Archives: News

< December


Board elected for 2012-2013
posted 12/22/11

Stu Smith, Ann Gardner, Candy Bowman, Ed Green, Maggie Brown, Jeff Barnouw, Bill Michalsky.  Photo Paul Haydu.  December 11, 2011

Ed Mirsky, Mary Farrell, Freda Reid, Bill Farrell, Jacqueline Winterer, Cory Ha’o.  Photo Paul Haydu.  December 11, 2011

At the Annual General Meeting of the Friends of the San Dieguito River Valley, October 24, 2011, the following slate of officers was elected.

Board of Directors:

President: Maggie Brown (Solana Beach)
Vice-President: Candy Bowman (Carmel Valley, San Diego)

Secretary: Ann Gardner ( Del Mar Terrace, San Diego )

Treasurer: Bill Michalsky (Del Mar)
Ed Greene (Solana Beach) Stuart Smith (Del Mar),
Jeff Barnouw (Del Mar)

Advisors: (A new category of membership for active non-voting Friends

Mary Farrell (Del Mar Heights, San Diego)
Bill Farrell ( Del Mar Heights
, San Diego)
Jacqueline Winterer (Del Mar)
Freda Reid (Del Mar)
Ed Mirsky (Del Mar)
Cory Ha’o (San Diego)

** Board members serve for 6 years, break for 1 year but may remain in the non-voting Advisor category.

Check here for pictures.

Old Camino del Mar Bridge appears!

posted 11/17/11

Look west of the Camino del Mar Bridge at the river mouth. You will see pilings bared by the dredging of the river mouth during the completion of the Lagoon Restoration project .

Should they be removed?

photo © Jacqueline Winter

photo © Jacqueline Winter

The Camino del Mar Bridge at the river mouth during the 1927 flood.  Photo from the SD Historical Society

Coastal Rail Project Grant : Seasonal Platform included

posted 12/11/11

The Coastal rail project received a big boost from the US Department of Transportation when Caltrans received an award for $21 million.

It enables early engineering and design of three coastal rail projects which will eventually add a second track to a large portion of the rail system from Orange County to downtown San Diego.

One of the projects impacting the San Dieguito River Valley includes a 1.1 mile second track and seasonal rail platform in Del Mar allowing direct access to the Fairgrounds.

Grant funds will be administered by SANDAG. They will work with the North County Transit District and the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System.

The North Coast Corridor Program is a broader transportation and environmental project which will include two of these funded rail projects.

< NOVEMber

Dedication of San Dieguito Lagoon Restoration, Nov 7, 2011

posted 11/13/11 - photos © Stu Smith

After a rainy Sunday the San Dieguito Lagoon sparkled on a sunny Monday morning for the official dedication of the restoration project. A large group gathered to admire the views, to watch the birds, to meet friends made over the 14-year permitting and construction period and to thank all the participants. 
Originally mandated by the California Coastal Commission as mitigation for loss of juvenile fish at the San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant , the work was funded by Southern California Edison and the San Diego Gas and Electric Company with competent engineering and management by Marathon Construction.

SDG&E brought a group of young citizens from south San Diego to introduce them to this project hoping they will, in the future, be amongst those who benefit from this magnificent effort.
Just as the proceedings concluded a beautiful egret was seen hunting below the speakers platform- probably asserting its rights to the Lagoon.

more photos>>

Extreme high tides at the lagoon

posted 11/04/11

Southern California Edison created more high marsh as part of the Lagoon Restoration Project. Recent extreme winter high tides of 9 ft. amplitude flooded this area. Photos on October 26, 2011 show low and high tide views at the Grand Avenue Bridge Overview. The last photo shows the San Dieguito River mouth at high tide.

Courtesy of Stu Smith






posted 11/04/11

The San Dieguito River Park JPA has received two "Orchid" awards in the annual design contest  sponsored by the San Diego Architectural Foundation .

The first, for Architecture, is the San Dieguito River Park Headquarters at 18372 Sycamore Creek Rd.,Escondido. It was designed by Rinehart/Herbst The citation said " It is nicely restrained and elegant, but also striking with an occasional flourish".

