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  • San Francisco Bay is a shallow estuary that drains water from approximately forty percent of California. Water from the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers, and from the Sierra Nevada mountains passes through the Bay to the Pacific Ocean. Specifically, both rivers flow into Suisun Bay, which flows through the Carquinez Strait to meet with the Napa River at the entrance to San Pablo Bay, which connects at its south end to San Francisco Bay. However, the entire group of interconnected bays is often called the San Francisco Bay. San Francisco Bay is in the U.S. state of California, surrounded by a contiguous region known as the San Francisco Bay Area, dominated by the large cities San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose. The waterway entrance to San Francisco Bay from the Pacific Ocean is called the Golden Gate. Across the strait spans the Golden Gate Bridge. The bay was designated a Ramsar Wetland of International Importance on February 2, 2013.

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