The 30 mi (48 km) long creek and its small canyon are undeveloped, although portions of it have been armored or channelized. It has been described as "one of San Diego's most neglected watersheds." For decades the creek has been plagued by pollution, illegal dumping and the destruction of natural habitats. In 2002, the city of San Diego adopted a 20-year, $42 million plan to rehabilitate the creek. Regular cleanups to remove trash and encourage native plants are conducted by local groups like the Friends of Chollas Creek and Groundwork San Diego.
In 2021, the city of San Diego decided to create the Chollas Creek Regional Park along many of the undeveloped parts of the creek's branches, to make better use of these areas and to remedy a long-standing lack of parks in southeastern San Diego.
- California Regional Water Quality Control Board
- encanto-neighborhoods.com Archived 2009-10-22 at the Wayback Machine
- "Voice of San Diego, October 22, 2010". Archived from the original on November 25, 2010. Retrieved December 8, 2010.
- San Diego Union-Tribune, September 30, 2010
- Friends of Chollas Creek
- Groundwork San Diego-Chollas Creek