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Agua Hedionda Lagoon Discovery Center

On March 3rd, 1990, the Agua Hedionda Lagoon Discovery Center was established. The Caulerpa taxifolia was the first to confirm identification in the lagoon on June 12th, 2000. Then, on September 11th, 2002, the eradication of Caulerpa taxifolia in the lagoon was verified. The Kelly Family provided land in 2003-2005; the Aviara Planned Community Sales Office gave the Discovery Center Building, and activities began there. More about Carlsbad here

The 400-acre Agua Hedionda Lagoon is one of the coastal wetlands on the Southern California coastline endangered by development. The Lagoon watershed, which drains 135,000 acres in the center of San Diego’s rapidly expanding urban region in north county, is a delicate and critical environment. Many vulnerable and endangered species may be found here, including young fish, crabs, hundreds of kinds of marine life, ducks, etc. It also offers a much-needed reprieve for migratory birds throughout their long journey. In addition, the Lagoon is unusual in that it is being used for various purposes, including a YMCA day camp, recreational boating, a mussel, an abalone aquaculture facility, a white-sea bass breeding, and a research center, and a power generation plant. The Lagoon’s many uses and the numerous activities and ecosystems it supports distinguish it as a unique and valuable natural resource, unlike any other planet.

The Lagoon stretches 1.7 miles inland and is up to.5 miles wide at its widest point. In addition to Highway 101, which follows the shoreline, the railroad, and Interstate 5, pass through the Lagoon area. There are three portions of the Lagoon – the outer, middle, and inner Lagoon – divided by these thoroughfares as they go from the shore inward. At their deepest point at the high tide, all three portions are 8-10 feet deep on average.

The Agua Hedionda Lagoon Discovery Center was also recognized for the following awards:

  • 2007 – Outstanding Educational Program Awards, Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce Award of Excellence – Science Program Winner
  • 2013 – Earth and Eco Ambassadors Award from San Diego Gas & Electric for the Academy of Environmental Stewardship School Program
  • 2017 – Community Impact Award, Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce Small Business Awards
  • 2018 – MVP In the Workplace, Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce Small Business Awards (Agua Hedionda Lagoon Foundation Team) and Winner of the Harrah’s All-in 4 Change Popular Vote
  • 2019 – Senator Patricia Bates honors AHLF CEO Lisa Rodman as Woman of the Year for the 36th Senate District.
  • 2020 – Best Things California named it the best nature center in the state.
  • 2021 – Top 20 Places to Take Kids in and Around San Diego – Voted #7 by Kids Out and About
    • Samantha Richter, COO of the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce, is one of the 40 under 40 outstanding young executives.
    • Non-Profit of the Year – Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce Business Achievement and Distinction Awards
    • North County Economic Development Council and CSUSM Senior Experience Program shared the Non-Profit of the Year honor.
    • Agua Hedionda Lagoon Foundation Project / CSUSM Senior Experience Program – The Agua Hedionda Lagoon Foundation, which received the Burnham Leadership Grant for non-profits, used a CSUSM Senior Experience team to conduct a detailed market analysis of Agua Hedionda’s virtual offerings and make recommendations for the non-profit to increase revenue and expand its community programs.
    • December 4th is Agua Hedionda Lagoon Foundation Day, designated as a Community Hero Award by County Supervisor Jim Desmond.

Call (760) 804-1969 to learn more about the Agua Hedionda Lagoon Discovery Center. There’s a lot more to learn! Click for more info