Support the SEP at the Regional Water Quality Control Board

Tomorrow is a big day for the ReWild Mission Bay campaign as the Supplemental Environmental Project, or SEP, featuring the Wildest wetland restoration proposal goes before the Regional Water Quality Control Board.

The meeting will come to order at 9 a.m. We hope you can join us and make remarks to the board in support of the SEP proposal via Zoom or on the telephone.

The deadline for registration is 8:30 a.m. Unless otherwise indicated, you will have up to three minutes to make your remarks. Download this one sheet for talking points and links to registration instructions. You can also watch last week’s Support the SEP presentation for more.

We’ll make our remarks as part of item 8 on the agenda (Tentative Order No. R9-2020-0150), which is the meeting’s only scheduled action item. Our basic points for Wildest and the ReWild campaign continue to be in support of:

  • Cleaner water in Mission Bay.
  • Expanded public access to our bayfront.
  • Greater habitat for vulnerable and threatened species that will vanish as sea levels rise.
  • Promoting efficient carbon sequestration in our salt marshes and other coastal wetlands.
  • Expanded wetlands in northeast Mission Bay that will provide greater resilience to climate change and rising sea levels.
  • Opportunities to improve, and add, environmental justice components to the Mission Bay Park experience relative to the area’s lengthy history of Indigenous use.
  • One of the largest and most diverse coalitions of its kind in San Diego, with 45 community groups, businesses, labor unions, environmental outlets, and faith-based organizations.

As our guests explained during the Support the SEP presentation, approval of the SEP will enable the Wildest plan for wetland restoration that our coalition has been advocating for the last two years to be considered at the same level of attention as the city’s own wetland restoration plan for northeast Mission Bay, thereby creating a new, Wildest-like planning option. It’s a big deal.

And here’s a talking point that was briefly touched on last week: The Campland area of Mission Bay just flunked Surfrider’s Blue Water Task Force for water quality. Sadly, this is nothing new.

The area around Campland doesn’t necessarily suffer from poor water quality because of the presence of Campland, but it’s not doing the bay any water quality favors. Situated at the mouth of Rose Creek, the area Campland is in today was, historically, brimming with salt marshes and wetland habitat that form when conditions are just right where fresh water meets the salt water of a bay.

Unfortunately, due to development of Mission Bay that eradicated native, green infrastructure, the mouth of Rose Creek has been robbed over the last 100 years of the wetlands that could naturally be doing the expensive work of capturing and treating sewage, toxins, runoff, and other pollutants that enter Rose Creek via its route through Pacific Beach and beneath I-5.

As a result, Campland routinely has some of poorest water quality in Mission Bay. Not only is this dangerous and unpleasant, it’s not what tourists, swimmers, and visitors enjoying a birthday party on a weekend afternoon at Mission Bay should have to contend with – it’s also a situation that could be improved with restored wetlands and live habitat.

We’ll see you tomorrow. Wear your ReWild shirts, use the ReWild virtual background, and be sure to be registered with the Regional Water Quality Control Board by 8:30 a.m.

Banner photo by Tommy Hough.