Lagoon Conservancy to seek public comments on restoration efforts

San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy officials say it is time for large-scale restoration of the lagoon, which hosts more than 700 species of plants and animals, many rare and endangered. Two community meetings in August will invite public comment. Courtesy photo

By Kristina Houck

Having just released its draft environmental impact report outlining options for the restoration of San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve, the San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy is inviting the public to provide input on the reserve-wide project during two community meetings in August.

“A lot of times public meetings like this are agency-driven and mandated. They seem to be dog-and-pony shows,” said Doug Gibson, executive director of the conservancy, which will administer the lagoon restoration. “But we’re a community-based organization, and this is a community-based restoration effort. We want the public to comment on this.”

During the 60-day public review period of the document, which was prepared by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and San Diego County Department of Parks and Recreation, the conservancy will host community meetings on Aug. 19 in Solana Beach and Aug. 27 in Encinitas.

At the meetings, Gibson will give a 30- to 40-minute presentation. Attendees will also have the opportunity to visit information booths, ask questions and submit comments.

“Our goal is to get as much information out to the public as possible, so that they’re comfortable enough to write their comments and add to the project through the process,” said Gibson, who first joined the conservancy in 1996.

Founded in 1987, and based in Solana Beach, the conservancy is a nonprofit land trust and the premier stewardship organization for the San Elijo Lagoon.

Owned and managed by California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the county’s parks and recreation department, and the conservancy, the 979-acre reserve is located between Encinitas and Solana Beach, extending inland to Rancho Santa Fe.

After 18 years of research and planning, Gibson said it is time for large-scale restoration of the lagoon, which hosts more than 700 species of plants and animals, many rare and endangered.

“When you’re looking at the reserve now, and you sort of go and look out from the trail, you may not notice what the problems are because it looks pretty healthy,” he said. “We have to try to break that stigma. It is beautiful, but it has problems.”

The lagoon needs restoration because of sedimentation and water pollution from historical and current infrastructure, such as Interstate 5. A restored wetland would re-establish the lagoon’s natural water filtration, return fish nurseries, provide mudflat habitat for migrating birds, and create cleaner beaches, Gibson said.

In May, the conservancy launched an online survey to ask community members whether they would be likely to participate in the planned summer meetings and what topics should be addressed.

Gibson said it’s important for the public to be involved in all steps of the process. The conservancy will look over and respond to the public’s comments, possibly incorporating some of the suggestions in the final version of the environmental impact report, which should be released in spring 2015, Gibson said.

“If they’ve thought of something that we haven’t, let’s make it better,” he said. “They can make a difference.”

The first community meeting will run from 6-7:30 p.m. Aug. 19 at La Colonia Community Center, 715 Valley Ave. in Solana Beach. The second meeting will take place from 6-7:30 p.m. Aug. 27 at Encinitas Community Center, 1140 Oakcrest Park Drive.

For information about the San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy, or to read the draft EIR, visit The document is also available at the San Elijo Lagoon Nature Center, Cardiff-by-the-Sea Library, Solana Beach Library and the county parks and recreation department.

Related posts:

  1. San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy buys parcel for open space
  2. San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy Car Donation
  3. San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy summer events introduce all ages to the wonders of wetlands
  4. Lagoon conservancy board member of 25 years receives prestigious honor
  5. San Dieguito Lagoon Restoration Project dedicated

Short URL:

Posted by Staff on Aug 8, 2014. Filed under News, Region. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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. […]