The second, for Landscape Architecture , went to the David Kreitzer Lake Hodges Bicycle/PedestrianBridge west of I-15 at Lake Hodges, Rancho Bernado. It was designed by Safdie/Rabines. Its citation said "The project seamlessly blurs the lines between architecture, engineering, landscape architecture and art".

Photos of these structures can be seen at:

CONGRATULATIONS to all and especially to the JPA staff who managed the recovery from the Witch Creek Fire in temporary headquarters.

< October

San Dieguito River flows to the ocean : September 29 2011

posted 10/08/11

On a balmy, late fall afternoon bulldozers broke through the final sand barrier separating the San Dieguito wetlands from the ocean. Lagoon waters rushed by carrying large fish. This is the first time in many decades that full ocean tides will return to the wetlands.

This was a large coastal estuary prior to developments which included a golf course, a computer business , an airport, a wartime blimp station and the current Del Mar Fairgrounds.

The Lagoon Restoration project has been funded by Southern California Edison and SDG& E  with Marathon Construction a very competent and supportive contractor. It was required by the Coastal Commission to mitigate the impact on fish populations of the San Onofre nuclear generating station.

Edison is committed to keeping the river mouth open for many years. Its representatives have always been generous and considerate people. It has been a pleasure for local San Dieguito River Park volunteers to be associated with this exciting project and now to see its culmination.

photos © Stu Smith

David Kay, Manager, Environmental Projects @ Southern California Edison
Dick Bobertz, Executive Director San Dieguito River Park
Jason Lopez, Resources and Trails Manager, SDRP
Wayne Brechtel SDRP-JPA Counsel


 Additional photos of the river mouth opening by Paul Haydu
on the Sandpiper website

click here.

< September

San Dieguito River dredging continues

posted 09/21/11

The final stages of the restoration project are underway. Sand is being removed from the river west of Durante bridge in order to increase water flow to and from the lagoon area. The river mouth will also be dredged with the objective of moving the outlet further north. Work is being done by Marathon Construction, the prime contractor for the restoration.  Photos courtesy of Stu Smith ( on the recent cloudy September days.)

photos © Stu Smith

Sewage Fouls Los Pensaquitos

posted 09/17/11

A regional blackout on Sept 8 was responsible for a major sewage spill at the sewage pump station on Roselle St. where about 1.9 million gallons spilled into the Los Penasquitos Lagoon. This resulted in week long closures of local beaches including Torrey Pines, Del Mar and Solana Beach. 

San Diego is in the process of looking for the causes of this unusual event and is assessing environmental damage.

Meanwhile all beaches are now open for water contact activities.

California Coastal Commission
posted 09/14/11

The California Coastal Commission has a new Executive Director. Charles Lester, a former political science professor, has been appointed to the position held for the past 26 years by retiring Peter Douglas. He has worked with the Commission since 1997, most recently as senior deputy director and acting director. He has degrees in geochemistry, jurisprudence and social policy as well as a law degree.

< August

22nd DAA Board changes
posted 08/29/11

The 6/13/11 notice of the ouster of three 22nd Ag District Board members by Governor Brown has been followed by the removal of two more and the appointment of five new members .

Each of the replaced members had served well beyond their allotted time. In addition to Barry Nussbaum,Vivian Hardage and Kelly Burt members Charles Kim Fletcher and Patricia Davies have been removed.

They are to be replaced by:

Lisa Barkett vice president of a financial firm from La Jolla who also served up to 2006.
Frederick Schenk an attorney of San Diego who also served up to 2006.
David Lizerbram an attorney of San Diego.
David Watson an attorney of Chula Vista.
Tom Chino of the Del Mar area, owner of Chino's Vegetable Farm.

Adam Day is current president of the board.

