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South Bay (San Diego County)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

South Bay
Imperial Beach Pier in South Bay
Imperial Beach Pier in South Bay
The South Bay region, with cities shown in orange, the unincorporated community Bonita in pale orange, and South San Diego in pink
The South Bay region, with cities shown in orange, the unincorporated community Bonita in pale orange, and South San Diego in pink
CountySan Diego County

The South Bay, also known as South County, is a region in southwestern San Diego County, California consisting of the cities and unincorporated communities of Bonita, Chula Vista, East Otay Mesa, Imperial Beach, Lincoln Acres, National City, and South San Diego.[1]

Defined by its proximity to San Diego Bay and the Mexico-United States border, the South Bay is a mix of heavy industrial complexes and shipyards alongside beaches and residential developments. One of its cities, Imperial Beach, bills itself as "Classic Southern California" for being relatively untouched in terms of other coastal cities.[clarification needed]


The area encompassing the South Bay was originally inhabited by the Kumeyaay peoples. Under Mexican rule, several Mexican land grants were established in the region, including Rancho Janal, Rancho Otay, and Rancho de la Nación. In the 1870s, South Bay Salt Works began operations. National City was incorporated in 1887, Chula Vista in 1911, and Imperial Beach in 1956. South San Diego, including the communities of San Ysidro, Nestor, Palm City, and Otay Mesa, was annexed by the City of San Diego in 1957.

The term "South Bay" has referred to the region since at least the early 20th century, with one reference dating from 1918.[2]

In October 2007, South Bay was quickly encroached upon by the Harris Fire, part of a series of fires that ravaged California in the 2007 Fire season.

Traditionally more residential and calmer than North County, in 2010 regional cities were taking on projects that included the development of luxury resorts in efforts to revitalize the South Bay. On May 18, 2010, further development of the Chula Vista Bayfront was authorized by the Unified Port of San Diego and City of Chula Vista.[citation needed] Plans included marina expansion, luxury resort development, and the addition of a conference center. Additionally, in Imperial Beach, on September 29, 2010, the Seacoast Inn was demolished to make room for a $20 million resort.[3]


Tijuana River Estuary with Tijuana Hills in the back

South Bay borders both San Diego Bay and the Pacific Ocean. The region is at the southern end of the bay and western slope of the coastal mountains to the east. There are a few creeks that make their way from these mountains with their terminus in either the southern end of the bay, the ocean, or the Tijuana River estuary. Its boundaries are the San Diego Bay on the west, the United States–Mexico border on the south, National City's border with northern San Diego and Coronado to the north, and the unincorporated communities and Otay Lakes to the east.


Nature preserve areas in South Bay include San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge, Otay Mountain Wilderness, Tijuana Slough National Wildlife Refuge and Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve. The Tijuana River Estuary is located on the southern coast of South Bay. The river which feeds it has a watershed that drains from both Tijuana Municipality and San Diego County. There have been problems with the cleanliness of the estuary, from the Tijuana part of the watershed, which has led to constructive measures with efforts to clean the water. Located within the Tijuana River National Estuarine Reserve, the Tijuana River estuary is the largest wetland in Southern California.[4] The wetland supports over 370 species of migratory and year-round dwelling waterfowl.[4]


The population was 462,843 as of 2005, an 18.3% increase from 2000. South Bay is the third-largest region of Greater San Diego in population, ahead of East County and behind North County.

The South Bay is known for its relatively large immigrant population, with many first-generation Mexican-Americans and Filipino-Americans.[1] 26% of San Diego County's Hispanic population, the vast majority of which is of Mexican origin, lives in the South Bay.[5] As of January 2018, descendants of the early explorers of Alta California continue to live in the South Bay.[6]

As of 2010, South San Diego, National City and Chula Vista have Hispanic majorities, while Imperial Beach has a Hispanic plurality and Bonita has a non-Hispanic white plurality.


Populations are as of the 2020 census with the exception of South San Diego.

