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    Mission By Park Committee votes to keep golf course, add wetlands to De Anza Cove plan
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    Dec 14, 2017 | 5398 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Mission Bay Park Committee voted Dec. 6 for a preferred alternative for the De Anza Revitalization Plan that pleased recreationalists but few others, especially not environmentalists who decried the decision as “token.” Overriding objections from environmentalists to delay rather than rush its choice, the park committee voted 5-3 in favor of “alternative 2,” which will now be forwarded for city environmental review.  “Unfortunately, the two concepts presented by the city were driven by misguided priorities that ultimately fail to reach the goals of the Mission Bay Park Master Plan,” said Rebecca Schwartz Lesberg of nonprofit San Diego Audubon. “It’s disappointing to watch the city push concepts that are not resilient to sea level rise, ignoring the inevitable. These concepts place the burden of responding to climate change on future generations, and miss the opportunity to prepare our region for shrinking coastlines.” To adequately protect wetlands in Mission Bay, Schwartz Lesberg said, the city would need to dedicate at least 200 acres — less than 5 percent of Mission Bay — to habitat. The preferred plan currently only has around 30 to 40 acres set aside for wetlands, increasing the less than 2 percent of wetlands in the bay to less than 3 percent.  The city’s Mission Bay Park Master Plan requires wetlands restoration and improvements aimed at protecting those marsh areas, Schwartz Lesberg noted. She said the alternative selected “Does very little to correct the bay-wide imbalance that has for decades favored commerce and recreation at the expense of the environment.” A regional park, Mission Bay has a city-owned, 18-hole golf course as well as ball fields and tennis and volleyball courts. It includes dog-friendly, off-leash Fiesta Island. The park is home to a myriad of aquatic interests — boating, swimming, kayaking, etc. There is also lodging at Campland on the Bay, which provides RV and tent camping. Recreationalists were generally pleased by the committee’s selection of alternative 2, which spares the 50-plus year-old Mission Bay Golf Course. Some wanted the golf course downsized or eliminated altogether, arguing it took up too much park space and that it has been operating at a deficit for years. The preferred plan, alternative 2, allows for 38 acres of wetland. A total of 40 acres are also set aside for “guest housing.” The plan also considers creation of ball fields and a restaurant, while providing beach access for water sports that don’t rely on combustible engines. The fate of Campland on the Bay, whose supporters testified at the Dec. 6 park committee meeting that their families have enjoyed the camp for as many as three generations, remains uncertain. Approximately 80 percent of Campland’s visitors are San Diegans. Campland presently pays about $3 million in transit occupancy taxes and rent. Jacob Gelfand, vice president of operations at Campland on the Bay, said it would be a mistake to ignore the importance of lodging in planning for De Anza Cove. “Campland has been a beloved local asset, coming up on 50 years,” Gelfand said. “Any plan the city puts forward should reflect the community’s need for continuing waterfront camping access.” Said Gelfand: “There’s been a lot written in the media about perceived conflict between camping and other potential uses. For the last 50 years, Campland has been a dedicated environmental steward and neighbor to the Kendall-Frost Marsh. A lot of our campsites overlook the wetlands marsh, and there really is a symbiotic relationship between the marsh and the camp, with a lot of our tenants requesting sites with views of the marsh so they can reconnect with the natural environment.” ReWild Mission Bay is a project of San Diego Audubon to enhance and restore up to 170 acres of wetlands in the northeast corner of Mission Bay. Wetlands including marshes, mud flats and riverbanks, which are instrumental in attracting wildlife, fostering a diverse ecosystem, improving water quality and protecting communities from flooding by providing a cushion during high tides.  Today, only about 1 percent of the historic 4,500 acres of Mission Bay wetlands remain, which leads environmentalists to conclude that ReWild Mission Bay is a critical and time-sensitive project for the area. “Both of the De Anza Revitalization plans reconnect Kendall-Frost Marsh with Rose Creek, which will help the remaining 40 acres of wetlands survive,” said Schwartz Lesberg previously. “What is missing from both alternatives is the long-term view to ensure wetlands can continue to create cleaner water, buffer communities from sea-level rise, provide habitat for wildlife, and get people out in nature. If they (wetlands) disappear — so do those services.”
