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Mission Canyon Hydrologic Study


In early 2021, as part of a settlement involving damage to upper Mission Creek, SBUCC received funding from the District Attorney's office to carry out a Mission Canyon Hydrological Study as a SEP (Supplemental Environmental Project).  The study investigated anthropogenic disturbance of natural hydrology within the upper Mission Creek Watershed and identified means and methods of enhancing aquatic habitat in the upper non-urban watershed of Mission Creek upstream of the Mission Creek and Rattlesnake Creek confluence.


Phase 1 of the Mission Creek study provided a hydrologic, geomorphic, and biologic study of the upper non-urban portion of Mission Creek watershed above the Mission Creek Tunnel. It concluded that the tunnel captures over 500 acre-feet per year of groundwater infiltration that would otherwise support aquatic and riparian habitat in the watershed. In addition, the Mission Dam and two debris basins create fish passage and sediment transport barriers, and there are other land use issues related to trails, and landscaping. The next step (Phase 2) is for SBUCC to meet with the Environmental Defense Center to discuss how to return the flow to Mission Creek to support the physical and biological health of the entire watershed.

Download the full Phase 1 study report (Loaiciga et. al., 2023) here.

Download the Phase 2 Situation Analysis here.

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