TODAY: Deadline for Public Comments in Support of SEP Proposal

Today is the deadline to submit your public comments in support of the city’s Supplemental Environmental Project (SEP), undertaken as mitigation for an earlier sewage spill in Tecolote Canyon that affected and contaminated a portion of Mission Bay.

If approved, the SEP will, in all likelihood, enable consideration of our “Wildest” wetland restoration proposal at the same level of attention as the city’s own plan, thereby giving city elected officials and policymakers more information on wetland restoration in northeast Mission Bay, and a clearer, more defined choice on the matter.

As we noted earlier this summer, the SEP proposal indicates a desire on the part of the city to pursue “implementable wetland restoration reflective of existing feasibility studies,” and since the ReWild Mission Bay wetlands restoration feasibility study is just that, it seems clear that our plan will be analyzed should this be approved. As we’ve long maintained, the Wildest proposal demonstrates the abundant potential for feasible wetland restoration in northeast Mission Bay.

The deadline for public comments is 5 p.m. today, 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”) via e-mail to Christopher Means at: christopher.means@waterboards.ca.gov

You may want to make some or all of these points as part of your remarks regarding the ReWild Mission Bay Wildest proposal:

  • Should meaningful wetland restoration be implemented in the form of the Wildest proposal, benefits to the community and our natural environment will include increased carbon sequestration, improved water quality, access and stewardship opportunities, greater resilience to sea level rise, and an improvement in habitat and wildlife support.
  • This SEP is an opportunity to reverse the historic loss of wetlands along the California coast and in the northeast corner of Mission Bay.
  • The components of this SEP-funded alternative could provide opportunities to study living shorelines and natural infrastructure that would provide world-class research data for communities dealing with these same problems.
  • The SEP proposal could support the goals of the water board’s support for funding projects that further the “practical vision priorities with consideration to environmental justice and disadvantaged communities, and the recovery of streams, wetlands, and riparian systems” detailed in a related board resolution (R9-2015-0020).
  • The water board and the city should look for partnerships in order to embrace opportunities to “advance living shoreline science.”
  • If the SEP is approved, the water board should assist in conducting a “comparative carbon sequestration analysis” of the restoration alternatives, so city policymakers and the public better understand the values of the projects in relation to the city’s Climate Action Plan.

Again, the deadline for public comments is 5 p.m. today, 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 via e-mail to Christopher Means at: christopher.means@waterboards.ca.gov

Photo by Tommy Hough