Mugu Lagoon

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Mugu Lagoon from the Mugu Peak Trail

Mugu Lagoon (/mˈɡ/ Chumash: Muwu, "Beach")[1] is a salt marsh located within the Naval Base Ventura County at the foot of the Santa Monica Mountains in Ventura County, California.[2] The lagoon extends for 4.3 miles parallel to a narrow barrier beach.[3][4] The first European to come ashore here was Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo on October 10, 1542. Cabrillo was the first European to visit present-day California, and he named it Muwu, which is Chumash meaning "beach" or "seashore".[5] When the Europeans first discovered the lagoon, it functioned as the capital village of the Chumash Indians settled around Point Mugu.[6]


The Calleguas Creek, and its tributaries such as Arroyo Conejo and Arroyo Simi, discharges into the Pacific Ocean at its estuary in Mugu Lagoon.[7][8] Historically, Calleguas Creek flood flows spread across the floodplain and the deposited sediment created the rich agricultural lands of the Oxnard Plain. With year-round agriculture in the floodplain, concrete channels and dirt levees have been built to contain the flow. This has delivered increased sediment to Mugu Lagoon and flooding during extreme rain events.[9](p4–13)


  1. ^ McCall, Lynne; Perry, Rosalind (2002). California’s Chumash Indians : a project of the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Education Center (Revised ed.). San Luis Obispo, Calif: EZ Nature Books. ISBN 0936784156.
  2. ^ Grossinger, Robin; Stein, Eric D.; Cayce, Kristen; Askevold, Ruth; Dark, Shawna; Whipple, Alison. "Historical Wetlands of the Southern California Coast: An Atlas of US Coast Survey T-sheets, 1851-1889" (PDF). California State Coastal Conservancy, San Francisco Estuary Institute (SFEI), Southern California Coastal Water Research Project (SCCWRP), California State University Northridge (CSUN). Retrieved 2 March 2018.
  3. ^ Patrick, Ruth (1994). Rivers of the United States, Volume I: Estuaries. John Wiley & Sons. Page 126. ISBN 9780471303459.
  4. ^ Lentz, Joan Easton (2006). Introduction to Birds of the Southern California Coast. University of California Press. Page 249. ISBN 9780520243217.
  5. ^ Nichols, Gina (2011). The Navy at Point Mugu. Arcadia Publishing. Page 7. ISBN 9780738575322.
  6. ^ Skaarup, Harold A. (2002). California Warbird Survivors 2002: A Handbook on Where to Find Them. iUniverse. Page 118. ISBN 9780595236442.
  7. ^ Warner, Richard E. and Kathleen M. Hendrix (1984). California Riparian Systems: Ecology, Conservation, and Productive Management. University of California Press. Page 682. ISBN 9780520050358.
  8. ^ Murillo, Cathy (February 5, 1998). "Raw Sewage Continues to Spill Into Conejo Creek". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 19 February 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  9. ^ "2010 Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan for Ventura County, California – FINAL REPORT". Ventura County Hazards Mitigation Plan. County of Ventura. December 2010. Retrieved 26 January 2016.

Coordinates: 34°06′07″N 119°05′38″W / 34.102°N 119.094°W / 34.102; -119.094