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The Rose Creek Watershed Alliance is an alliance of organizations and individuals formed to help plan the future of the 23,427-acre (36 square miles) Rose Creek Watershed that runs roughly from the Miramar Marine Station down to Mission Bay.

Current watershed residents and visitors benefit from the efforts of many who have worked over past decades to preserve portions of the watershed and make them available for the public; city-owned Marian Bear Memorial Park and Rose Canyon Natural Open Space Park are two wonderful results of past preservation efforts. Unfortunately new threats exist and there is more to be done to protect the watershed for future generations.

Funded mainly by grants from the California Coastal Conservancy, the draft Rose Creek Watershed Opportunities Assessment is available for your review. The Assessment began in 2004 with a review of the “existing” conditions in the watershed. For example, the quality of the water in San Clemente and Rose creeks was tested and analyzed.

The “health” of the wildlife habitat was assessed by project biologists through field surveys and review of previous biological studies and mapping efforts. Field surveys were also conducted for “exotic invasive” or non-native species, which can over-run land once occupied by native species and may increase the risk of wildfires. Recreation specialists analyzed public access points such as trails and parking areas. An archaeological survey assessed the significance and sensitivity of the cultural resources in the watershed. Public safety issues such as fire prevention, land slides, and crime in the watershed were also reviewed.

The Rose Creek Watershed Alliance also developed a list of goals, which were addressed in the Assessment. The Assessment includes recommendations of actions that can be taken to protect and enhance the watershed for the benefit of current and future visitors.

The bottom line – whether in conservation, restoration or politics – civic involvement is the key to success. So get involved!

If you are interested in other watersheds in the region, you can also email for other info on how to get involved in your own watershed. Some have plans, some need plans. With organization and commitment, we can do a lot!

CAROLYN CHASE

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