cooper described "a nest of this bird large enough to fill a wagon, built in a large sycamore tree, standing alone in the prairie. Habitat destruction and thinning of eggs from (now banned) DDT poisoning reduced the California state population to 35 nesting pairs at their lowest point. In the 1980s re-introductions began with the Santa Cruz Predatory Bird Research Group and the San Francisco Zoo began importing birds and eggs from Vancouver Island and northeastern California in the late 1980s.
Geology and landforms
The area is well known worldwide for the complexity of its landforms, the region being composed of at least six terranes (continental, seabed, or island arc fragments with distinct characteristics) pushed together over many millions of years by the forces of plate tectonics. Nine out of eleven distinct assemblages have been identified in a single county (Alameda). Diverse assemblages adjoin in complex arrangements due to offsets along the many faults (both active and stable) in the area. As a consequence, many types of rock and soil are found in the region. Formations include the sedimentary rocks of sandstone, limestone, and shale in uplifted seabeds, metamorphic serpentine rock, coal deposits, and igneous forms such as basalt flows, rhyolite outcroppings, granite associated with the Salinian Block west of the San Andreas Fault, and ash deposits of extinct yet relatively recently active (10 million years) volcanos. Pleistocene-era fossils of mammals are abundantly present in some locations.
The region has considerable vertical relief in its landscapes that are not in the alluvial plains leading to the bay or in inland valleys. In combination with the extensive water regions this has forced the fragmented development of urban and suburban regions and has led to extensive building on poor soils in the limited flatland areas and considerable expense in connecting the various subregions with roads, tunnels, and bridges.
Several mountains are associated with some of the many ridge and hill structures created by compressive forces between the Pacific Plate and the North American plate. These provide spectacular views (in appropriate weather) of large portions of the Bay Area and include Marin County's Mount Tamalpais at 2,571 feet (784 m). Alameda County's Mission Peak at 2,517 to 2,604 feet (767 to 776 m), and Santa Clara County's Mount Hamilton at 4,213 ft (1,284 m), the latter with significant astronomical studies performed at its crowning Lick Observatory. Though Tamalpais and Mission Peak are quite lower than the others, Tamalpais has no other peaks and few hills nearby. Mission Peak is coast facing and is an interior mountain and therefore has excellent views of both sides.
The three major ridge structures (part of the Pacific Coast Range) which are all roughly parallel to the major faultlines:
- The Santa Cruz Mountains along the San Francisco Peninsula and the Marin Hills in Marin County (San Andreas Fault)
- The Berkeley Hills, San Leandro Hills and their southern ridgeline extension through Mission Peak (Hayward Fault)
- The Diablo Range, which includes Mount Hamilton (Calaveras Fault)
- Guadalupe River
- Coyote Creek
- San Pablo Creek
- Wildcat Creek
- Oakland Estuary
- San Lorenzo River
- San Lorenzo Creek
- Gulf of the Farallones
- Alameda Creek
The region is also traversed by six major slip-strike fault systems with hundreds of related faults, many of which are "sister faults" of the infamous San Andreas Fault, all of which are stressed by the relative motion between the Pacific Plate and the North American Plate or by compressive stresses between these plates. The fault systems include the Hayward Fault Zone and Calaveras Fault. Significant blind thrust faults (faults with near vertical motion and no surface ruptures) are associated with portions of the Santa Cruz Mountains.
- Numerous major active faults in the region.
- A combined thirty-year probability of a major earthquake in excess of seventy percent.
- Poorly responding native soil conditions in many places near the bay and in inland valleys, soils which amplify shaking as shown in the map to the right.
- Large areas of filled marshlands and bay mud that are significantly urbanized, with most subject to liquefaction, becoming unable to support structures.
- A large inventory of older buildings, many of which are expected to perform poorly in a major earthquake.
- Extensive building in areas subject to landslide, mudslide, and in some locations directly over active fault surface rubble zones.
- Most lowrise construction is not fireproof and water systems are likely to be extensively damaged and so large areas are subject to destruction by fire after a large earthquake.
- The coastal location makes the region vulnerable to Pacific Ocean tsunamis.
Some of these hazards are being addressed by seismic retrofitting, education in household seismic safety, and even complete replacement of major structures such as the eastern span of the San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge.
