San Dieguito Lagoon Wetland Restoration Project Phase II (W-19)
The San Dieguito Lagoon will benefit from this major restoration project planned for the eastern end of the lagoon from east of Interstate 5 to El Camino Real. This new restoration will add 60 acres of new wetlands to the approximately 160 acres of wetlands restored in 2012 by Southern California Edison (SCE). Former farmland in the eastern lagoon purchased by the JPA in 2004 will be restored adding new wetlands and adjacent uplands to the lagoon area. The restoration project is funded by the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) and the City of San Diego as mitigation (see details below).
In November 2018, the JPA approved a Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR) for the Restoration Project (also known as W-19) as required by the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Project construction started in January 2022 and is expected to be completed in 2024. First, 1.2 million cubic yards of dirt are excavated from the site to lower the elevation to tidal level. Then, thousands of new container plants are installed, and natural recruitment from the surrounding area also occurs. Irrigation during the first year or two will help the plants establish. The disposal site will also be planted with coastal sage scrub and restored.
The San Dieguito Lagoon restoration project will supplement recent restoration efforts within San Dieguito Lagoon by establishing wetland habitat within a specific portion of the lagoon system. The proposed project encompasses approximately 141 acres of land adjacent to the San Dieguito River that was originally identified as an area for restoration opportunity by the JPA in the Park Master Plan for the Coastal Area of the San Dieguito River Valley Regional Open Space Park (Park Master Plan, 2000).
The project will establish a system with approximately 50 acres of restored tidal wetland and 15 acres of brackish wetland, as well as create and/or enhance approximately 5 acres of riparian habitat. Other areas would be established as transitional areas and native uplands. A new connector trail will also be added to link the Dust Devil Nature Trail to the Coast to Crest Trail.
The I-5 North Coast Corridor Public Works Plan/Transportation and Resource Enhancement Program (PWP/TREP) identified this site as part of the overall wetland mitigation strategy for infrastructure projects along the I-5 North Coast Corridor within northern San Diego County. Part of the restoration project will also be used as mitigation for the City of San Diego’s El Camino Real Bridge Replacement Project.
Final EIR Findings of Fact