Chairman of the Board
Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce
After living in Carlsbad for more than 20 years, I’m still amazed with its diversity. Amongst the gems is a nearly 400-acre lagoon known as Agua Hedionda – the smelly water. The lagoon was home to some of Carlsbad’s first residents, the Luiseno.
For generations they were stewards to the environment, living in harmony with its inhabitants. It is easy to understand why this watershed is loved. Its ecosystem includes breeding grounds for fish, amphibians, birds, small mammals, plants and more. It is affected by the tides which leave mudflats exposed and a nutrient rich environment for crustaceans and worms.
Yet with all these delicate threatened and endangered species, we have found a way to enjoy its waters with boating, fishing, sailing, paddling and beachgoing. Inaddition to recreational use, it serves as a hub for commercial use as well. There is a mussel and oyster aquaculture facility (Carlsbad Aquafarm), a white sea bass hatchery and a desalination plant.
With all this activity the health and preservation of the lagoon is a top priority. Agua Hedionda Lagoon Foundation leads efforts to maintain the wellness of this resource. Founded in 1990 the group provides education, outreach and inspiration through its activities headquartered at its Agua Hedionda Lagoon Foundation – Discovery Center. The Discovery Center offers hands-on classes for people of all ages. It includes fossil displays, historical information, live animal interaction, and native plant gardens just to name a few. There are thousands of students and people who visit the Discovery Center annually. It is no surprise that with this type of impact the Agua Hedionda Lagoon Foundation was named Nonprofit of the Year in 2021 by the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce, receiving a well-deserved CBAD Award. The Carlsbad Chamber is honored to support such a dedicated group. Congratulations! If you haven’t had the opportunity to check it out, I encourage you to see what this unique natural resource offers.
WATCH AGUA HEDIONDA LAGOON FOUNDATION’S STORY