Los Penasquitos Watershed
From SDCK Watershed Wiki
The Los Peñasquitos Hydrologic Unit (906) is comprised of the Los Penasquitos Creek watershed (906.10 - 906.20), several coastal tributaries (906.30), and the Mission Bay watershed (906.40 - 906.50). These watersheds drain a highly urbanized region located almost entirely west of Interstate 15 in coastal San Diego County. Collectively and individually, they support a variety of water supply, economic, recreational, and habitat-related beneficial uses. The major receiving waters, Los Peñasquitos Lagoon and Mission Bay, are both fragile systems that support diverse native fauna and flora. Both water bodies are especially sensitive to the effects of pollutants due to restricted or intermittent tidal flushing.
|Watershed monitoring sites by San Diego Coastkeeper|
|Formerly monitored sites by San Diego Coastkeeper|
|Beach water monitoring sites by County DEH|
|Beach water monitoring sites by wastewater agencies|
Coastkeeper Monitoring Sites in Los Penasquitos Watershed
San Diego Coastkeeper currently conducts monthly water quality monitoring at 7 sites in the Los Penasquitos watershed.
The Site codes and their locations are as follows
LPQ-020 : Soledad Creek, Sorrento valley Road at the I-5 overpass
LPQ-030 : Los Penasquitos Creek, Roselle St.
LPQ-040: Los Penasquitos Creek off Vista Sorrento parkway
RSC-010 : Rose Creek at Boyscout Bridge
RSC-020 : Rose Creek at Regents Rd
RSC-030 : Rose Creek at Genesee Ave
RSC-040 : Rose Creek near I-805
Previously Monitored Sites:
LPQ-010 or LPQ.1 : Los Penasquitos Lagoon Mouth
Beach Water Quality Data
Hydrologic Areas in Los Penasquitos Watershed
The Los Penasquitos Hydrologic Unit is comprised of the Los Penasquitos Creek watershed, several coastal tributaries including Rose Creek and Tecolote Creek, and the Mission Bay watershed. These watersheds drain a highly urbanized region located almost entirely west of Interstate 15 in coastal San Diego County.
General Watershed Information
Hydrologic Unit: 906.10 - 906.50
Hydrologic Areas: The following are the Hydrologic Areas (HA) in the Penasquitos watershed with their code numbers: 906.1 Miramar ; 906.2 Poway ; 906.3 Scripps ; 906.4 Miramar ; 906.5 Tecolote. There are no Hydrologic Sub-Areas (HSA) in this watershed.
Major Water Bodies: (i)Los Penasquitos Creek (ii)Los Penasquitos Lagoon (iii)Rose Creek (iv)Tecolote Creek (v)Mission Bay (vi)Miramar Reservoir
Impaired Water Bodies in Los Penasquitos Watershed
CWA 303(d) List :
|Tecolote Creek||Cadmium, Copper, Indicator Bacteria, Lead, Phosphorus, Toxicity, Turbidity, Zinc|
|Soledad Canyon||Sediment Toxicity|
|Pacific Ocean Shoreline, Scrips HA||Indicator Bacteria|
|Mission Bay Shoreline||Indicator Bacteria|
|Mission Bay (area at mouth of Tecolote Creek only)||Eutrophic, Lead|
|Mission Bay (area at mouth of Rose Creek only)||Eutrophic, Lead|
|Los Penasquitos Creek||Phosphate, Total Dissolved Solids|
|Los Penasquitos Lagoon||Sedimentation/Siltation|
Watershed Land Use
Land Use by type
|Type||Share of Watershed|
|Parks & Open Spaces||36.0%|
Watershed Captains in Los Penasquitos Watershed
Adrian Kinnane , Steve Kwik
Watershed Studies and Reports
Videos by HTHMA Students
|Storm drain pollution in the Los Peñasquitos watershed|
Video by Eric Harmatz, Ruthie McCowan, Richard Ramirez, Daylin Hartwell, Kate Lee, and Sara Brant.
|Short documentary on the Los Peñasquitos Watershed|
Video by Natalie Arenz, Monty Aguilar, and Colbie Hartwell.
|Mission Bay and it's recreational uses|
Video by Kim Kirch, Nicole Arenz, and Johnathan Ramirez.