Lagoon dredging - grunion gone!
posted 08/20/11

From Del Mar Councilman Carl Hilliard   8/19/11

The final phase of dredging for the Lagoon project, between the railroad bridge and the river mouth, is due to begin after Labor Day. Equipment will be mobilized on the beach north of the river mouth on September 6th. There was a hiatus in the work because the permit conditions prohibited dredging during the grunion runs that occurred in June and during the heavy beach-use season. It should take approximately one month to dredge the 40,000 cubic yards of sand and deposit it on the beach, mostly on the south side of the river mouth. The dredging will be done with backhoe excavators (v. floating dredges). The inlet channel will be moved to the north and the existing inlet channel will be filled by excavated sand. It is expected that work will be completed during the first week of October. 

The final phase of the overall project will be the installation of a rock revetment (a facing to sustain the embankment) on the riverbank along a section of San Dieguito Road. The revetment will protect the bank and the roadway during future flood events. This work is scheduled to start in April and should last for four months.

< July

FSDRV Board meeting of July 25 2011
posted 07/29/11

  • Formation of a multi-agency ad hoc committee to discuss past fairgrounds violations of Coastal Commission regulations.
  • I-5 Expansion and possibilities for CALTRANS mitigation sites in San Dieguito lagoon area. 
  • Flower Hill Expansion : notice of violation and stop work order from CCC.
  • Preliminary plans for St. John Garabed Armenian Church on El Camino Real.
  • Polo Fields: River Park trail alignment adopted by San Diego Planning Commission. Discussion of soccer and other large scale uses of Polo Field.
  • Discussion of design of future Mileage Markers to be partially funded by FSDRV.

San Diego Planning Commission/Polo Club - July 14, 2011
posted 07/16/11

The Commission approved the Rancho Santa Fe Polo Club Site Development Permit with a Mitigated Negative Declaration to restore a public trail along the San Dieguito River and impacts to adjacent areas caused by unauthorized grading activity.

The Commission  also approved a separate private exercise track for use by the Polo Club. The oval shaped track will be modified to an inverted L shape during Surf Club Tournament and other soccer events.
The project site is located east of El Camino Real and south of Via de la Valle. The property is owned by the City of San Diego and is leased to the Polo Club, within the Fairbanks Ranch Specific Plan in Council District 1. A new Polo Club lease is currently under discussion with the city.

details about the June 16 meeting below>>

JPA Citizens’ Advisory Committee Meeting, July 1, 2011
posted 07/03/11

“Reach the Beach” (west of Jimmy Durante Bridge)
JPA staff reported that public input at a meeting held in Del Mar favoured  an alignment north of the San Dieguito RIver for the Coast to Crest Trail segment.

JPA Headquarters building at 18372 Sycamore Creek Road, Escondido.  The American Institute of Architects gave a merit award for the new building.

A Del Dios resident complained about a plague of crows destroying bird population in her area.  No agency accepts the responsibility for controlling crows!

Project Review Committee
The PRC will meet on July 18 at 1.30pm  at the St John Garabed Armenian Apostolic Church project site on El Camino Real to receive a presentation. This new church will be located north of the recently completed Evangelical Formosan Church.

New Wetland Restoration Project on the former Boudreau property.
The widening of I-5 will generate mitigation funds. SANDAG  is studying mitigation  potential at several sites. Poseidon walked away from a project for wetland restoration east of the Southern California Edison Lagoon Restoration Project . It is now being re-examined by SANDAG. SCE requires that this project have no flooding, sedimentation or scouring impact on its nearly completed Lagoon restoration project.

Loop Trail  to be completed in February 2012.

California High-Speed Rail
posted 07/03/11

The California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) recently hosted several  community open houses along the proposed route. The High-Speed rail project plans to develop an 800 mile track from San Francisco to San Diego via the Central Valley. The track will be grade- separated precluding the need for horns. The trains will be electrically powered and operate at speeds of 220 mph (less in urban areas ). Across Lake Hodges and the San Dieguito River the rail alignment will be located east of I-15 and elevated on pylons with minimum impact to the valley.

The Authority will be sharing the results of the Preliminary Alternatives Analysis (PAA) Report. The PAA Report is the first step in a two-step process to identify the range of alternatives to be carried forward for detailed engineering and the Environmental Impact Report/ Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/EIS). The next step will be the Supplemental Alternatives Analysis Report, which will be completed in 2011-2012.

