Merritt Slough

merritt slough

When Oakland was first settled, a large wetland extended inland from the tidal channels east of Alameda Island. Samuel Merritt took it upon himself to improve the marsh with a dam, and the resulting brackish water body was named Lake Merritt. Today the lake is closely regulated with a water gate beneath 7th Street, and this creek runs both ways depending on the tide. Not even the Oakland watershed map gives this stream a name, so I’ll call it Merritt Slough. Click the photo for a 800×700 version.

The bank on the right side is the south bank, or the left bank. It’s nearly in its natural state, whereas the other bank is part of an area of made land a couple hundred meters wide. I’m standing just off E. 10th Street, next to the Civic Auditorium.

2 Responses to “Merritt Slough”

  1. Andrew Says:

    Ah, thanks, Naomi. A channel seems like such a dry, prosaic thing. I think I’ll stick with slough. I referred to it as a “creek” aware of the word’s ancient meaning of a small coastal waterway. It isn’t a creek in the sense we mean today.

  2. Naomi from Oakland Says:

    There are some great old maps that show the original shore posted by the Oakland Library (Oakland History Room) at the California Digital Library website. Click “online items”

    In many City of Oakland documents this is called the Lake Merritt Channel:

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