Walk – Don’t Dive – Into the History of Mission Bay

by on August 9, 2019 · 1 comment

in Ocean Beach, San Diego

Editordude: It’s not safe to dive into Mission Bay; it’s very polluted. But this article had an original headline of “Dive Into …”

By Laurie Delk / Pacific San Diego / Aug. 7, 2019

As one of the recreational hubs of San Diego, Mission Bay draws a multitude of visitors annually for its boat races, water sports, Belmont Park and Sea World attractions. But did you know the popular outdoor spot is human made?

PACIFIC teamed up with professor Andy Strathman, PhD, co-editor of The Journal of San Diego History and lecturer at California State University, San Marcos to find out the low down (or is it low tide?) of Mission Bay for the this year’s 250th anniversary of San Diego.

PACIFIC: What’s the connection between Mission Bay and its former name False Bay?

ANDY STRATHMAN: Originally it was called False Bay, partly because it was very shallow and practically dry at times. In a lot of ways it was more of a marsh than a true bay. The Spanish explorers gave it that name.

PACIFIC: How did the bay come into being?

STRATHMAN: In the 1850s, the Army Corp of Engineers built a dike to divert flow from San Diego Bay, because the river could threaten structures in Old Town. In the 1880s, we started seeing the name Mission Bay although False Bay was used into the 1920s.

PACIFIC: When did the activity start on the bay?

STRATHMAN: That dates between the two world wars. By the 1930s, there hadn’t been a great deal of development there except that John D. Spreckels had built an amusement park. But the story of Mission Bay Park happens after WWII, and had a lot to do with city growth because of the military growth during the wars.

For the balance of this article, please go here.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

fstued August 9, 2019 at 1:42 pm

Mission bay is a great playground and certainly a treasure to the city. Maybe the best small boat sailing on the west coast.
The pollution that maybe there is mostly during heavy rains when Rose and Tecolate creek flow with trash. Mariners cove can be polluted to during a busy weekend when all the boats flush into the water,’ which is against rules.


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