The goal of the open houses was to present current plans and obtain input before CHSRA initiates the detailed environmental/engineering analysis later in 2012 (subject to funding availability). Agency and public input will be used in the ongoing refinement of alignment alternatives, station locations and design options. 

More information at

< June

JPA/CAC Trails Committee meeting June 21, 2011
posted 06/23/11

1.Coast to Crest Trail: Clevenger Canyon extension of the Mule Hill Trail. Passes through orange groves and steep slopes but trail is possible. Will require purchase of significant number of orange trees for removal, engineering expertise, probable Caltrans agreements and, of course, grant funds.

2.Polo Club Trail:  See below.

3. FSDRV Mileage marker project: In lieu of measuring distances  using GPS the JPA suggests taking measurements from aerial photos keyed to  GIS data base, to be done as a student class project. Use of the data by first responders, sheriff etc. must be considered. No design has been selected so far.

4.Status of trails:  Lagoon Trail should be open in the next 2-3 months once fencing is installed.

Mesa Loop Trail may require amending the coastal permit.

Horsepark Trail will be built soon by the 22nd Ag District. Some eucalyptus trees will be removed and fencing added.

Pamo Valley Trail  San Dieguito RP Conservancy may use part of a recent donation for permitting and drawings followed by fundraising for construction costs.

From Carol Carr and Stu Smith

June Bird Count Walk
posted 06/23/11

New species observed: Yellow-crowned Night Heron: Total for month: 89. Count total 2010-2011: 189

Count summary: Total species seen and their abundance by month HERE

San Dieguito River Park JPA Board meeting of June 17, 2011
posted 06/21/11

The 2001/12 Budget was passed. 

San Diego is still unable to pay its assessment causing serious problems for the JPA. Del Mar and Escondido will help by reverting to the original assessments which were reduced for the past two years. It is necessary to borrow from the Endowment Fund but to maintain the principal.

Jacqueline Winterer reported on the Coastal Commission meeting she attended. The Board addressed the fairgrounds request for a Coastal Development Permit for a large tent on its property near to the freeway. It was pointed out that the Fair Board has many non-permitted structures already. The CCC Board and asked for a list of these with plans  for mitigation.  The CDP was not granted.

The JPA is joining with Solana Beach and Del Mar in a lawsuit related to the recent 22nd Ag District Master Plan EIR approval.

San Diego Planning Commission/Polo Club, - June 16, 2011
posted 06/17/11

The SD Planning Commission considered a plan from the Polo Club to

1. restore an existing public trail and impacts to adjacent areas by unauthorized grading

2. create a joint use trail for pedestrians and equestrians

3. create a separate private exercise track for the existing use of the Polo Club.

San Dieguito River Park personnel, the Polo Club and others were supportive of the project which has been under discussion for many years. Environmental factors were lauded by the commissioners and resource agencies have already given approval. 

However one commissioner is particularly interested in soccer use at the field and had a plan which would intensify the soccer use  and possible other activities.

The item was continued until July 14 for further consideration.

Keep tuned!

California Coastal Commission meeting in Marina Del Rey, June 16, 2011
posted 06/17/11

A request from the 22nd District Agricultural Association for a Coastal Development Permit  was on the agenda. The DAA wishes to place a 6650 sq.ft. tent structure for golf uses and other developments on the Fairgrounds Surf and Turf property. Dustin Fuller presented the project. Dawn Rawls (Lagoon Committee) and Jacqueline Winterer(Friends of SD River valley) addressed the issue of the relationship between the CCC and the 22nd DAA with respect to the lack of permit approvals for many completed projects over many years. The CCC Board decided to postpone the CDP hearing until the Fairboard has completed requirements to remedy this situation.


Ouster of DAA Fair Board members
posted 06/13/11

The Union Tribune reports the ouster of 3 members of the Fair Board by Governor Brown.

1. Barry Nussbaum:  Long time chair of the Board who was the main architect of the Master Plan with Russ Penniman (term expired but not removed)

2. Kelly Burt: supported all Board actions but rarely spoke at meetings.

3. Vivian Hardage: had missed many meetings due to health problems. Recently rejoined the Board but never expressed an opinion.

