Positioned in southern Sonoma County, California, and a part of northeastern Marin, the Petaluma River Watershed drains 146 square miles (380 km2).[three] The watershed is around 19 miles (31 km) lengthy and 13 miles (21 km) extensive with the City of Petaluma in the vicinity of its centre. At two,295 ft (seven-hundred m), Sonoma Mountain is the best level in the watershed, and its western slopes drain to the Petaluma River by way of tributaries such as Lichau Creek, Lynch Creek, Washington Creek, and Adobe Creek. The lower twelve miles (19 km) of the Petaluma River flow via the Petaluma Marsh, the biggest remaining salt marsh in San Pablo Bay. The marsh covers 5,000 acres (20 km2) and is surrounded by somewhere around 7,000 acres (28 km2) of reclaimed wetlands.
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 In the marshes west of Lakeville, the river is joined by San Antonio Creek, at which level it will become the boundary in between Marin County and Sonoma County. The river flows under Condition Route 37 at Environmentally friendly Issue and enters northwest San Pablo Bay just north of Petaluma Issue.
The Petaluma River Floodplain, west of Lakeville
Whilst the river's source lies around 300 ft (one hundred m) previously mentioned sea level, it descends to 50 ft (15 m) in about .four mi (600 m). The river is absolutely tidal eleven mi (eighteen km) from its mouth, indicating its slight gradient through the marshes beneath Petaluma. The United States Army Corps of Engineers dredges this portion to continue to keep it navigable by gravel barges and enjoyment craft.