After years of planning, Phase II of the San Dieguito Lagoon Wetland Restoration has begun!
This week, SANDAG and the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), in partnership with the San Dieguito River Park Joint Powers Authority (JPA), began work on Phase II of the San Dieguito Lagoon Wetland Restoration south of Via De La Valle and east of I-5.
This lagoon restoration will create a new trail connection from the Dust Devil Nature Trail to the Coast to Crest Trail, enhance and expand riparian habitat along the San Dieguito River, and convert approximately 84 acres of former agricultural fields and other degraded land into tidal wetlands, which are an integral part of biodiversity in our region. In total, 64 acres of tidal salt marsh, 15 acres of brackish wetlands, which are a mixture of saltwater and freshwater, and an additional five acres of riparian habitat will be restored through this project.
The restoration begins with the removal of existing non-native vegetation, invasive species, and accumulated soils to allow tidal flow and planting of new wetland plant species. The excavated soil will be placed on a nearby slope, south of the lagoon, and replanted as coastal sage scrub. New wetland and native upland vegetation will be planted once the excavation is complete. Clearing and grubbing will occur intermittently from January 2022 to mid-February 2022, followed by soil excavation and planting over the next several months. Project completion is expected in Spring 2024.
“The restoration of the San Dieguito Lagoon wetlands is a landmark project that will transform the region,” said San Diego Council District 1 Councilmember and JPA Board member, Joe LaCava. “I am proud of this collaboration between the City of San Diego, SANDAG, Caltrans, and San Dieguito River Park JPA. Prioritizing projects that enhance San Diego’s unique natural environment while creating long-term sustainable solutions are essential to our community.”