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    Buccaneers resurface with winning performances at SoCal regatta
    by DAVE THOMAS
    Dec 13, 2017 | 1564 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    From left: Coach Chris Wright, Owen Getz, Noah Kapchinske, Christopher Zamorripa, Brian Fitzsimmons, McKenzie Neuman, Marleigh Henehan, Adelaide Cunningham, and coach Aine McLean.
    From left: Coach Chris Wright, Owen Getz, Noah Kapchinske, Christopher Zamorripa, Brian Fitzsimmons, McKenzie Neuman, Marleigh Henehan, Adelaide Cunningham, and coach Aine McLean.
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    Not having been in the water for decades, the Mission Bay Buccaneers sailing team is back and making noise. This past Sunday, the team competed in the third SoCal regatta for the 2017-2018 season.   With winds over Mission Bay light to start, they picked up enough to get the racing off and running around noon.   The Mission Bay team, led by sophomore Adelaide Cunningham and freshman Marleigh Henehan, had four boats in the silver fleet.   In addition to the team captains, McKenzie Neuman (’21), Brian Fitzsimmons (’20), Christopher Zamorripa (’21), Noah Kapchinske (’21), Owen Getz (’21), and Jacob Adler (’22) sailed six races. The top two MBHS boats scored second and sixth overall, out of 37 boats (Huntington Beach High School finished first).   Coaches Aine McLean and Chris Wright were thrilled to see the progress this newly-formed team is making. As it turns out, several of the competitors had never even been in a boat prior to October. With their performances this past weekend, their coaches and parents are all extremely proud of the sailors’ progress and are looking forward to many great years of high school sailing.
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    Seeing red in Pacific Beach as Santas take over
    Dec 09, 2017 | 9834 views | 1 1 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Thousands of Santas ran through Pacific Beach the morning of Saturday, Dec. 9 for the annual Santa Run. / All photos by Thomas Melville
    Thousands of Santas ran through Pacific Beach the morning of Saturday, Dec. 9 for the annual Santa Run. / All photos by Thomas Melville
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    A continuous red streak ran through Garnet Avenue and Cass Street in Pacific Beach on the morning Saturday, Dec. 9, as thousands of Santas took over the beach community for the fifth annual San Diego Santa Run. Hosted by High Performance Movement, the event consisted of a series of waves, including a 5K Fun Run and one-mile runs that feature the Santa’s Little Helper Mile (for the pup), the Santa’s Elves Mile (for kids) and the Speedy Mile (for competitive Santas). Throughout the course, runners donning “Sunny Santa Suits" — complete with white beards, Santa hats and sunglasses — got into the spirit as holiday music was performed live on corners along the route. Following the Santa Run, participants filled local restaurants and pubs and watched the 38th annual Pacific Beach Holiday Parade, down Garnet Avenue. The parade is funded, in part, by revenue generated through the Santa Run and other events put on by High Performance Movement. For more information, visit sandiegosantarun.com.
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    December 10, 2017
    Awesome, Red Delicious!
