Crayfish (Photo: R. Ham)

The Carlsbad Hydrologic Unit (CHU) includes the watersheds of the following creeks that flow into the Pacific Ocean: Loma Alta, Buena Vista, Agua Hedionda, Encinitas, San Marcos, Cottonwood, and Escondido Creeks. 

San Elijo Lagoon is at the downstream end of Escondido Creek Watershed which makes up 40% of the CHU. 

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The CHU contains four major coastal lagoons: Buena Vista Lagoon, Agua Hedionda Lagoon, Batiquitos Lagoon, and San Elijo Lagoon. These four lagoons are important and productive habitats that are linked to one another through the Pacific Flyway migratory route.

The four lagoons are often grouped as the "North San Diego Lagoons" because of their proximity and shared habitat values.

San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy works with its partners in the Carlsbad Watershed Network to implement projects that support the Carlsbad Watershed Management Plan to restore and enhance native species' habitat in the CHU.

Scientists with the Conservancy administer a regional invasive species program targeting key invasive plant infestations throughout the CHU. The Conservancy's Habitat Management Team also maintains six stream gauges on CHU creeks, providing stream flow and precipitation data to municipalities for the protection of water quality.


Escondido Creek Watershed
40% of Carlsbad Hydrologic Unit

Carlsbad Watershed Network