After spending an afternoon in San Francisco, we drove north across the Golden Gate Bridge and spent an hour at the amazing Bay Model Vistor Center - a working model of the entire bay water system and much of the Sacramento River Delta. The model was built by the Army Corps of Engineers in 1956-57 to demonstrate what would happen if the South Bay were dammed and infilled (as had been proposed). Using simulated tidal action the Corps were able to prove that the results would be disastrous - the plan was, thankfully, shelved.
In addition to the model, there are displays on the history of Bay Area watercraft, the Marin Shipyard, World War II generally, and the modern workings of the bay. Lots of models and artifacts and maps and other interesting stuff!
A model of the Marin Shipyard as it looked during World War II; the square building just left of center is where the Bay Model is housed today.
The view from outside the Model, looking towards Tiburon