Adam Day will take over the Chairmanship. New members have not yet been announced .

The Board will not meet again until August 9, 2011 because of the ongoing Fair.

< May

FSDRV Board meeting of May 23, 2011
posted 05/29/11

  • Two lawsuits have been filed related to the Fairgrounds EIR. Del Mar, Solana Beach and the JPA and a separate one from the Sierra Club.
  • Send another letter to the CCC re the unpermitted Bingo sign near the freeway.
  • Recycling Center property now cleared but no barrier to parking at present.
  • Grant of $100,000 received by Del Mar from Vector Control for amelioration of the standing water at the west end of San Dieguito Drive.
  • Via de la Valle widening will include four lanes but the overall width of the project will be narrower.
  • FSDRV banners have been mounted in Del Mar.
  • Funds are available to replace one of the information signs on Grand Avenue Bridge Overlook .
  • Mileage marker project is underway.

April Bird Count Walk
posted 05/27/11

New species observed: Olive-sided Flycatcher, Western Wood-Pewee, Warbling Vireo, Nashville Warbler, Black-throated Gray Warbler, Hermit Warbler, Fox Sparrow, Dark-eyed Juncom Western Tanager, and Lazuli Bunting. Total for the month: 112. Count total 2010-2011: 188

Count summary: Total species seen and their abundance by month HERE

San Dieguito Drive Drainage Improvement.
posted 05/26/11

The City of Del Mar has successfully obtained a competitive grant of $100,000 from the San Diego County  Department of Environmental Health for the  purpose of reducing mosquito habitat.  This project will remove standing water along the south side of San Dieguito Drive approximately 300 ft east of Jimmy Durante Boulevard. The hillside generates groundwater which encroaches on the roadway and  
is a breeding habitat for mosquitoes.  The project includes the  installation of  paved ditches to catch groundwater runoff and  
connecting pipes to existing storm drain facilities.

posted 05/08/11

Several grunion runs this spring are causing an unfortunate delay in the final dredging of the San Dieguito River Lagoon east of the North County Transit District (NCTD) railroad bridge. It will resume after Labor Day and the summer beach season. It had been expected to be completed by that date.

Final inlet dredging is now scheduled to be completed by November 2011 according to Patrick Tennant, Southern California Edison (SCE) project manager.

Nevertheless we are pleased to welcome the grunion to our shores!

photos courtesy SCE

REACH THE BEACH MEETING AT THE COAST   Courtesy: San Dieguito River Park. 
posted 05/01/11

The San Dieguito River Park received a grant from the California Coastal Conservancy to study and create a plan to complete the west end of the Coast to Crest Trail. The CTC Trail currently ends at Jimmy Durante and is planned to extend to the beach in Del Mar. The grant will be used to explore potential trail routes from Jimmy Durante to the beach and solicit input from local agencies, the community, and trail users. A preferred trail route will be identified based on input received and a detailed plan will be produced. 

Many people attended the public workshop in Del Mar on April 27th to hear about potential trail routes and voice their opinions. 

For more information about the alternatives being evaluated go to

Photo courtesy San Dieguito River Park

Photo courtesy San Dieguito River Park

< april

West Bernado bike path/ cantilever at Lake Hodges
posted 04/26/11

The Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony Officially opening the West Bernardo Bike Path/Cantilever was held Friday April 8th. Although forecasted to rain, the weather turned out to be beautiful as 40 people attended the event, which was emceed by County Supervisor and JPA Boardmember Pam Slater-Price. Other speakers included Joe Tognoli from T. Y. Lin International Engineers, Carol Carr on behalf of the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition, Rand Newman, new president of the San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy, Dick Bobertz, Executive Director of the San Dieguito River Park, and Dave Kreitzer, long-time River Park supporter for whom the bicycle/pedestrian bridge over Lake Hodges is named.

