Mission Bay Park of San Diego, Califonia, is the largest man-made aquatic park in the country, consisting of 4,235 acres. The park was developed from the 1940s through the 1960s, using a tidal marsh named “False Bay" by Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo in 1542.
During the late 1800s, recreational development began in False Bay, including the building of hunting and fishing facilities. Those facilities were destroyed by flooding that took place years later.
In 1944, a Chamber of Commerce committee recommended developing Mission Bay into a tourist and recreational center, in order to help diversify the city’s economy, which was largely military.
In the late 1940s, dredging and filling operations began to convert the marsh into the park it is today. Twenty-five million cubic yards of sand and silt were dredged to create the land that forms the park, which now is almost entirely man-made.
Another place at Mission Bay to enjoy wildlife is the famous SeaWorld San Diego theme park.