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“Unseen Marin County: The Waterways of Central Marin County"

 “Unseen Marin County: The Waterways of Central Marin County” is California author and photographer Marques Vickers’ visual examination of five water tributaries flowing through the cities of Corte Madera, Ross, Larkspur and San Anselmo. Over 85 color images portray the routings of the Corte Madera, Ross, Larkspur, Tamalpais and San Anselmo Creeks. The creeks that eminently flow throughout Marin County are important draining outlets originating from the elevated mountain ranges that frame the skeleton of the region. Each creek becomes an important tributary that ultimately empties into the San Francisco Bay.

The Coastal Miwok tribe inhabited the region for hundreds of years harvesting and gathering crops, hunting and fishing for salmon and steelhead trout. Their lands stretched from Marin to southern Sonoma county and Bodega Bay. European diseases with the Spanish establishment of Missions San Francisco de Asis and San Rafael decimated the native population. Following Mexican independence, the missions were closed and the lands divided into two prominent land grants. Over the subsequent two centuries, the region would evolve into upscale suburban enclaves with Mount Tamalpais looming prominently in the background.

Corte Madera Creek
Corte Madera Creek extends approximately 4.5 miles beginning at a conjuncture with Ross Creek in the town of Ross. The creek passes through Kentfield where Tamalpais Creek converges from the west. The creek continues straddling the cities of Larkspur and Corte Madera. The path widens and is surrounded by waterfront properties on both banks before passing under an Interstate Highway 101 overpass bridge. The creek empties into Richardson Bay.

Ross Creek
Ross Creek originates just south before Phoenix Lake, whose overflow spills into its waters. The creek flows through the town of Ross before emptying into a concrete aqueduct and the convergence of the Corte Madera and San Anselmo Creeks.

Larkspur Creek
Larkspur Creek flows 3.5 miles originating from the Baltimore Canyon Open Space Preserve before passing through the town of Larkspur and merging into the Corte Madera Creek in the city of Greenbrae.

Tamalpais Creek
Along an elevated hillside in Kentfield, the Tamalpais Creek winds eastward before emptying into the Corte Madera Creek.

San Anselmo Creek
The small and isolated Cascade Creek located in the eastern flank of the Pine Mountain Ridge culminates at Cascade Falls. This extremity begins the southern descent of the San Anselmo Creek. The creek forms the southern sector of the Cascade Canyon Open Space Preserve and continues into the town of San Anselmo. The Sleepy Hollow Creek drains its waters into the creek at the southeastern corner of Sir Francis Drake High School. The creek continues through downtown San Anselmo until finally converging with the Ross and Corte Madera Creeks in the town of Ross. Downtown San Anselmo has an extended history of flooding when the creek overflows its constricted banks.

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