April Bird Count Walk
posted 04/13/11

New species observed: Plumbeous/Cassin's Vireo: A Solitary-type vireo. Total for month: 107. Count total 2010-2011: 178

Count summary: Total species seen and their abundance by month HERE

FSDRV Board meeting: March 28, 2011
posted 04/04/11

  •  Marathon Construction has started dredging the western sector of the lagoon beginning east of the Grand Ave. Bridge.
  • Discussion of the DAA  projects near to the mini-golf course and request for postponement of the CCC hearing which was granted.
  • Letter sent re non-permitted DAA Bingo sign adjacent to the freeway
  • Vandals have damaged a bollard at the Grand Ave. Bridge
  • JPA signage at High Bluff Road park in need of refurbishment
  • Lake Hodges still overflowing since Feb 21
  • Trails Committee report re "Reach the Beach" . Project to find a suitable route for the trail from the Boardwalk to the beach is underway. Public workshop at Del Mar city annex on Wednesday,April 27, 2011 6.30 PM
  • Work on mileage markers is proceeding. To be installed on trail from beach to I-5 freeway as an aid for emergency personnel as well as hikers.
  • Possible fund raiser

See this web site for details of these items.


Lagoon Restoration: grand finale!!
posted 03/23/11

Dredging near Grand Avenue Bridge Overlook, early March 2011. Photo © Freda Reid

The final stage of the San Dieguito Lagoon Restoration project is now in progress. It started east of the Jimmy Durante bridge and is moving west towards the ocean. It will take about 5 months to dredge approximately 85,000 cubic yards of sand currently clogging the river channel and to pump it to a stockpile area, for eventual distribution to least tern sites and to the Del Mar beach. This will result in a better exchange of water from the ocean to the newly restored wetlands.

The specialized dredge operating in the eastern wetlands is small, has minimum emissions and makes very little noise. Excavators and front-end loaders will be used to remove sand in the channel west of Jimmy Durante Bridge. The same process of sand removal and placement has been used in past years to open the river mouth. 

The $86 million restoration project is being conducted by Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric to offset the impacts of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. It has produced rewarding results so far with a naturally sustainable ecosystem supporting much increased fish and bird populations.

It is almost done! But note that monitoring of this exciting effort will continue for many years.


Monthy Bird Count Walk
posted 03/11/11

New species observed: Rufous Hummingbird. Total for month: 105. Count total 2010-2011: 177

Count summary: Total species seen and their abundance by month HERE

West Bernardo Bike Path and Cantilever is Open!

posted 03/06/11

The bike path that connects the south end of the David Kreitzer Lake Hodges Bicycle/Pedestrian Bridge to the Bernardo Bay Natural Area and Rancho Bernardo Community Park is now open.  Enjoy! 

Photo courtesy San Dieguito River Park

Water over the dam: Feb 2011

posted 03/04/11

There are three man-made dams and associated reservoirs along the course of the San Dieguito River built over an 85year period. The oldest is Lake Hodges, built in 1918 followed by Lake Sutherland in 1954 and Olivenhain Reservoir in 2003.

Lake Hodges Dam overflowing.  Photo © Stu Smith

Video clip © Stu Smith   (This video clip has 20MB.)

Lake Hodges is owned by the City of San Diego and operated and maintained by its Public Utilities Department. It serves customers of the Santa Fe and San Dieguito Water Districts.

While we are benefiting from abundant rains this year drought is more usual. In anticipation of dry years, Lake Hodges has recently been linked to the Olivenhain Reservoir which receives water from Northern California and the Colorado River aqueducts.

Because it has a very large (300 square-mile) watershed, Hodges spills more often than any other reservoir in San Diego County. As of February 28, 2011, only Lake Hodges and Lake Barrett were 100 % full and flowed over their spillway.

The Hodges water started to overflow on February 21 thanks to abundant rain producing a spectacular waterfall which delighted passersby. Several  photographs are shown below.

Weekly updates of water levels in our County lakes is found at

River Mouth at Del Mar Beach.  Photo © Stu Smith

Flooded crossing at the Santa Fe Valley/Del Dios Gorge trail head.  Photo © Stu Smith

Upstream of the Del Dios Gorge bridge.  Photo © Stu Smith

Below dam spillway.  Photo © Stu Smith

FSDRV Board meeting : Feb 28, 2011

posted 03/04/11

The Board welcomed Ed Greene back as a member.

