The Tijuana River Valley Historical Ecology Investigation—completed in January 2017—synthesized hundreds of historical maps, photographs, and texts to reconstruct the ecological, hydrological, and geomorphic conditions of the Tijuana River valley prior to major European-American landscape modification. How did the valley look and function before there was the state of California, the city of Tijuana, or an international border? What habitat types and wildlife were found there? How have these habitat types and the physical processes that shaped them changed over time? And finally, what can the valley’s ecological past tell us about its present and future? In answering these fundamental questions, the study has provided scientists, managers, and residents in the valley with information designed to support and inspire ongoing management and restoration activities.
The project's geographic scope encompassed the estuarine and alluvial portions of the Tijuana River watershed from the river mouth in southern San Diego County to the Rodriguez Dam in Tijuana, Mexico.
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This project investigated the historical ecological patterns and hydrological dynamics of most of lowland Ventura County.
The Northern San Diego County Lagoons Historical Ecology Investigation draws on hundreds of historical documents to analyze and reconstruct historical landscape conditions for six northern San Diego County estuaries prior to the major modifications of the late 19th and 20th centuries.
The Ballona Creek project supports historical research conducted by the Southern California Coastal Water Research Project and CSU-Northridge on the historical ecology of the Ballona Creek watershed. The project uses historical research to provide enhanced understanding about baseline conditions of streams and wetlands in the watershed. The project was completed in 2011.