Bay Model Alliance

The Bay Model Alliance offers a comprehensive learning center about the Bay, on the Bay. Located on an eight acre site on Sausalito’s waterfront, the Bay Model is a working 1.5-acre hydraulic model of the San Francisco Bay and Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta System. Unknown to many, this model once saved San Francisco Bay from being filled and dammed to create more real estate.

This division provides a unique, free learning experience about the geography, topography, ecology, human impact, and natural history of the San Francisco Bay watershed-the largest estuary on the West Coast.

1.5-Acre Hydraulic Model of the Bay

Operated by in collaboration with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the highlight of our fully accessible waterfront education center is a working hydraulic model of the San Francisco Bay and Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta System.

As guests walk through this engaging three-dimensional model, they are treated to an unprecedented at-a-glance view of the complete watershed. The dynamic nature of the model allows guests to observe tidal action and visualize currents and eddies as they would actually occur in the Bay, rivers, tributaries, and Delta.

Northern California’s Geography, Flora and Fauna

In addition to the hydraulic model of the bay, our learning center features a variety of inspiring exhibits and programs to engage the public in better understanding San Francisco Bay and its watershed.

Our “From the Mountains to the Sea” exhibit features floor-to-ceiling interpretive murals depicting the San Francisco Watershed from the Cascade/Sierra Nevada Mountains to the Golden Gate and the Pacific Ocean. An interactive 3-D, fiber-optic map graphically demonstrates the origins of California’s water, while touchable exhibits on the plants, animals and fish in the watershed invite self-discovery.

Exhibits on “Marinship” and the”Lewis & Clark Expedition”, guided and self-guided tours, and a wide variety of Bay-related programs round out the guest experience.

Memorable Student Experience

The Bay Model serves as a unique classroom that provides teachers and students with a new understanding of the geography, flora and fauna of the San Francisco Bay and its watershed; California’s water system; and the importance of conservation. A wonderful tool for expanding teaching on science, geography and other subjects, teachers are invited to bring their classes for free tours and educational programs.

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