In a unanimous vote following two hours of public testimony, the state Regional Water Quality Control Board for the San Diego region voted 6-0 in support of a Supplemental Environmental Project that will enable the ReWild Mission Bay “Wildest" plan for wetland restoration in northeast Mission Bay to be considered at the same level as the city's own plan.
Backed by an impressive coalition of community planning groups, businesses, labor unions, environmental outlets, and faith-based organizations, the adoption of the Supplemental Environmental Project earmarks funds for the City of San Diego to develop a new, wetland-rich planning alternative in the ReWild area of concern that will benefit the ecological health of Kendall-Frost Marsh Reserve, Rose Creek, and De Anza Cove.
Andrew Meyer, conservation director at the San Diego Audubon Society and campaign director for ReWild Mission Bay, said the control board’s vote is important, but there's more work to do.
"This is a big win for ReWild Mission Bay project and the 46 members of the ReWild Coalition," he said. "However, while this enables the city to create a new alternative with more wetland in the ongoing De Anza planning process, it doesn't guarantee the city will choose it. That's where our focus has to go now."
ReWild campaign coordinator Tommy Hough echoed the need for a renewed effort at City Hall, but also noted what he described as the "unimpeachable basics" of the campaign.
"This is about taking steps to ensure resiliency to climate change and rising sea levels, improve water quality, restore access to our shared public places, ensure greater habitat for vulnerable and threatened species, facilitate carbon sequestration, and add environmental justice components to the Mission Bay Park experience relative to the area's lengthy history of Indigenous use," Hough said.
ReWild Mission Bay is a project of the San Diego Audubon Society and the ReWild Coalition partners to enhance and restore wetlands in the northeast corner of Mission Bay, thereby creating new opportunities for wildlife to thrive, and for San Diegans to enjoy nature in their collective backyard.