San Diego Audubon Secures Key Concessions on De Anza Leases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Oct. 9, 2019

San Diego, Calif. – The San Diego Audubon Society with significant input from the ReWild Mission Bay Coalition are pleased to announce an agreement with Campland and the City of San Diego that guarantees a pair of key components as part of Campland’s expanded leases in northeast Mission Bay:

  • The new RV spaces the City has allowed Campland to create will be kept as far away from the public bayfront as possible on the east side of Rose Creek, restricting their new RV infrastructure to the interior of the De Anza area.
  • This will prevent interim development in areas south of the Mission Bay RV Resort and along the east side of Rose Creek, leaving the potential for future wetland restoration. Campland has committed to removing the remaining mobile homes on the De Anza boot as part of its lease agreement with the city passed by council on June 24.

Unfortunately, the June deal between Campland and the city postpones implementation of the “Wildest” wetland restoration plan in northeast Mission Bay for up to eight years, undercuts the public planning process already underway, and the San Diego Audubon Society remains concerned about lapses in California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) steps taken by the city.

However, the agreement announced on Oct. 7 limits Campland’s investment in new motor home sites, and would place them as far as possible from our shared shoreline and proposed future wetland restoration area. The agreement also notes that any new RV use along the east side of Rose Creek is temporary. Audubon has agreed not to challenge the project’s Coastal Development Permit (CDP) on the basis of new RV spaces – provided those RV spaces are placed in agreed-upon areas as far removed from the bayfront as possible.

San Diego Audubon, with input from the ReWild Mission Bay coalition, remains free to oppose and challenge the CDP on any other grounds.

According to Andrew Meyer, conservation director with San Diego Audubon and ReWild Mission Bay program manager, “We want the city to move aggressively on wetland restoration, improve water quality, create new trails and paddling paths, and begin planning for sea level rise now. Unfortunately, the minimum five-year agreement the city entered into in June postpones restoration benefits for residents, endangered birds, fish, and our other wild neighbors who rely upon these rare coastal habitats for their survival.”

Meyer added, “We applaud Campland and the City for agreeing to site all new RV infrastructure as far from the site of projected sea level rise and future wetlands as possible. We’ll continue to advocate for meaningful, sustainable wetland restoration, like our Wildest proposal in northeast Mission Bay, to improve the diversity and abundance of resident and migratory bay-dependent birds.”

A recent report by Cornell University and the American Bird Conservancy found the U.S. and Canada have three billion fewer birds now than nearly 50 years ago in 1970. We believe an eventual wetland restoration project in Mission Bay will help to reverse this decline. The National Audubon Society has similarly released a new study showing two-thirds of North American bird species are at risk of extinction.

San Diego Audubon and the ReWild Coalition will also continue to participate in and organize climate change and sea level rise awareness efforts, like the recent “March to the Marsh” with San Diego 350 and the San Diego City College Audubon club, along with hundreds of students from Mission Bay High School and San Diego City College in support of the Global Climate Walkout on Sept. 20.

The ReWild Mission Bay Coalition includes San Diego 350; California Native Plant Society San Diego Chapter; Citizens Coordinate for Century III (C3); Climate Action Campaign (CAC); Environmental Center of San Diego; Friends of Famosa Slough; Friends of Mission Bay Marshes; Friends of Rose Canyon; Friends of Rose Creek; Mission Bay Fly Fishing Company; Outdoor Outreach; Rose Creek Watershed Alliance; San Diego City College chapter of the Society for Advancement of Chicanos, Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS); San Diego Audubon Society; San Diego Coastkeeper; San Diego County Democrats for Environmental Action; Sierra Club San Diego; Southwest Wetlands Interpretive Association; Stay Cool for Grandkids; Surfrider Foundation San Diego; Sustainability Matters; Unite Here! Local 30; WildCoast.

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ReWild Mission Bay is a project of the San Diego Audubon Society and our 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 our collective backyard.