Friends of the San Dieguito
River Valley

Dust Devils and Docents
posted 02/05/18
Photo courtesy San Dieguito River Park
Is one of your New Year’s resolutions to volunteer more? What about getting outdoors more? The San Dieguito River Park is
recruiting and holding a training session
for long-term volunteers
on Saturday, March 31.

The volunteers will become part of the Park’s Dust Devil crew, Trail Patrol Program or educational programs such as a docent. Find out more by going to the River Park website at and checking out the details.

San Dieguito Monthly Bird Count
posted 01/15/18
8 years of Data
courtesy San Dieguito River Park
January 2010 - December 2017

The San Dieguito Monthly Bird Count identified 103 species in December. No new bird species were seen this month, so the cumulative species total after 8 full years of bird surveys remains at 235.

According to bird count leader Jayne Lesley, some interesting birds seen were Loggerhead Shrikes in three areas; Clark’s and Western Grebes in the area east of the freeway and north of the river; Canada Geese, Snow Goose, Ibis, and a Cinnamon Teal in the Del Mar Horsepark and Surf Cup sports fields area; Horned and Eared Grebes in the tidal basin west of the freeway and south of the river; American Avocets and a Yellow Warbler in the area west of the freeway all the way to the beach; and Juncos and a Golden-crowned Sparrow in the Crest Canyon and Old Grand Avenue Bridge area. Data recorder Joni also noted a record 48 California Gnatcatchers were seen in 4 of the 5 areas.

Click here to view 8 years of data.

Take a Walk on the Wild Side

Imagine that this was once the location of a parking lot for the Fairgrounds.  Thanks to the persistence of many individuals and organizations, and particularly those noted in the article below we have a restored wetland with its own distinct ecosystem including new birds, some “we have never seen before” one River Park volunteer said. Take time out for a walk either on the Boardwalk or along the Coast to Crest Trail, both begin off Jimmy Durante Blvd. across from the Del Mar Fire Station.

It Took an Army:
Editorial from the July 2017 Sandpiper
Click here for the Sandpiper editorial
Past President Jaqueline Winterer
Battled the Fair Board
on behalf of the Environment
Click here to read an article about Jacqueline
in the March 2012 Sandpiper

Lawsuit Seeks Surf Cup EIR
posted November 6, 2017
Q:  My family lives walking distance from the polo fields and the Surf Cup is destroying this beautiful piece of land. The angry parents speeding in and out so that their kids can play soccer in this overpriced league is so destructive. I'm sure you know this already so my question is; how can we get involved? I'm a working mom with so little time as is but they are turning the property into a concrete jungle."

A: It is encouraging to hear from someone who wants to get involved and help. We have filed a lawsuit against the City of San Diego and Surf Cup Sports for failure to conduct an Environmental Impact Report, which "identifies and examines the likely environmental effects of the continuing operations of an existing facility and proposes measures to avoid, mitigate, or offset them."

 I think the best thing you can do is write letters.  Write as many as you have time for, both to the city, and to the media.

If you have friends who are similarly angered or concerned, encourage them to also write letters: about the increase in traffic congestion, about what you see as degradation of the property from an environmental point of view, about the massive increase in use of the property, from polo and a few soccer and lacrosse tournaments per year, to soccer practices 4-5 days a week, every week, and paid parking events every single weekend.

Again, your outreach is highly appreciated.

Surf Cup Complaint Contacts.

  Surf Cup Sports: Final Executed Lease - posted October 20, 2017

San Dieguito River Watershed

San Dieguito River Watershed.  Courtesy JPA

From the mountains to the sea, the 55-mile-long San Dieguito River originates at Volcan Mountain in the Cleveland National Forest.  From there, it meanders through Lake Sutherland, San Pasqual Valley, Lake Hodges, the Del Dios Gorge and the San Dieguito Lagoon to the river’s mouth in Del Mar.  The river and its major tributaries flow through sensitive natural habitats, including oak/pine woodlands, sage scrub, and coastal wetlands, creating a network of critical wildlife habitats.


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