3 Santa Margarita River

Santa Margarita River

The Santa Margarita River is a short intermittent river on the Pacific coast of southern California in the United States, approximately 50 mi (80 km) long. One of the last free-flowing rivers in southern California, it drains an arid region of the Coast Ranges between Los Angeles and San Diego at the southern end of the Santa Ana Mountains.


It is formed in southwestern Riverside County, east of Interstate 15 15 mi (25 km) ENE of Temecula, from the confluence of Temecula Creek and Murrieta Creek. It flows southwest past Temecula, through the Temecula Canyon at the south end of the Santa Ana Mountains. Along its lower 10 mi (16 km) the river forms a large floodplain as it crosses Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base. It enters the Gulf of Santa Catalina on the Pacific approximately 3 mi (5 km) northwest of Oceanside.

Approximately 4334 acres (17.54 km²) of the middle course of the river in Temecula Canyon are owned and managed by San Diego State University as the Santa Margarita Ecological Preserve. In addition, The Nature Conservancy has been active in acquiring land along the river for conservation.

The river was the site of several attempts to build railroads in the 1880s. During much of the 20th century the river was the subject of a long-running water rights battle between the United States Navy and the Fallbrook PUD. The conflict was resolved in 1967 and the following year both entities proposed to jointly construct dams on the river. The proposal was abandoned in 1984 due to environmentalist opposition.

External links

* [http://sd.znet.com/~schester/fallbrook/tidbits/smr.html Santa Margarita River]
* [http://fs.sdsu.edu/kf/reserves/smer/ SDSU: Santa Margarita Ecological Preserve]

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