WILDCOAST is partnering with High Tech High Chula Vista, which sits within the Otay River Watershed, to carry out research on human use impact in the Otay Valley Regional Park (OVRP). Forty-seven students from Nick Ehler’s class are gathering data on water quality in the ponds through out the park and mapping out areas of interest to build an interactive map that WILDCOAST and other organizations can use to carry out conservation objectives.
These areas of interest may be waste dump sites, potential restoration sites or homeless encampments that could be of use or concern when carrying out activities in the park. As a very urban river parkway, the OVRP has been plagued with problems such as waste dumping and invasive species. The beauty of the situation is that the OVRP was historically used for agriculture, gravel mining and dumping but through community and government conservation initiatives, we now have a wonderful urban river parkway that provides important habitat as well as open space for South San Diego county residents.
The class started the project out with a camping trip to Otay Lakes County Park (including a hike of Lawson peak in the eastern watershed), then woke up the next day to hike the length of the watershed and finished at the western OVRP. They will be working hard this week out in the OVRP to gather valuable data and continue stewardship of this amazing parkway.