The ponds of South Bay Saltworks
  • The ponds of South Bay Saltworks
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If you head out of Chula Vista Marina into the open bay and make a left turn to the south, you’ll see a spit of land jutting westward out into the east side of the bay. This marks the southern boundary of the South Bay Saltworks. Beyond that spit of land are shallow ponds graded in staged elevations meant to trap sea water pumped from the ocean. Saltworks involve a simple process: water fills the shallow ponds and when the water evaporates, it leaves the salt, magnesium, and bromide behind in the sediment. The property contains 18 condensing ponds and 14 crystallization ponds.

The ponds are located within the San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge and in 2011, two of the ponds at the western edge of the works were restored to marshland. Brine shrimp and brine flies that proliferate in the saline- and algae-loaded waters provide the base food source for baitfish and migratory birds that feed on the tiny crustaceans or fish.

Past Event

Birding by Kayak

  • Saturday, March 5, 2016, 8:30 a.m. to noon
  • Salt Works Trailhead, 1470 Bay Boulevard, Chula Vista
  • $60

The San Diego Audubon Society is hosting a Birding by Kayak tour from the marina on Saturday, March 5. Participants will receive training, tandem kayaks are provided. Species highlights: brant; Pacific loon; pied-billed, eared and western grebes; double-crested cormorant; American white and brown pelicans.

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