Santa Ana River Watershed
The Santa Ana River Watershed is our major focus. This watershed covers more than 3,000 square miles of San Bernardino, Riverside and Orange Counties, and a small portion of Los Angeles County. It also encompasses the San Jacinto River Watershed. The Santa Ana River flows approximately 110 miles from the San Bernardino Mountains to Huntington Beach, where it empties into the Pacific Ocean.
Humans have inhabited this biologically rich watershed for the past 12,000 years, but it has changed most dramatically since the Spanish explorers arrived in 1769. Modern development has transformed 3,900 miles of naturally meandering and flooding streams into straight and concrete-lined channels to control flooding and develop agricultural diversions. Damming of the river and withdrawal of water for human consumption have reduced the flow of water and impeded sediment from flushing through the watershed and sustaining plants and animals dependent on the river.
To see the native fish of the Santa Ana River, click here.
The Santa Ana River is home to at least 200 species of birds, 50 mammals, 13 reptiles, 7 amphibians and 15 types of fish. Many of these are threatened or endangered. Urban and industrial pollution and reduced space for habitat are constant threats to the river and the watershed as a whole. It is the goal of Inland Empire Waterkeeper to protect and preserve all of the waterways in the Santa Ana River Watershed, while maintaining balance between human and environmental interests.
To see maps and detailed information about the Santa River Watershed, click here.
Inland Empire Waterkeeper also actively protects and advocates for the portion of the Santa Margarita River Watershed that lies in southwestern Riverside County, and the part of the Mojave River Watershed that lies in the San Bernardino Mountains.