Pacific Swell | Southern California environment news and trends

Magic Mountain charged with polluting the Santa Clara River

An aerial view of the Santa Clara River.
An aerial view of the Santa Clara River.
brewbooks/Flickr (cc by-nc-nd)

Environmental groups are claiming that popular Southern California amusement park Six Flags Magic Mountain is guilty of contaminating the adjacent Santa Clara River with pollution that ultimately reaches the Pacific Ocean.

As reported by the L.A. Times, Santa Monica Baykeeper, Wishtoyo Foundation and Friends of the Santa Clara River sent a joint letter to the theme park last week about the garbage, including “bacteria, metals, toxins, sediments and other pollutants” from the park’s storm drains spilling into the river system.

If Six Flags does not “significantly reduce” the pollution in the next 60 days, the groups plan on suing the park.

Magic Mountain has replied to the accusations in a statement, stressing environmental improvements already made by the park.

"In the last six years, the Park has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to not only lower the amount of storm water discharge but to improve the quality of the storm water discharged,” read part of the statement.

While water samples turned up many of the pollutants, the groups also claim to have photographs showing a large amount of physical trash from the park strewn downstream, including plastic bottles, wristbands and midway prizes.