Incorporated cities

Census-designated place

Other unincorporated communities

Federal military reservations


Southwestern College campus

Primary and secondary schools

South Bay is served by the Sweetwater Union High School District, Chula Vista Elementary School District, National School District, San Ysidro School District, and the South Bay Union School District. There are approximately fourteen high schools, fourteen middle schools, and numerous elementary schools. The South Bay area is also served by charter and private schools.

Colleges and universities

Located in Chula Vista is Southwestern College, a two-year community college and feeder school to University of California, San Diego and San Diego State University.


The South County Regional Center contains the South Bay Courthouse of the San Diego Superior Court as well as offices for the San Diego County Sheriff, the San Diego District Attorney, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, and others. The center is located in downtown Chula Vista.



South Bay is served by the San Diego Union-Tribune, whose website features a "South County" section that is largely congruent with South Bay, although the "South County" section includes Coronado. South Bay also receives coverage from the weekly San Diego Reader.

Chula Vista, National City, and Bonita are served by the weekly newspaper The Star-News, which was formed in 1954 upon the merger of the Chula Vista Star with the National City News.[7] Imperial Beach is served by the weekly Imperial Beach and South County Eagle & Times.[8]

San Ysidro was once served by the weekly San Ysidro Border Press.[9]


No radio station is licensed to any city in the South Bay area. The area is instead served by stations licensed to the Baja California municipalities of Tijuana and Tecate, all of which effectively cover the area.[10] However, XHLTN-FM maintains a sales office in Chula Vista, and XHGLX-FM had a similar setup in National City, both stations sending data to cross-border control rooms. The area is also served by other San Diego area radio stations. During tropospheric ducting, the signals of out of market stations KYSR, KBIG, KRTH, and KRUZ can reach the area, while sensitive radio tuners have picked up KIIS-FM on occasion.


Terrestrial digital television stations KNSD and KUSI-TV have their transmitters on Mount San Miguel. The area is also served by XETV and XHDTV. The selection of local stations on cable and satellite services vary by provider.


Important landmarks in South Bay include:


South Bay is located entirely within Supervisorial District 1 at the county level, which is represented by Democrat Nora Vargas.[11]

See also


  1. ^ a b Herrera, Angelica P., Lee, Jerry , Palos, Guadalupe, and Torres-Vigil, Isabel. Cultural Influences in the Patterns of Long-Term Care Use Among Mexican American Family Caregivers, Journal of Applied Gerontology, Vol. 27 No. 2, April 2008 p.146.
  2. ^ California Development Board, San Diego County (Calif.). Board of Supervisors, San Diego Chamber of Commerce. Agricultural and soil survey of San Diego County, California. Frye & Smith 1918. p. 34.
  3. ^ Zúñiga, Janine (September 29, 2010). "Seacoast Inn demolition underway". San Diego Union-Tribune.
  4. ^ a b "River Mouth: South McCoy Trails". Retrieved March 10, 2011.
  5. ^ Kada, Naoko, Kiy, Richard, eds. Blurred Borders: Trans-Boundary Impacts & Solutions in the San Diego-Tijuana Border Region. International Community Foundation. March 2004.
  6. ^ Cortez, Mario A. (January 30, 2018). "South Bay's 'Fronterizo' History now on Display". La Prensa San Diego. Retrieved May 12, 2018.
  7. ^ "About this Newspaper: The star-news". Chronicling America. The Library of Congress. Retrieved March 5, 2011.
  8. ^ "Eagle & Times". Imperial Beach Chamber of Commerce. May 2009. Retrieved March 5, 2011.
  9. ^ "About this Newspaper: San Ysidro border press". Chronicling America. Library of Congress. Retrieved March 5, 2011.
  10. ^ "REC California information for San Diego". REC Networks. Retrieved November 25, 2020.
  11. ^ Acevedo, Laura (November 12, 2020). "Nora Vargas to become first Latina to serve on San Diego County Board of Supervisors". ABC 10News. Scripps Media. Retrieved November 25, 2020.

External links

This page was last edited on 15 October 2023, at 04:26
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