Watershed Spotlight: Rose Creek

Welcome to the second installment of our Watershed Spotlight series! Coming up, we’ll be highlighting some of our favorite San Diego County watersheds (hint: it’s all of them) in a new feature series on these amazing places we call home.

Need a quick refresher on the definition of a watershed? Start here.


The Rose Creek Watershed, part of the Peñasquitos Hydrologic Unit (shaded grey on map below) is a local watershed that drains to Mission Bay. The main water bodies that make up the watershed, Rose Creek and San Clemente Creek, wind through the Miramar Marine Corps Air Station, parts of Scripps Ranch, Mira Mesa, Kearny Mesa, Clairemont Mesa, University City, La Jolla and Pacific Beach. Live in one of these communities? Then you live in the Rose Creek Watershed!



We love this watershed because of all the access we have to roam it.  You can take a walk along much of Rose Creek in Rose Canyon Open Space Park, explore San Clemente Creek in Marian Bear Memorial Park, or check out the lower stretches of the creek where it empties into Mission Bay in the northeast corner of Mission Bay Park. Our volunteer monitors have been collecting water samples and analyzing key water quality indicators at three sites in this watershed since 2009. This valuable data helps us scrutinize pollution inputs to Mission Bay, where some of the county’s best water recreation opportunities lay. Learn more about our Rose Creek water quality  monitoring and check out recent data here!