For an article concerning a typical fault in the region and its associated hazards see Hayward Fault Zone. For projected ground movement after selecting a locality and a generating fault see this ABAG web page
Some flooding occurs on local drainages under sustained wet conditions when the ground becomes saturated, more frequently in the North Bay area, which tends to receive substantially more rainfall than the South Bay. Many of the local creeks have been channelized, although modern practice, and some restoration work includes returning the creeks to a natural state with dry stormwater bypasses constructed to handle flooding. While quite expensive, the restoration of a natural environment is of high priority in the intensively urbanized areas of the region.
Windstorms and wildfires
Typically between late November and early March, a very strong Pacific storm can bring both substantial rainfall (saturating and weakening soil) and strong wind gusts that can cause trees to fall on power lines. Owing to the wide area involved (sometimes hundreds of miles of coast), electrical service can be interrupted for up to several days in some more remote localities, but service is usually restored quickly in urban areas. These storms occasionally bring lightning & thunder. More rarely they even spawn tornadoes.
In the spring and fall, strong offshore winds periodically develop. These winds are an especially dangerous fire hazard in the fall when vegetation is at its driest, as exemplified historically by the 1923 Berkeley Fire and the 1991 Oakland Firestorm.
Mudslides and landslides
Some geologically unstable areas have been extensively urbanized, and can become mobile due to changes in drainage patterns and grading created for development. These are usually confined to small areas, but there have been larger problems in the Santa Cruz Mountains.
The Bay Area is served by several transportation systems, including three international airports (SFO, OAK, SJC), five major overlapping bus transit agencies (AC Transit, Muni, SamTrans, VTA, Golden Gate Transit), and additional systems serving smaller areas. There are four rapid transit and regional rail systems including BART and Caltrain and two light rail systems (San Francisco Muni Metro and VTA Light-rail). There are also several regional rail lines provided by Amtrak, notably the Capitol Corridor. In addition to rail lines, there are multiple public and private ferry services (notably Golden Gate Ferry and Blue and Gold Fleet), which are being expanded by the San Francisco Bay Water Transit Authority. The regional ferry hub is San Francisco Ferry Building. AC Transit and some other agencies provide an extensive network of express "transbay" commuter buses from the suburbs to the San Francisco Transbay Terminal.
The freeway and highway system is very extensive; however, many freeways are congested particularly during rush hour, especially the two immediately adjacent trans-bay bridges (Golden Gate and Bay Bridge). Also, some city streets in San Francisco are the terminus where gaps occur in the system, partly the result of the Freeway Revolt (SF Board of Supervisors decisions made in 1959, 1964 and 1966), which prevented a freeway-only thorough fair through San Francisco between the San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge western terminus of (Interstate 80) with the southern terminus of the Golden Gate Bridge, and U.S. 101. Also, damages to the system in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake to several of the freeway structures that sparked the revolt were removed instead of being reinforced or rebuilt.
The region is home to many colleges and seminaries, most notably the University of California, Berkeley, the University of California, San Francisco and Stanford University. In addition, the Bay Area is home to two of the twenty-eight Jesuit universities in the U.S.: Santa Clara University (founded in 1851), and University of San Francisco (1855); these are also two of the three oldest California colleges. San Jose State University is the founding campus of the California State University (CSU) system, and is the oldest public institution of higher education on the West Coast of the United States. The San Francisco Bay Area population is near the top in the Nation for overall education level with approximately 41 percent of residents aged 25 years and over having a bachelor's degree or higher. The San Francisco and San Jose Primary Metropolitan Statistical Areas rank third and fourth in college graduates, ahead of Boston and behind only Boulder–Longmont, CO PMSA and Stamford–Norwalk, CT PMSA. The Oakland PMSA ranks eleventh.
The Bay Area is host to numerous cultural events, including annual festivals and fairs. Many prominent writers make their homes there, and have developed a local literary culture, with a supportive network of booksellers, focused on the Northern California Independent Booksellers Association.
