SD Community Newspaper Group: Things get ReWild as Pacific Beach Town Council gets Audubon’s updates

By Dave Schwab, published on 2/25/16 by the San Diego Newspaper Group

In February, Pacific Beach Town Council was updated on plans to resurrect Mission Bay wetlands and fight alcohol-related and other crimes along the beachfront.

Town council also heard from a Mission Beach bike rental operator, who plans to take his fight against DecoBike boardwalk stations directly to the bikeshare operator’s San Diego headquarters.

Rebecca Schwartz, San Diego Audubon’s conservation program manager, clued the council in on ReWild Mission Bay, a three-year project to enhance and restore up to 170 acres of wetlands in the northeast corner of Mission Bay.

“The vision is to enhance and restore wetlands at the mouth of Rose Creek,” said Schwartz, noting the remaining marsh, known by various names including the Kendall Frost Reserve, has shrunk to about 40 acres, which she said is “nonsustainable.”

Schwartz noted Mission Bay is actually a “misnomer.”

“It wasn’t a bay at all,” she said. “It’s actually a salt marsh estuary of about 4,000 acres.”

In a slideshow presentation, Schwartz showed old aerial photographs of Mission Bay depicting just how much it has been altered, encroached upon and manipulated by man. She pointed out, nonetheless, that Mission Bay is the “largest aquatic recreation facility in the United States, with 14 million users a year.”

Schwartz said the bay is also home to thousands of migrating and shorebirds as well as a host of federally threatened and endangered species.

A public workshop on ReWild is set for 5 to 8 p.m Wednesday, March 16 in Mission Bay High.

School’s library, 2475 Grand Ave.

“San Diego Audubon is an environmental nonprofit dedicated to protecting birds and other wildlife and their habitats,” Schwartz said.

Schwartz added one objective of the three-year Rewild habitat reclamation project is to reconnect and repair the wetlands with Rose Creek, which she noted will act as a buffer and natural filtering mechanism to keep sediments and pollution upstream from entering Mission Bay.

Read more: San Diego Community News Group – Things get ReWild as Pacific Beach Town Council gets Audubon s updates