February 14, 2019
This is San Juan Creek at the corner of Ortega Highway and Antonio Parkway.
San Juan Creek is part of a major watershed that originates in the southern Santa Ana Mountains in the Cleveland National Forest and drains into the Pacific Ocean at Doheny State Beach.
San Juan Creek is also part of a managed drainage system; the Orange County Stormwater Program, which is a cooperative of the County of Orange (Unincorporated OC), the Orange County Flood Control District (OCFD) and all 34 Orange County Cities. The purpose is to protect Orange County's water resources. The water is also protected by the Federal EPA through the enforcement of the Clean Water Act. Compliance is important to every resident in south Orange County because water pollution degrades surface waters, creating unsafe conditions for fishing, swimming, and other activities as well as impacting drinking water resources. Mis-management of our watersheds also effects the amount of sand on our beaches and the viability of wildlife that live in the unique habitats along our waterways.
The following is a map of South Orange County's Integrated Regional Watershed Management Program. This map shows which entity has ownership (jurisdiction) for each segment of the watershed. Ownership of the areas in gray are said to be "unknown". If ownership is unknown, are these segments of water being properly maintained and monitored? This is very important because the gray area portions of the San Juan Creek Watershed are where the TCA is currently building the Tesoro Extension of SR-241. Are they doing so in violation of the Clean Water Act?
L06 is named Canada Chiquita Channel. Portions of L06 sit on Parcel 125-096-82 which is owned the Capistrano Unified School District. All four parcels of land that Tesoro High School was built on have been placed into the right-of-way for the Tesoro Extension of the 241 Toll Road aka Los Patrones Parkway aka "F" Street by entities that did not own the land (potential violation of the Subdivision Map Act CC 2001-01), and therefore had no right to encumber the school districts property. Unfortunately it appears that when the County approved construction of the Oso Bridge Gap Closure Project they did so without opening a new environmental review. That means that there may be no CEQA or NEPA for the construction projects south of the Oso Bridge. It appears that drainage for the Oso Bridge Gap Closure Project has been designed to drain into Canada Chiquita Channel and underneath Tesoro High School which was built on a known, very rare and unique Alkali Marsh (one of 8 identified within the State of California).
This map needs to be amended to reflect ownership of portions of L06 by the Capistrano Unified School District, and the Public needs to be ensured that the water flowing into Canada Chiquita Channel and San Juan Creek is in compliance with the Federal Clean Water Act.
The following are videos of the Canada Chiquita Channel at Tesoro High School.
Canada Chiquita Channel: Is Construction of the Oso Bridge Project Violating the Federal Clean Water Act?
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