- California Golden Bears
- San Francisco Dons
- San Jose State Spartans
- Santa Clara Broncos
- Stanford Cardinal
San Francisco proper was headquarters for the hippie counterculture of the 1960s and the music scene that became associated with it. One of the area's most notable acts was The Grateful Dead, formed in 1965, who played regularly at the legendary venue The Fillmore Auditorium. Other local artists in that movement included Jefferson Airplane and Janis Joplin; all three would be closely associated with the 1967 Summer of Love. Jimi Hendrix, although born in Seattle and later a resident of London, England, had strong connections to the movement and the metropolitan Bay area, as he lived in Berkeley for a brief time as a child and played many local venues in that decade. Creedence Clearwater Revival (of El Cerrito) would gain traction as an associated band of the anti-Vietnam war movement. Carlos Santana from San Francisco became famous in the late 1960s and early 1970s with his Santana band which pioneered a blend of rock, salsa, and jazz fusion. Journey formed in 1973 in San Francisco, by former members of Santana. The Doobie Brothers, from San Jose, had a successful career with several albums earning RIAA gold certification. The early 1970s sounds of the Tower of Power from Oakland, Sly and the Family Stone and Pablo Cruise all came from the Bay Area.
During the 1980s and early 1990s, the Bay Area was home to one of the largest and most influential thrash metal scenes in the world, containing acts like Metallica (although Metallica had initially formed in Los Angeles, it was not until their relocation to El Cerrito in 1983 that Cliff Burton and Kirk Hammett joined as bassist and lead guitarist), Exodus, Laaz Rockit, Death Angel, Vio-lence, Forbidden, and Testament.
Sludge band Neurosis and groove metal/post-thrash bands Machine Head and Skinlab formed in Oakland. In the alternative metal and nu-metal scenes worldwide, Faith No More (from San Francisco) and Primus (from El Sobrante, and featuring former Possessed guitarist Larry LaLonde) have been considered progenitors to both subgenres.
Many bands of the 1990s post-grunge era started and still reside in the Bay Area, including Third Eye Blind (of San Francisco), Counting Crows (of Berkeley) and Smash Mouth (of San Jose), all of whom have received extensive radio play across the world and released multi-platinum records during their career.
The Bay Area saw a large punk movement from the 70s to the present. Bands such as the Dead Kennedys, The Avengers, Flipper, D.R.I., M.D.C. and Operation Ivy were popular in the '70s and '80s, with later bands such as Rancid, Green Day and AFI all coming out of Berkeley. The Dwarves are residents of San Francisco, and are considered to be pioneers of the punk and hardcore movement.
Rap and hip hop
The Bay Area is the home of the hyphy movement, which started in the early to mid-'90s. The genre which was pioneered by rappers Andre "Mac Dre" Hicks, Too Short, Keak Da Sneak, Mistah Fab, E-40, and Yukmouth, is now becoming more popular throughout the world. Hyphy themes such as ghost riding, thizzin' and going dumb are now common in other parts of the country. The Bay Area was also home to rap legend Tupac Shakur who lived in Marin City, about 5 miles (8.0 km) north of San Francisco. The rap group Digital Underground originally hailed from Oakland. MC Hammer, and the Hieroglyphics hip hop crew, which is composed of local artists including the Souls of Mischief and Del tha Funkee Homosapien. Cindy Herron of En'Vogue attended Balboa High School in the late 1970s.
According to Nielsen Media Research, the Bay Area ranks (as of the 2005–2006 television season) as the nation's sixth-largest "Designated Market Area (DMA)", with 2,355,740 "TV Homes", representing 2.137% of the United States Total.
The major newspapers are the San Francisco Chronicle, the Oakland Tribune, and the San Jose Mercury News. Local television channels include KTVU 2 (FOX), KRON-TV 4 (myNetworkTV), KPIX 5 (CBS), KGO-TV 7 (ABC), KQED-TV 9 (PBS), KNTV 11 (NBC), KBCW 44/45 (CW), KQEH 54 (PBS), and KKPX 65 (Ion). Radio stations serving the area include: KQED-FM, KMVQ, KOSF, and KGO-AM.
