Buena Vista Lagoon Enhancement Project

Buena Vista LagoonBuena Vista Lagoon is located in northern San Diego County, within the cities of Oceanside and Carlsbad. It encompasses approximately 220 acres, extending to the coastline from just east of I-5. Buena Vista Lagoon is the only freshwater lagoon in Southern California, protected from tidal influence by a beach berm and a man-made barrier, known as a weir, located at the lagoon mouth. 

Numerous federal, state and local agencies and organizations have cooperated in efforts to enhance the lagoon. In July 2012, SANDAG was asked to serve as the new lead agency for the environmental review process for the Buena Vista Lagoon Enhancement Project. The SANDAG Transportation Committee approved the request, in recognition of the lagoon’s regional value and the importance of resolving long-term management questions. 

Environmental Process

The Buena Vista Lagoon Enhancement Project includes completing engineering studies and preparing an Environmental Impact Report (EIR). A minimum of four alternatives were evaluated: three enhancement alternatives (freshwater, saltwater, and a saltwater/freshwater hybrid regime) and a no project alternative. SANDAG is engaged stakeholders and the public in considering alternatives through the EIR process.

On April 25, 2013, SANDAG published a Notice of Preparation for the EIR and began a 30-day public comment period. Members of the public were invited to a public scoping meeting on May 9, 2013 to provide input on the issues to be addressed in the environmental review process.

The final EIR will be posted and a public hearing scheduled in late 2016.

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Project Schedule

The scoping period for the EIR was completed in May 2013. Public review of the Draft EIR and a public workshop were held fall 2014. The final EIR will be posted in late 2016. The timing of any future enhancement efforts will depend on which alternative is selected and the proposed funding sources.

Project Funding

SANDAG has committed $800,000 in TransNet funds for the Buena Vista Lagoon environmental review process. Additionally, the cities of Oceanside and Carlsbad each contributed $100,000 toward the study. Funding for implementation of a potential enhancement project will be explored after completion of the EIR process and selection of a preferred alternative by SANDAG. 

Project Manager

Keith Greer, Senior Regional Planner
Phone: (619) 699-7390; Email: [email protected]

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