A film by Jim Karnik
This 18-minute film by Jim Karnik, produced for the Los Penasquitos Lagoon Foundation, describes the lagoon and its watershed, including the dynamics of tidal flow, the interdependence of various plant and wildlife species, and the effects of water runoff and construction on the lagoon. It also offers suggestions as to measures that all can take to help preserve the lagoon. This website also lists other films that Karnik has made concerning Southern California’s natural environment.
This site (by Project Clean Water) explains the various areas comprising the Los Penasquitos Hydrologic Unit (906), which is more inclusive than SD Coastkeepers’ Los Penasquitos Watershed monitoring sites. The map (above) on this site shows the streams, creeks, etc. that drain into Los Penasquitos Lagoon as well as those (Rose Creek, Tecolote Creek) that flow into Mission Bay. It describes them as follows: “The Los Penasquitos Hydrologic Unit (906) is comprised of the Los Penasquitos Creek watershed (906.10 - 906.20), several coastal tributaries (906.30), and the Mission Bay watershed (906.40 - 906.50). These watersheds drain a highly urbanized region located almost entirely west of Interstate 15 in coastal San Diego County. Collectively and individually, they support a variety of water supply, economic, recreational, and habitat-related beneficial uses. The major receiving waters, Los Penasquitos Lagoon and Mission Bay, are both fragile systems that support diverse native fauna and flora. Both water bodies are especially sensitive to the effects of pollutants due to restricted or intermittent tidal flushing. The Los Penasquitos Creek watershed encompasses a land area of approximately 100 square miles including portions of the cities San Diego, Poway, and Del Mar. The watershed is highly urbanized with a population of approximately 400,000 residents. The creek discharges to a 0.6 square mile lagoon that is identified as an impaired water body on the California 303(d) list for sedimentation. The Mission Bay watershed drains an area of approximately 80 square miles. Rose Creek and Tecolote Creek are the main tributaries to the Bay, which was converted from a coastal marshland in the 1940s after the completion of a large dredging project. Much of Mission Bay is adversely affected by coliform bacteria inputted by urban runoff and sewage spills, which are discharged by the main tributaries and smaller conveyances draining the watershed. Tecolote Creek is identified as an impaired water body on the California 303(d) list for a host of pollutants including coliform bacteria, trace metals, and toxicity.”
This site provides an overview of the Penasquitos lagoon – its ecology, management, and history. The following are small excerpts: Los Penasquitos Creek runs through entire length of Los Peñasquitos Canyon and provides a permanent water source for the Preserve’s wildlife. Beeper Canyon, Rattlesnake, and Poway creeks are the three main drainage's initiating Peñasquitos Creek to the east. Flowing westward, Peñasquitos Creek collects water from Sabre Springs, the Preserve, the Peñasquitos Ranch house spring, Lopez Creek, adjacent tributary canyons. Lopez Creek is an intermittent creek fed by runoff entering Lopez Canyon and two seeps (one below the Lopez water tank and one east of the causeway connecting the main trail to the western staging area).
Water Quality within the Preserve is affected by three primary sources: urban runoff, Groundwater contamination, and sedimentation. Groundwater upstream from the Preserve has been periodically contaminated by commercial and industrial wastes such as petroleum products, pesticides, and heavy metals. Sedimentation continues to remain a problem as surrounding lands are cleared for residential development, exposing highly erodible soils to rain and runoff.
This is a quite thorough summary, titled Los Penasquitos Marsh, and is drawn from Natural Preserve and Lagoon (Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve), edited by Carl L. Hubbs, Thomas W. Whitaker, and Freda M. H. Reid, and published by the Torrey Pines Association. It includes detailed descriptions of the lagoon’s physical environment and geologic history, its plants, invertebrates, fish, birds, and mammals, and the various events (railroad and highway construction, sewage treatment and disposal, and preservation measures) that have affected the lagoon since @ 1900.