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People want to know: "Is Mission Bay Gross?"

SAN DIEGO -- One of San Diego’s most popular destinations, Mission Bay, is aptly described as the “largest water park of its kind in the world.” Covering more than 4,200 acres and drawing thousands of tourists and locals every day, it is treasured by boaters, wake boarders, stand-up paddlers, anglers and all manner of water sports enthusiasts. However, urban runoff and uses of the bay cause many to wonder about its water quality and associated health impacts.

To clear the fog surrounding this issue, San Diego Coastkeeper, which protects and restores fishable, swimmable and drinkable waters, and ZLAC Rowing Club, America’s oldest women’s rowing club, will host a free community forum to address the question, “Is Mission Bay Gross?”

On Tuesday, June 25, from 6-8 pm., Coastkeeper and ZLAC will welcome community members to ZLAC’s clubhouse overlooking Mission Bay at 1111 Pacific Beach Drive (at Dawes Street). Four experts will review Mission Bay’s ecological history, its current water quality, the City of San Diego’s plans for maintaining and improving the bay’s health and how individuals can find and fix problems. Members of the public should register to attend the free forum.

At the event, San Diego River Park Foundation executive director Rob Hutsel will cover Mission Bay’s history and transformation into one of San Diego’s principal recreational assets. Hutsel will explore the change of the course of water flowing to the bay from the San Diego River and review water circulation patterns throughout the year in Mission Bay.

Ken Schiff, deputy director of the Southern California Coastal Water Research Project, will review Mission Bay’s water quality, including a comparison of how Mission Bay’s water quality compares to other water bodies in the region. He will explain methods used to test water quality, where and how frequently testing is done and what the results can tell us about staying healthy while using the bay.

Ruth Kolb, a program manager at the City of San Diego’s Transportation & Stormwater Department, will recap how Mission Bay got a bad reputation years ago and the steps the City of San Diego has taken to improve the bay’s water quality. She will review Mission Bay’s current status as well as what the city does to protect and restore the health of the bay.

Finally, Mallory Watson, community engagement coordinator at San Diego Coastkeeper, will dive into the current problems Coastkeeper sees affecting Mission Bay’s water quality and explain how community members can indentify, report and improve water quality problems.

At the event, participants with an appetite for knowledge can enjoy light appetizers and beverages, along with plenty of food for thought. The event is free and open to the public.

Prior registration is required due to limited seating capacity. Register HERE.