Batiquitos Lagoon is a prime tourist attraction in Carlsbad. It is an estuary located in between South Carlsbad and the beach city of Encinitas. This lagoon extending over an area of 610 acres, collects precipitation from a huge drainage basin of 55000 acres. It is also fed by Encinitas Creek and San Marcos Creek, both of which are freshwater tributaries. It is a prime tidal wetland along the coast of South California.
Natural wildlife reserve of Batiquitos Lagoon
A section of this huge lagoon is managed as the Batiquitos Lagoon State Marine Conservation Area. It is treated as a nature reserve, due to its wide variety of flora and fauna. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife manages Batiquitos Lagoon State Marine, which is a state agency under California Natural Resources Agency.
Since this lagoon is the natural home of many fishes, marine mammals, insects, plants, and other organisms; it is preserved by the State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA) that prevents the destruction of this wildlife. Certain water sports, like boating, diving, and swimming, are not allowed in the reserved area of Batiquitos Lagoon as these activities can disturb the natural harmony of marine life.
Chronicle of Batiquitos Lagoon
It is believed that human beings probably settled around Batiquitos Lagoon around 8000 years ago. It is rumored that this island in the lagoon used to be a trading center for pirates in the 1600s and probably they used this land also to hide their booties. However, this region surrounding the lagoon developed into an urban residential area around 1870. But the marine life of this water body was adversely affected due to development activities, turning it into a freshwater lake with a few marine species.
So, the Port Authority of Los Angeles decided to restore the tidal system here, to increase the number of marine species in this lagoon. Later, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife took over a large part of this lagoon in 2010 and initiated in preserving its marine life with the help of local conservationists, fishermen, and divers. Thus, this lagoon is now the favorite breeding place of many saltwater fishes and other marine creatures.
Tourist activities around Batiquitos Lagoon
Several beaches near Batiquitos Lagoon, like Solana Beach, Cardiff Beach, and Swami’s Beach, are developed for promoting tourism. People love jogging, walking, or riding bikes on the pathways of these beaches. Plenty of eateries, shops, golf courses, and small hotels are available close to these beaches. There is a nature trail along the coast of this lagoon, which is fit for pushing wheelchairs and it is also a nice place for taking strolls.
This lagoon now contributes to the breeding and feeding of all types of marine creatures. Some of them come here only for breeding or to find food. However, many fishes live here permanently and add to the ecosystem of this water body. Scientists now monitor the growth in the number of fishes and other marine species in this lagoon, to improve the overall marine life in this entire region.