On Nov. 7, Southern California Edison, SDG&E and the city of Riverside’s Public Utilities Department hosted an official dedication ceremony on Via de la Valle in honor of all the hard work and dedication by its partner agencies in completing the San Dieguito Lagoon Restoration Project. The Restoration Project is one of the largest coastal restoration projects on the West Coast and is part of the 55-mile San Dieguito River Park. The estuary will now serve as a fish hatchery and home to migratory waterfowl and endangered species as well as open space, including hiking trails, for the community to enjoy for generations to come.
Many San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy and San Dieguito River Park supporters and staff have been involved from the very beginning, and support will continue for years to come as part of the ongoing stewardship of this sensitive lagoon habitat and in continued efforts to extend the San Dieguito Lagoon Trail eastward past I-5.
Although many consider the project 14 years in the making (research, permitting and construction), this $90 million project actually began over 20 years ago, and the Conservancy and its members have been actively involved from the beginning.
On Nov. 7, about 200 guests were invited to walk around a recreational trail surrounding a portion of the San Dieguito Wetlands featuring educational stations, including a touch tank of sea life pulled out of the lagoon early that morning, a host of animals, including a hawk, kestrel, raven, raccoon, kingbird and hummingbird, bird watching and local environmentalist giving a historical account of the development. Thirty fifth-graders were also on hand.