Progress of native plant growth in the Lagoon Restoration area

posted 10/30/11

photo © Ann Gardner

photo © Ann Gardner

photo © Ann Gardner

photo © Ann Gardner

photo © Ann Gardner

photo © Ann Gardner

Lagoon Restoration Update

Updated: August 24, 2010

Hydraulic Dredge.  Photo © Marathon Construction

Machine Excavator. Photo © Marathon Construction

Southern California Edison recently presented a community outreach event to give the public a progress report on the San Dieguito Lagoon restoration.

David Kaye (SCE Manager of Environmental Projects) summarized the project accomplishments to date. Mike Furby ( Marathon Construction) discussed the dredging operations and Dick Bobertz (JPA) outlined the existing and proposed trail connections.

160 acres of wetlands have been restored.

Berms have been constructed and vegetated to contain the river flow during potential floods and to protect two major new wetlands north and south of the river.

Three new nesting sites have been created, power lines relocated and treatment ponds built adjacent to a commercial area.

ADA access trail has been constructed at North Beach.

A boardwalk now crosses the wetlands south of the fairgrounds and a trail allows passage under the I-5 freeway and will soon lead hikers to El Camino Real.

The old Grand Avenue Bridge had been converted to a View Point for the lagoon.

Outstanding projects at the western end of the lagoon are scheduled to be completed in the next 9 months.

Just east of Jimmy Durante Boulevard the river makes a sharp bend where intensified flow undermines its southern bank; new rip-rap will armor the river bank.

Sand has accumulated in the inlet channel over the past and hinders tidal flow.

65,000 cubic yards of sand will be removed in the coming winter months. A floating dredge will first operate east of Jimmy Durante Boulevard  and will pump sand to a stockpile area where it will be dried and placed on upland sites. Sand suitable for beach use will be added to the  Del Mar beach. A reconfiguration of the inlet will move the river channel northward.

Extensive beach monitoring will take place. Quarterly beach profiles will be measured and compared to 32 years of beach records. These will be analyzed by independents reviewers with the participation of the California Coastal Commission.

Southern California Edison is committed to keep the inlet open to tidal flow in perpetuity.

by Jacqueline Winterer and Freda Reid  Note:  This article also appeared in the September 2010 edition of the Sandpiper, courtesy Friends of San Dieguito River Valley.


Photo © Marathon Construction

Hydraulic Dredge clearing sand bar.  Photo © Marathon Construction

San Dieguito Wetland Restoration Project

Updated: June 04 2010

Photo © Stu Smith

At its October 12 2005 meeting, the California Coastal Commission unanimously approved the creation and substantial restoration of 115 acres of wetland habitats in the San Dieguito Lagoon area.

The proposed San Dieguito Wetland Restoration project was designed by Southern California Edison (SCE) to comply with Coastal Commission permit conditions regarding the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) located in northern San Diego County. The Coastal Commission, through a long series of permits and amendment actions, required SCE to implement an extensive package of measures to mitigate marine resources impacts caused by the operation of SONGS Units 2 and 3.

Photo © Lauren Wasserman

The SONGS permit conditions require SCE to restore or create 150 acres of wetlands to compensate for reduction of marine fish standing stocks caused by the cooling system for SONGS Units 2 and 3. The conditions authorize up to 35 acres of credit for maintaining tidal flow in perpetuity.

The coastal permit conditions established specific parameters for wetland site selection and performance measures that must be met to ensure that the restored wetland is successful and provides real compensation for impacts caused by SONGS operation.

SCE teamed up with the San Dieguito River Valley Joint Powers Authority to prepare a comprehensive restoration, access, recreation, and interpretive plan for the San Diguito River Valley. This plan includes all the components that SCE must carry out to meet its mitigation requirements, trail, access improvements and water quality that the JPA will implement.


Some of the project components already completed are:

• Excavating and grading to create a total of 115 acres of wetland habitat, including subtidal, intertidal, transitional, and seasonal marsh habitats east and west of I-5;

• Construction of 3 berms adjacent to the San Dieguito River to confine existing flood flows and maintain the transport of river sediments to the ocean;

• Bank protection on the south side of the river upstream of Jimmy Durante Bridge and on the southern slope of portions of the river berm located east of i-5 and north of the river;

• A pedestrian trail along the south side of the inlet channel or alternative accessway that would provide access around the mouth of the lagoon during tidal exchange;

• Creation of 4 nesting sites and rehabilitation of an existing site to provide habitat for the California Lest Tern and Western Snowy Plover;

• Freshwater runoff treatment ponds;

• Public access trails to be managed by the JPA.

Still to be accomplished:

• Initial and long-term periodic excavation of the tidal inlet to maintain marine water exchange between the ocean and restored wetlands in perpetuity (35 acres credit).

Photo © Stu Smith

Quarterly Reports (1 page PDF files):

SD Wetlands 2008 Q3 Report
SD Wetlands 2008 Q2 Report
SD Wetlands 2008 Q1 Report
SD Wetlands 2007 Q4 Report
SD Wetlands 2007 Q3 Report
SD Wetlands 2007 Q2 Report
SD Wetlands 2007 Q1 Report
SD Wetlands 2006 Q4 Report
SD Wetlands 2006 Q3 Report
SD Wetlands 2006 Q2 Report
SD Wetlands 2006 Q1 Report

FSDRV has been an active supporter of the plan for the restoration of the San Dieguito Lagoon. This plan, funded as an environmental mitigation project by Southern California Edison (SCE), will dredge the lagoon to increase the tidal flushing action and keep the river outlet open to the ocean. Background information on this project can be found at the SCE web site.

Permit applications, reports and other supporting documentation for the San Dieguito Wetlands Restoration project can be found at:

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