ReWild Mission Bay Summer 2020 Update

We hope you’re enjoying your summer and staying safe and healthy. Even as the pandemic persists, we’re meeting virtually with policymakers and candidates, bringing new organizations into the ReWild Coalition, and we can now reveal a new opportunity to ensure consideration of the ReWild Mission Bay “Wildest” proposal by the city. But as always, we need your help.

New Additions to the ReWild Coalition

The ReWild Coalition has grown into one of the largest and most diverse coalitions assembled for a San Diego environmental initiative, and since this week is Latino Conservation Week, it’s an excellent time to welcome Latino Outdoors to the ReWild Coalition.

Addressing the need for greater Latino representation in the enjoyment of our federal, state, and local public lands, Latino Outdoors began with a “wellness walk” at Point Reyes National Seashore in Marin County in 2013, and has rapidly grown into one of the nation’s most active conservation outlets, focusing on outreach to underrepresented communities and organizing Latino-driven outdoor outings throughout the U.S.

And just as we’re thrilled to welcome Latino Outdoors to the ReWild Coalition, we’re delighted to announce we’ve added San Diego Canyonlands to our coalition, along with the Kumeyaay community at Renascence, and San Diego Democrats for Equality, whose members voted unanimously to join the ReWild Coalition following our presentation at their June meeting.

Also, be sure to join ReWild’s Tommy Hough as he gives a presentation on ReWild Mission Bay to the West Chapter of the San Diego Progressive Democratic Club this Wednesday (tomorrow), July 22, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Register for the Zoom meeting now.

New Opportunity for Wildest Consideration

Good news as a Supplemental Environmental Project (SEP), undertaken by the city as mitigation for an earlier sewage spill in Tecolote Canyon, will enable the consideration of the “Wildest” wetland restoration proposal at the same level of attention as the city’s own plan, thereby giving city council and the mayor more information, and a clearer, more defined choice on the matter.

The SEP indicates a desire on the part of the city to pursue “implementable wetland restoration reflective of existing feasibility studies,” and since ReWild Mission Bay is a feasibility study, it’s clear our plan will be analyzed. As we’ve long maintained, Wildest demonstrates the abundant potential for feasible wetland restoration in northeast Mission Bay.

The deadline for public comments is Monday, Aug. 10, so make your comments now in support of the SEP to the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board (second item, “Notice of Written Comment Period for Tentative Stipulated Settlement Agreement No. R9-2020-0150”) as soon as possible.

A Commitment to Equity

Inequality in public land use has a regrettably lengthy history in our region, but awareness of this history, and the problems created as a result of it, continues to grow.

We believe the ReWild Mission Bay campaign offers an opportunity to address some of these long-term, historic injustices, and with our new equity statement the ReWild Coalition has made it a point to advocate for improved access to an expanded Mission Bay Park that highlights Indigenous communities and San Diegans of color as part of our mission to restore native wetlands. Read our full statement here.

So, About the Golf Course

San Diego City Council approved the mayor’s 2021 city budget after a lengthy day of testimony on June 8th. That budget includes an additional $3 million to be placed into a city Capital Improvement Program (CIP) for Mission Bay Park Golf Course (page 114), with several million dollars already in it from previous budget allotments.

Given the fact that Mission Bay Golf Course remains in the midst of a larger land use discussion on the future of the park, and considering the collapse in city revenue from the pandemic and expected cuts to city services, one wonders if now is the best time to invest in a golf course. To that end, ReWild volunteer Chuck Dunning wrote this Times of San Diego piece about the $3 million earmark. Read it here.

Monarch Butterflies and Plants

It isn’t too late to register for the virtual Mariposas Monarcas y Plantas (Monarch Butterflies and Plants) event in honor of Latino Conservation Week this Thursday, July 23, from 5 to 6:30 p.m.

San Diego Audubon, along with our partners with the California Native Plant Society and the San Diego City College Audubon Club, will offer short lectures on how to grow native milkweed to support Monarch butterflies, and the life cycle and threats this delicate, declining pollinator is facing in our region. RSVP and get the Zoom link for the event at the San Diego Audubon website.

Open Space Serves Us All

Investing in Mission Bay Park wetlands will pay dividends for a healthier city and environment, make our park more climate resilient, ensure greater habitat for native plants and animals, and result in cleaner water in our bay. That’s a future we’re committed to.

If you have a moment, consider writing an op/ed to your local paper or preferred news source in support of ReWild Mission Bay. Express what Mission Bay Park means to you, and why you’re a passionate supporter of wetland restoration in the northeast corner of Mission Bay.

Thank you for your ongoing support this summer. Stay healthy.

Wildly Yours,

Andrew Meyer
Campaign Director
ReWild Mission Bay

Tommy Hough
Campaign Coordinator
ReWild Mission Bay

Photos by Greg Hoxsie, Karina Ornelas, and Craig Chaddock.