SANDAG and Caltrans, along with the San Dieguito River Park Joint Powers
Authority (SDRPJPA) as a partner agency, are pursuing a project to
restore land in the San Dieguito River Valley. The San Dieguito Lagoon
Restoration Project Phase II will convert former agricultural fields to saltwater
wetlands and enhance and maintain the natural flood control channel.
The restoration is estimated to cost $60 million and is
anticipated to begin in late 2021.
project will expand and enhance the efforts of Southern California Edison
(SCE), which began restoring surrounding wetlands in 2011. Included in the
project is the planting of native species, maintenance of wetlands within the
Wetlands 19 and 6 sites, as well as the relocation of a single set of utility
poles into an existing San
Diego Gas & Electric utility corridor.
will help assist SCE with the maintenance of the lagoon inlet to ensure it
remains open to tidal flushing and provides sand to the beach.
The establishment of a mix of coastal wetlands that
includes approximately 64 acres of tidal salt marsh, 15 acres of brackish
wetlands, and enhance an additional five acres of riparian habitat to benefit
local wildlife, supplementing restoration efforts completed within the San
Dieguito Lagoon in 2011.
The creation of a new trail paralleling El Camino Real
that will improve connectivity to the Dust Devil Nature Trail along the
southern edge of the project area and extend north near the El Camino Real
bridge for future connection to the Coast to Crest Trail.
The creation of a sustainable ecosystem that is prepared
for future sea level rise and anticipated flood conditions.
SDRPJPA, as lead agency has completed the Final
Environmental Impact Report (FEIR) for the San Dieguito Lagoon
Restoration Project Phase II as required by the California Environmental
Quality Act (CEQA). The responses to public comments received on the Draft EIR
are in Appendix R of the Final EIR.
SANDAG’s Environmental Mitigation Program (EMP) provides a portion of funds for this project that emphasizes the protection, preservation, and restoration of native habitats and local wildlife to offset the disturbance caused by the construction of regional and local transportation projects. The San
Dieguito Lagoon Restoration Project Phase II is being done in conjunction with
Caltrans to implement highway and railroad improvements as part of the
Interstate 5 North
Coast Corridor Program.
October 2009, SANDAG entered into an agreement with SDRPJPA, for the exclusive
rights to restore property owned by SDRPJPA (amended in 2016). At the same
time, the City of San Diego elected to use a portion of the SDRPJPA property to
mitigate the impacts associated with the El Camino Real Bridge Widening
plans of SANDAG, SDRPJPA, and the City of San Diego were combined in 2011 and
launched the development of a restoration plan, engineering and technical
studies, and environmental analysis for a larger restoration effort. In 2012,
Caltrans and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers joined the three organizations in
creating coastal wetland restoration plans for the lagoon that will build upon
and expand previous restoration work.
engineering, hydrologic modeling, and technical studies
the restoration have been completed.