Malibu Creek watershed in Southern California drains just over 100 square miles of land into Santa Monica Bay. Over 90,000 human residents call this watershed home, as do countless plant and animal species such as the endangered Southern California steelhead and tidewater goby. The watershed also hosts the popular Malibu Creek State Park with many hiking and biking trails, and spectacular scenery spanning from the ocean to the mountains. Protecting this watershed is important not only for residential quality of life, but also to ensure the long-term health of the ecosystem.
Northwestern end of Los Angeles County and the Southern end of Ventura County.
109 sq. mi., Second largest watershed draining into Santa Monica Bay.
Over 90,000 human residents in five cities and unincorporated areas of LA and Ventura counties.
Key native fish in the watershed:
Southern California steelhead
Voices from Malibu Creek Watershed
Hear from individuals that work, play, and/or live in the watershed.
CalTrout South Coast Project Manager
“One of the first big watershed moments for Malibu Creek Watershed was in the 1920s with the construction of Rindge Dam. It completely blocked the flow of sediment, water, and energy, and created the landscape that we know of today, the Southern California post-war development era, of Malibu Creek canyon and that of Malibu town, which grew up in the shadow of that dam-- And now, the next big change for the watershed will be the removal of Rindge Dam.”
"Having visited many Southern California trout streams, I see Malibu Creek watershed, with its large, beautiful lagoon and inviting perennial pools, as one of the best candidates for restoration. Hopefully the restoration work going on by CalTrout and others will reach more people in the community and inspire them to consider how the health of their watershed affects their own health. Trout need clean water, and so do humans. And how cool would it be to brag about having a Southern steelhead run in your own backyard?"
Senior Environmental Scientist
California State Parks
“One of the biggest changes for Malibu Creek watershed was all the development along its edges- lots of people moved in, so did more buildings, and many more roads and highways. This is a big shame because Malibu Creek watershed is an important connector for wildlife as they move from one diverse habitat area to another."
CalTrout's Involvement in the Malibu Creek Watershed
Through landscape restoration, research and monitoring, and advocacy, CalTrout is working to protect and revitalize Malibu Creek watershed. Our work addresses the major threats to the health of the watershed including barriers to fish passage, loss of critical habitat for wildlife, increased urbanization of the area, and water issues.
Read more from the project links below.
Get Involved, Take Action to Restore Malibu Creek Watershed!
Subscribe to CalTrout’s Rindge Dam newsletter and action alerts to stay up to date on any project developments and how you can get involved.
And support CalTrout's restoration and advocacy work in the Malibu Creek watershed.
Cover photo by Bernard Yin.