Famosa Slough State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA) (No-Take) is located in the heart of urban San Diego between Old Town San Diego State Historic Park and Ocean Beach. This marine protected area (MPA) sits within a remnant 30-acre wetland. Famosa Slough, a narrow 12-acre natural channel connecting the San Diego River estuary and the Pacific Ocean, allows tidal salt water to mix with fresh water from the local watershed to form a unique estuarine environment.
During high tides, larval marine fish and invertebrates are able to enter the wetland. Calm protected brackish water provides habitat for fish, crustaceans, and plants. Because it is a significant feeding and resting site for ducks and shorebirds, including man heron and tern populations, birdwatching is popular. Designed to protect an urban wetland and provide for outstanding educational and recreational opportunities, the MPA is an easily accessible gem in San Diego.
It is unlawful to injure, damage, take, or possess any living, geological, or cultural marine resource. Take incidental to certain permitted activities may be allowed. Other restrictions may apply. See CCR T14 §632(b) for details.
California Code of Regulations Title 14, Section 632(b)(145)
MPA size: 0.03 square miles
- Estuary: 0.03 square miles