Unlike San Francisco and the East Bay, Marin does not import its water supply from the Sierra. It gets some from the Russian River (augmented by diversion from the Eel River), but most of it falls as rain right here on Mount Tamalpais. Winter storms dump plenty of water in the complex of ridges of southern Marin, and most of it ends up in Lagunitas Creek, flowing north from Mount Tam towards Tomales Bay.
Because of the importance of this watershed and its series of dams and lakes, it has been protected since early in the 20th century, but always open to the public for recreation. It adjoins Mount Tamalpais State Park, Muir Woods, the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, and Point Reyes National Seashore to form a huge area of wildlands sewn together with trails.
Alpine Lake Dam in the Marin watershedThe Lagunitas Creek dam at Alpine Lake in the Marin watershed.
Marin Municipal Water District, CaliforniaDate photographed: November 7, 2011
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