Subjects discussed included the following: 

  • Lack of MPLA designation for the river valley
  • San Dieguito Lagoon Center
  • Fairgrounds application for minor projects near the mini-golf  range
  • Illegal bingo sign on the freeway
  • Relocation of power lines on Via de la Valle
  • Overflow of Lake Hodges after this year's storms
  • Polo Fields updated plans for JPA trail
  • Possibilities for trail extension to the beach and new Mesa Loop trail
  • JPA/Conservancy financial problems
  • FSDRV financial report
  • Projects for 2011
  • One year report on web site.

Look out for further details on these items on this web site.

Via de la Valle road work

posted 03/04/11

SDG&E has begun the undergrounding work on Via de la Valle adjacent to the eastern part of the Lagoon Restoration project and west of Horsepark. The large transmission lines will be moved to the north side of the road and the smaller ones will be undergrounded when the surface road work begins. According to SDG&E completion is anticipated by April 22 2011. Hours of operation are scheduled for 9 PM to 5 AM Sunday through Thursday to mitigate traffic concerns. Map attached.

Alignment Map

Courtesy of Carmel Valley Community Planning Board


posted 03/03/11 - courtesy Sandpiper

by Ed Mirsky

Last year was a wonderful year for the wildlife at the San Dieguito Lagoon. The ebb and flow of the tides has brought in the seeds of marsh grasses as well as mud-flat worms and other organism invertebrates. The tidal basins served as hatcheries for a number of fish species. The fish are present in greater numbers than expected and that's good news for the coastal fisheries. And 173 species of birds (see FSGRV website: were counted during monthly bird surveys for the year, including Brown Pelican, Clapper Rail, Least Tern, California Gnatcatcher, Bell's Vireo, and Belding's Savannah Sparrow. All of which are on State and Federal watch lists due to their low abundance. In addition, Peregrine Falcons are regularly seen in the lagoon, including juvenile falcons probably raised in the Torres Pines Reserve. Cactus Wrens were common in San Diego County, but are hard to find now. One was seen in the park, and was even carrying nest-building material—let's hope. In addition, species restricted to wetlands are present (Virginia Rail, Sora, Black-necked Stilt, American Avocet, Least Bittern, Osprey), which is very good news.


Monthy Bird Count Walk
posted 02/13/11

New species observed: Snow Goose Total for month: 107. Count total 2010-2011: 175

Count summary: Total species seen and their abundance by month HERE

Fairgrounds EIR Consideration
posted 02/06/11

The latest information from Dustin Fuller (DAA Senior Environmental Planner) is that April 12th is probably the earliest possible date for the Fair Board to consider the final Fairgrounds Master Plan EIR.

CEQA requires that Public Agencies have ten (10) days to review the
responses to their comments PRIOR to that hearing date.  There is no CEQA requirement related to review of responses to comments submitted by individuals or probably other organizations such as the Friends. Dustin emphasized that the April 12 date is NOT final.

Farmstead Market
posted 02/06/11

Donna demonstrates spinning

Don't forget the Farmstead Market every Sunday from 1:00pm - 5:00pm!

Located at the gateway to the San Pasqual Agricultural Preserve, the market is open to the public and lots of fresh organic produce from Certified Farmers and food and Craft vendors also will be available for purchase!  Visit the historic home while you're here! Click here for more info.

Featured Farmers Market Vendors:

Roots N' Fruits - Bob Myers is the owner of a small farm in Valley Center where he grows six varieties of persimmons, lemons, and figs!  They should be ripe by this weekend!   
Moonspinners Ranch
- Donna Downing is the owner of a sheep farm in Valley Center.  She is a spinner knitter who brings a small spinning wheel to market and demonstrates how yarn is spun from the fur of her sheep!  She has beautiful handmade items like socks, gloves, hats, and scarves for sale.  

Intermediate Birding Course
posted 02/06/11

Phil Pryde (left) leading a birding outing at Lake Hodges.

