Located just north of the City of Del Mar in San Diego County, San Dieguito Lagoon State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA) protects the shallow lagoon where the Pacific Ocean meets the San Dieguito River. This SMCA encompasses just more than a tenth of a square mile of brackish estuary and marsh habitat between the San Dieguito Lagoon Ecological Reserve and the main reach of the San Dieguito River. Some ocean fish, such as topsmelt, California halibut, and striped mullet use the tidal wetlands as a nursery, and the salt marsh provides nesting areas for birds like the California least tern. Points of interest include the Grand Avenue Bridge, the Lagoon Boardwalk Trail, and the Coast to Creek Trail.
It is unlawful to injure, damage, take, or possess any living, geological, or cultural marine resource, EXCEPT:
Recreational take of finfish by hook-and-line from shore is allowed. Boating, swimming, wading and diving are prohibited. Closed from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m.
California Code of Regulations Title 14, Section 632(b)(140)California Code of Regulations Title 14, Section 632(b)(140)California Code of Regulations Title 14, Section 632(b)(140)(opens in new tab)
MPA size: 0.11 square miles
- Estuary: 0.10 square miles
- Coastal marsh: 0.55 square miles