Regional counties, cities, and suburbs
- Western Alameda County (637 sq. mi., excluding water)
- Western Contra Costa County (620 sq. mi., excluding water)
- Eastern Marin County (420 sq. mi., excluding water)
- San Francisco County (47 sq. mi., excluding water)
- Eastern San Mateo County (349 sq. mi., excluding water)
- Northern Santa Clara County (1,191 sq. mi., excluding water)
Cities and towns
- Timeline of the San Francisco Bay Area
- Ecology of the San Francisco Estuary
- Coastal California
- Islands of San Francisco Bay
- United States metropolitan area
- Lists of San Francisco Bay Area topics
- "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Counties: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". 2014 Population Estimates. United States Census Bureau, Population Division. March 2015. Retrieved April 11, 2015.
- "US Census Bureau, household and per capita income during the 2000 Census in metro areas". Retrieved June 1, 2007.
- "SF Chronicle, most democratic voting bloc in the state, 2003". The San Francisco Chronicle. October 8, 2003. Retrieved June 12, 2007.
- Fagan, Kevin (September 22, 2011). "Bay Area income beats state, U.S., census shows". SFGate. Retrieved 10 March 2014.
- Sulek, Julia Prodis. "California report: Bay Area population gains are strongest in state". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved 10 March 2014.
- Crawford, Sabrina (2006-01-31). Newcomer's Handbook for Moving to And Living in the San Francisco Bay Area: Including San Jose, Oakland, Berkeley, And Palo Alto. First Books. pp. 130–. ISBN 978-0-912301-63-1. Retrieved 9 February 2013.
- Inc., Active Interest Media, (June 1987). Old-House Journal. Active Interest Media, Inc. pp. 18–. Retrieved 9 February 2013.
- Cass, Maxine (2009-07-01). Northern California Off the Beaten Path: A Guide to Unique Places. Globe Pequot. pp. 55–. ISBN 978-0-7627-5597-4. Retrieved 9 February 2013.
- "Office of the Mayor : Mayor Lee Announces U.S. Census Bureau Results for San Francisco Population". Sfmayor.org. Retrieved November 4, 2011.
- "Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority". Vta.org. Retrieved November 4, 2011.
- California High-Speed Trains: Visual Tour on YouTube
- "Fortune 500 2010: Annual ranking of America's largest corporations from Fortune Magazine". CNN. Retrieved August 11, 2010.
- "SF Chronicle, most democratic voting bloc in the state, 2003". The San Francisco Chronicle. October 8, 2003. Retrieved June 12, 2007.
- "North American Container Traffic, 2009 Port Ranking" (PDF). Retrieved August 11, 2010.
- Silvio Marcacci (2013-06-05). "California and Cleantech". The Energy Collective. Retrieved 2013-07-08.
- "Bay Area Census – Bay Area Data". Bayareacensus.ca.gov. Retrieved November 4, 2011.
- "Census 2010: Table 3A – Total Population by Race (Hispanic exclusive) and Hispanic or Latino: 2010" (EXCEL). California Department of Finance. Retrieved June 11, 2010.
- Willet, Megan (July 8, 2013). "The Most Diverse Cities in United States". Business Insider. Retrieved September 11, 2014.
- "Training and Education /PET". Filipino-American Law Enforcement Officers Association. Retrieved April 28, 2012.
- Estrella, Cicero A. (February 2004). "S.F.'s 'Little Saigon' / Stretch of Larkin Street named for Vietnamese Americans". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved March 6, 2010.
- "Judaism (estimated) Metro Areas (2000)". The Association of Religion Data Archives. Retrieved December 1, 2009.
- "Pleasanton tops county in median household income". Inside Bay Area. Archived from the original on June 6, 2011. Retrieved October 15, 2006.
- DeBare, Ilana (March 6, 2008). "47 Bay Area billionaires on Forbes list". The San Francisco Chronicle.
- "Capgemini Announces 2010 U.S. Metro Wealth Index". Business Wire. August 3, 2010. Retrieved November 4, 2011.
- "Fortune". Fortune. Retrieved May 24, 2011.
- "2010 Census Summary File 1". 2010 United States Census. United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 1, 2013.
- "2012 California Presidential Election Results by County" (PDF). Retrieved September 1, 2013.
- "2011 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates". 2011 American Community Survey. United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 1, 2013.
- "Report of Registration" (PDF). California Secretary of State. February 10, 2013. Retrieved January 20, 2014.
- "Partisan Voting Index Districts of the 113th Congress" (PDF). Cook Political Report. Retrieved September 1, 2013.
