San Diego Unified Port District and Wildlife Advisory Group Host Virtual Meeting on Upcoming Projects and Wildlife Impact

A two-hour meeting addressed several topics and concerns regarding an upcoming project in Chula Vista.

SAN DIEGO- On Oct 20., the Wildlife Advisory Group (WAG) of the Port of San Diego held a virtual meeting to address multiple agenda items regarding projects in Chula Vista and the effects they will have on the wildlife, environment, and community.

 

The first presentation addressed the Chula Vista Bayfront’s progress regarding the Long-Term Monitoring Plan (LTMP). The Port contracted Tierra Data Inc. to finalize the draft of the Chula Vista Bayfront LTMP. The Monitoring Committee provided their comments, and Tierra Data Inc. and the Port staff collaborated to revise the draft for the LTMP.

 

           The recommended general approach to the LTMP includes an interactive map as the core visual product as well as reporting on various monitoring elements. The specific monitoring studies will address intertidal salt marsh, eelgrass, avian species, the fish community, water quality, and the level of sea rise. 

 

           The objectives for the LTMP are to ensure that measures are put in place to reduce wildlife harm effectively and provide conservation for estuarine habitats of the Chula Vista Bayfront (CVB). They make sure that native flora and fauna are thriving. They make certain the adaptation for climate change and sea-level rise resiliency is in place, and to guarantee that the experience of nature contributes to the well-being of residents and visitors. 

 

Finally, the Port will present their draft for the LTMP to WAG on Dec 10 and will be addressed in the Jan 2022 WAG meeting. 

 

           All feedback for WAG must be done via email at wag@portofsandiego.org by Dec 10, 2021. 

 

           The following presentation addressed an update on the Buffer Area Restoration. The restoration project will cost a total of $4 million and will restore the habitat by removing invasive species. 

 

Action items included a presentation on the new RV Park in Chula Vista and its palm trees and the consideration of a draft letter regarding the RV Park palm trees and predator perches. This information is crucial because it addresses predator birds and the visibility of San Diego Bay from the RV Park. The presentation shared that palm tree trimming is planned for the fall annually after the birds leave the nests and before the owls arrive to nest for winter. The California fan palm was accepted as the species that the RV park will plant. It was selected for being a Calif. native along with it having much smaller crown and head mass that provides limited perch room for raptors, unlike the broad canopy trees. 

 

The last action item was a presentation on the temporary Living Coast Discovery Center (LCDC) Parking Lot and the consideration of a draft letter regarding the potential creation of a permanent LCDC Parking Lot that is planned to be built on the west side of the new RV park. The parking lot will be 83 regular stalls with four handicap-accessible stalls totaling 87 stalls. The pursuit of the parking lot will alleviate the LCDC and its current and less convenient parking situation. Plans to move forward on this project are determined to begin for late 2021, early 2022. The permanent lot is not as far in its design process as the temporary one is. 

 

Proposed dates for 2022 meetings include Jan. 26, April 27, July 27, and Oct. 26 and are currently being discussed as In-person meetings become more realistic.

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