Operated by the Bay Ecotarium in collaboration with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Alliance is dedicated to providing free, accessible waterfront education focused on the San Francisco Bay and the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta System. The showcase of the Alliance is the Bay Model Visitor Center, located in Sausalito, CA.
The Bay Model Visitor Center’s educational focus is the geography, topography, ecology, and natural history of the Bay. A spectacular, 1.5-acre hydraulic model of the Bay and the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta System is the highlight of the Center. As visitors walk through the three-dimensional model, they experience an extraordinary, at-a-glance view of the complete watershed. The dynamic nature of the model allows visitors to observe tidal action and visualize currents and eddies as they would actually occur in the Bay, rivers, tributaries, and Delta.
In addition to the hydraulic model of the Bay, the learning center features a variety of inspiring exhibits and programs to encourage guests to better understand San Francisco Bay and its watershed. For example, the 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 Pacific Ocean. An interactive 3-D, fiber-optic map graphically demonstrates the origins of California’s water, while touchable exhibits on watershed plants and animals invite self-discovery through guided and self-guided tours. The Bay Model is also used as a specialized classroom where teachers and students gain a better understanding of California’s water system and the importance of water. Teachers are invited to bring their classes for free tours and educational programs.