- "My Congressional District". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 1, 2013.
- Kevin Starr (February 27, 2005). "Keep California the 'Gibraltar of the Pacific'". San Diego Union Tribune. Retrieved May 16, 2011.
- Jane Gross (March 14, 1993). "Spared 2 Base Closings, Californians Lobby On". New York Times. Retrieved May 16, 2011.
- "Base-closing plan spares Beale, Travis". Sacramento Business Journal. May 13, 2005. Retrieved May 16, 2011.
- Central California Coast Steelhead DPS (Report). NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service Northwest Regional Office. Retrieved Feb 15, 2010.
- "Map showing endangered species status of west coast steelhead". Alameda Creek Alliance. Retrieved Feb 14, 2010.
- Greg Miller (January 2010). "In Central California, Coho Salmon Are on the Brink". Science 327 (5965): 512–3. doi:10.1126/science.327.5965.512. PMID 20110475. Retrieved Feb 15, 2010.
- Central California Coast Coho ESU (Report). NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service Northwest Regional Office. Retrieved Feb 15, 2010.
- Donna Whitmarsh (Jan 2010). "California Coho Salmon In Dire Straits". Bay Nature.
- Rendon, JIm (Nov–Dec 1999). "Owl Be Damned:Developers plow into the homes of the burrowing owl". Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.
- Joe Eaton (Jan 14, 2010). "Wild Neighbors: Berkeley Owls Face Evicition". Berkeley Daily Planet. Retrieved Jan 14, 2010.
- DeBolt, Daniel (January 10, 2008). "Burrowing Owls vs. Google:Pair of birds found on Google's hotel site will cost city $150,000". Mountain View Voice.
- "Get Outside!". San Francisco Chronicle. April 1966. Retrieved March 6, 2011.[dead link]
- "Blue Oak Ranch Reserve". University of California. Retrieved March 6, 2011.
- Adele Ogden (1975). The California sea otter trade, 1784–1848. Berkeley, California: University of California Press. p. 54. ISBN 978-0-520-02806-7. Retrieved March 6, 2011.
- Conaway CH, Black FJ, Grieb TM, Roy S, Flegal AR (2008). "Mercury in the San Francisco Estuary". Rev Environ Contam Toxicol. Reviews of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology 194: 29–54. doi:10.1007/978-0-387-74816-0_2. ISBN 978-0-387-74815-3. PMID 18069645.
- Eric Bailey (November 9, 2007). "Oil oozes in S.F. Bay after ship hits bridge". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved Feb 15, 2010.
- Lisa M. Krieger (2012-03-23). "Eagles reappear in San Mateo County after nearly century absence". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved 2012-03-25.
- Alameda County geologic map USGS publication
- Preliminary geologic map emphasizing bedrock formations in Alameda County, California: A digital database USGS Publication (Geologic explanation of map noted above)
- Expiration: 11.09.11. "Maps and information about Bay Area threats including earthquakes, landslides, and tsunamis.". Quake.abag.ca.gov. Retrieved November 4, 2011.
- USGS site with Google Earth KMZ files related to geology and seismic activity
- Describes Bay Area damage from 1960 tsunami. Archived 5 May 2011 at WebCite
- "University Archives – SJSU Special Collections & Archives – SJSU Subject Guides (LibGuides) at San Jose State University Library". Libguides.sjsu.edu. September 22, 2011. Retrieved November 4, 2011.
- "American Community Survey: 2006–2008 American Community Survey 3-Year Estimates: S1401. School Enrollment: San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose MSA". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved October 21, 2010.
- 2002 American Community Survey, SELECTED POPULATION CHARACTERISTICIS FOR LARGE METROPOLITAN AREAS. Retrieved November 5, 2007.[dead link]
- Smith, Chris (July 2011). "Rehab of a strung-out musical scene". San Francisco Magazine. Retrieved 7 August 2011.; Smith, Chris (6 July 2011). "Our avant-garde metal scene". ca-smith.net. Retrieved 7 August 2011.
- Essi Berelian (2005), The Rough Guide to Heavy Metal, p. 259, "Faith No More must be counted among the pioneers [of nu metal]"
- Joel McIver (2002), NU-METAL- The Next Generation Of Rock & Punk
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