Bugs and worms steal spotlight in wetland restoration (San Marcos Creek District) | UTSanDiego.com
Regulators are shifting from chemistry to biology as they manage stream health
As waterways go, San Marcos Creek is hardly iconic. Even in the spring, it’s barely noticeable next to the city’s hardware stores, banks and eateries.
But the stream has quietly gained regional significance as a test case for an emerging approach to regulating water quality that has broad implications for businesses, residents and aquatic species across California.
Instead of just minimizing the amount of various contaminants in the creek, regional pollution police will regulate how insects, worms and snails fare as San Marcos develops the “creek district.” A permit issued in January by the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board was the first of its kind in the region to include biological performance of a waterway as an enforceable standard.