Wetlands milestone marked

Ocean water rushes into new marshland

The San Dieguito Wetlands Restoration Project celebrated a major milestone when another 60 acres of new marshland were opened to the ocean on Dec. 3.

The 168-acre project is now two-thirds done, and the final components are expected to be completed by the end of 2009.

The $86-million restoration project began in December 2006 and is funded by Southern California Edison as mitigation for environmental damage caused by their San Onofre Nuclear Generation Station.

Project participants, elected officials and environmentalists gathered to watch bulldozers scoop away the last clumps of earth separating the newly constructed salt marsh basin from the San Dieguito River.

In her opening remarks, Supervisor Pam Slater-Price emphasized the significance of the day.

“This is a combination of 20 years of work, effort and everyone pulling for this project,” Slater-Price said. “168 acres of wetland is unbelievable in today’s world.”

High hopes
It took a year to excavate 1.1 million cubic yards of dirt east of Interstate 5 to create the large salt marsh habitat, which will support fish, invertebrates and endangered birds such as the snowy plover and Belding’s savannah sparrow.

Unlike the lagoon created west of the freeway, this marsh will not always be filled with water. The basin is shallower and at a higher elevation, so mudflats will be exposed at low tides, coastal engineer Hany Elwany said.

Project designers are hopeful this habitat will be just as successful as the sub-tidal lagoon west of the freeway, which experienced an explosion of life in just nine months after it was connected to the ocean in January.

In the coming year, more than 400,000 plants will be planted throughout the restoration site. The final step will be dredging the lagoon inlet so ocean water can easier enter and exit the lagoon wetland system.

Trail progress
Progress is also being made on the Coast to Crest Trail, which will run along the edge of the restoration project and when complete, connect the entire river valley from the river’s origins on Vulcan Mountain to where it meets the ocean at Dog Beach in Del Mar.

The San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy recently completed a .65-mile segment of the trail from San Andres Drive along the edge of the newly constructed salt marsh. Two footbridges were installed on either side of the freeway, so pedestrians can safely cross underneath to continue along the north river bank.

The excavated dirt from the new salt marsh was used to build a massive berm along Via de la Valle from San Andres to Del Mar Horsepark. The next phase of the Coast to Crest Trail will be constructed along this berm overlooking the newly restored wetlands.

The Conservancy is soliciting donations to help build this trail segment. The nonprofit received a $15,000 donation to jumpstart fundraising efforts and plans to raise a matching amount, Executive Director Dick Bobertz said.

For more information, go to sdrvc.org.

Related posts:

  1. Fish population soars in wetlands lagoon area
  2. Fish population soars at wetlands lagoon
  3. Utility pole blight a concern for wetlands
  4. Sewage spill causes water contamination
  5. Desalination plant gets Lands Commission OK

Short URL: http://www.delmartimes.net/?p=7935

Posted by pjpent on Dec 11, 2008. Filed under Archives. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Leave a Reply



Bottom Buttons 1

Bottom Buttons 2

Bottom Buttons 3

Bottom Buttons 4

Bottom Buttons 5

Bottom Buttons 6





  • Community input received on proposed health club and pool facility in Rancho Santa Fe
    About 100 Rancho Santa Fe residents showed up on Friday, Oct. 17, for a health club and pool community meeting, the last outreach before ballots were mailed on Monday, Oct. 20. On the ballots, members are being asked whether the Rancho Santa Fe Association should spend $350,000 on a professional planning phase for the potential new community amenity. RSF Ass […]
  • Czech violin duo to perform at Village Church in Rancho Santa Fe
    In cooperation with the Consulate General of the Czech Republic, the Czech School San Diego hosts a free classical violin concert by internationally recognized Czech violin player Jaroslav Svecený and his daughter, Julie Svecená, who are on a tour of the United States. The concert will be at 7 p.m. Oct. 27 in the Village Church. The father-daughter duo will […]
  • Rancho Santa Fe weekly sports update
    Torrey Pines defeated Canyon Crest Academy 4-3 in a Palomar League opener for both teams on Oct. 9. Alayna Tomlinson and Farah Farjood each scored two goals to lead the Falcons. Samantha “Sammy” Cirino added one goal and one assist. […]