    King tides make a splash – show shoreline susceptible to sea level rise
    Dec 06, 2017 | 27929 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    A photographer gets splashed as a huge wave crashes over the stairs to Garbage Beach during a king tide on Tuesday, Dec. 5. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    A photographer gets splashed as a huge wave crashes over the stairs to Garbage Beach during a king tide on Tuesday, Dec. 5. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Ocean Beach resident Maddie Drinkward looks on as a huge wave heads toward her during the king tide on Tuesday morning. / PHOTO BY THOMAS MELVILLE
    Ocean Beach resident Maddie Drinkward looks on as a huge wave heads toward her during the king tide on Tuesday morning. / PHOTO BY THOMAS MELVILLE
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    Some of the year's highest tides, known as “king tides,” hit the California shoreline this week, providing a glimpse of what the state can expect as sea levels rise in the coming years. This winter, the largest tides took place on Dec. 3, 4, and 5, and will take place again Jan. 1 and 2. The California King Tides Project is asking the public to go outside and photograph these ultra-high tides to illustrate how homes, harbors, beaches, wetlands, seawalls, and public access to the coast will be affected by future sea level rise. During king tides, nearly all of the Kendall Frost Marsh Reserve in Mission Bay is flooded with water, giving researchers insight into what the new normal will be for this remnant wetland under rising seas. Endangered Light-footed Ridgway's Rails live and nest in this 40-acre habitat, the only piece remaining of what was once 4,000 acres of wetlands in Mission Bay. The king tides push the birds to the margins of the salt marsh to stay out of the water and researchers use this opportunity to count this otherwise hard-to-spot secretive marsh bird.  Mission Bay’s wetlands supply habitat for hundreds of local wildlife species, protect San Diego from climate change impacts such as flooding, and improve water quality. In addition to using the high tides as a chance to document the number of Ridgway’s Rails in Mission Bay, San Diego Audubon encourages residents to use this as a visual opportunity to understand why the region must ensure protection and restoration of its wetlands so that they can continue to create cleaner water, buffer communities from sea level rise, provide habitat for wildlife, and get people into nature.  State and local officials and climate change researchers use the images taken during the king tides season to validate sea level rise models and better assess local flood vulnerabilities for planning purposes. Recent advances in the science of sea level rise and climate modeling have brought increased attention to the importance of these planning efforts. This includes the California Ocean Protection Council’s updated Sea Level Rice Guidance, which is open for public comment through Dec. 15.
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    ISA Adaptive Surf Competition in La Jolla adds women’s division
    by BLAKE BUNCH
    Dec 01, 2017 | 36753 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Dani Burt lost her right leg above the knee in a motorcycle accident, but since has learned how to surf - progressing to capture the 2016 WSA adaptive surfing championship. She will look for another title at this weekend’s adaptive surf competition. / PHOTO BY PAT WEBER
    Dani Burt lost her right leg above the knee in a motorcycle accident, but since has learned how to surf - progressing to capture the 2016 WSA adaptive surfing championship. She will look for another title at this weekend’s adaptive surf competition. / PHOTO BY PAT WEBER
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    New Jersey native Dani Burt grew up skateboarding and bodyboarding, but always found a primal need to be in the ocean. Prior to her losing her right leg (above her knee) in a motorcycle accident, however, she had never been surfing. Now Burt, a doctor of physical therapy at Scripps Memorial Hospital, has been named the 2016 WSA US champion in adaptive surfing and looks to secure another title. Between Nov. 29 and Dec. 3, she will be competing in the Stance Adaptive World Surfing Championship at La Jolla Shores. Presented by Vissla and the City of San Diego, this is the first year that Burt will be able to surf in a women’s-only division. “I was in Hawaii about 10 or 11 years ago for the Duke’s Festival. This was after the accident, after watching a lot of the competitions, I knew I had to get back in the water,” said Burt. “Around this time, however, there weren’t any ‘surf legs,’ so I had to rig one up and some of my surfer friends took me out.” While her background, developed balance and board knowledge helped push her forward, like most starting something from scratch, she had her doubts. It wasn’t until a chance meeting with legendary surfer and shaper Donald Takayama at his Oceanside shop that she dialed it in. “It was truly inspiring, as he is someone who I definitely looked up to,” said Burt. “We were talking at the shop one day, and he was like ‘here, take a board.’ He was a huge influence on me. For the ISA contest, I have a 9-foot-long Takayama and a 7-foot-10-inch-long pintail mini in my quiver.” Prior to this year’s contest, there weren’t enough women to comprise a women’s “para surfing” (adaptive surfing) division, so Burt competed in the mixed-gender division. Despite being the minority sex in her group, she went on to capture the 2016 title, as well as come in second this year. In 2016, the event featured seven women from five countries across three divisions. The inclusion of a separate women’s division has played a key role in more than doubling women’s participation in this year’s contest.  “The ISA is proud to be actively promoting and developing women’s surfing around the globe,” said ISA president Fernando Aguerre. “Creating an opportunity for women in the Stance ISA World Adaptive Surfing Championship is just another step in working towards complete gender equality, which is the ultimate goal.”
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