SDAS again offers its Intermediate Birding Course with Phil Pryde, Instructor. San Diego Audubon Society (SDAS) will be offering its Intermediate Birding Course, designed for those with some experience in field identification of southwestern birds, and who would like to gain additional skills to enhance the enjoyment of their birding hobby.    
The class will be conducted on six Saturday mornings, starting on February 12th, and will include at least two guided field trips.  The primary subject matter of the course will be on identifying the more difficult or confusing local species (such as Clark's and Western Grebes, etc.), but many other topics will be covered as well. 

This intermediate birding course is open to all.  Cost of the course is just $85 for Friends (i.e., members) of SDAS, $110 for non-members.   The course will be taught at the Tecolote Nature Center.  If you wish to enroll or have questions, call Phil Pryde, the course instructor at 619-465-9492.


San Diego Archaeology Center New Exhibit
posted 01/29/11

The Legendary Life of Nate Harrison , San Diego's First African - American Homesteader will be on view until Thursday, September 15 2011 at the Archaeology Center on San Pasqual Road. Call 760-291-0370 or email for information

First Bird Count of 2011
posted 01/27/11

First Bird Count of 2011 Is tallied. Birders meet monthly at Del Mar Public Works next to the River Path to tally the counts and species seen at five different areas within the San Dieguito Lagoon Area. The January 2011 count of 118, was the highest in 13 months and brought the total number of species identified since January 2010 to 175, including two new species: the Sharp-shinned Hawk and Glaucous-winged Gull. Photo Stu Smith

New species observed: Sharp-shinned Hawk and Glaucous-winged Gull Total for month: 118 Count total 2010-2011: 175

Count summary: Total species seen and their abundance by month HERE

posted 01/13/11

courtesy Barbara Baker at SDRP

Date:        Saturday, January 29th/No Reservations Needed
Time:        8:00am - 9:30am
Location:   Lagoon Trail, Del Mar 
Difficulty:   Easy

Join avid birder Dave Batzler at the San Dieguito Lagoon as the River Park continues public bird watching sessions designed to encourage amateur birders to share their love of birds. We will have birding guides on hand for your convenience and also a scope to view the birds from different areas along the way!   Bring your binoculars, camera, and water!  No fee.  Meet at the information kiosk at the start of the Lagoon Trail located at the end of the cul-de-sac on San Andres Drive in Del Mar.

West Bernardo Bike Path to Open in January
posted 01/03/11

The trail connection between the David Kreitzer Lake Hodges Bicycle Pedestrian Bridge and the Bernardo Bay/Piedras Pintadas Trails at Lake Hodges is under construction and scheduled to be completed by the end of January. The 0.3-mile segment along West Bernardo Drive extends from the Bernardo Bay staging area to the south end of the bridge, connecting the 23-mile segment of the Coast-to-Crest Trail on the north side of the lake to four miles of trails on the south side.  The bridge will remain open during construction and was recently resurfaced with a more durable, non-slip material.

photo and article courtesy San Dieguito River Valley  Conservancy

< December 2010

December 22, 2011 at High Tide
posted 12/26/10

The South lot and Boardwalk and the San Dieguito River. Dec 2010
From Gatun St. in Del Mar.  Wednesday, December 22 at High Tide. 
Photo © Jacqueline Winterer

Lagoon, new large restoration pond and Grand Avenue Bridge viewpoint
from Gatun St. Del Mar.  Wednesday, December 22 at High Tide. 
Photo © Jacqueline Winterer

JPA Boardwalk on the south lot. Wednesday, December 22 at High Tide. 
Photo © Jacqueline Winterer

South lot and the river connected by a breach of the bank. 
Wednesday, December 22 at High Tide.  Photo © Jacqueline Winterer

River from Riverpath Del Mar looking east. 
Wednesday, December 22 at High Tide.  Photo © Jacqueline Winterer

DAA east parking lot a LAKE!
posted 12/24/10

Lake EPL on Wednesday, December 22 at 9:40am.
Photo panorama Art Olson. This photo first appeared on the Sandpiper website.