Big Media Week for ReWild Mission Bay

The last 10 days since the Regional Water Quality Control Board’s approval of the city’s proposal to utilize our Wildest wetland restoration plan as the basis for a new planning alternative for northeast Mission Bay have been some of the busiest for the ReWild Mission Bay effort this year.

That’s been reflected in the recent media our effort has earned.

The day after the Water Board’s unanimous 6-0 decision, Times of San Diego ran a wonderful piece by San Diego City College student and ReWild volunteer Anahí Méndez about the role wetlands play in providing coastal protection and resiliency, nurseries for fish, habitat for migratory birds – and the urgent need to begin wetland restoration in northeast Mission Bay before we lose time to sea level rise.

Also, last weekend, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported on the Regional Water Quality Control Board decision, similarly noting the need to begin restoration before the opportunity to stay ahead of sea level rise vanishes.

“The ReWild plan includes restoring 227 acres of marshland, compared to 120 acres in the city proposal,” wrote reporter David Garrick in the Oct. 18th issue of the paper. “More importantly, environmentalists say, sea level rise is projected to shrink the acres of marshland in the ReWild plan to 120 acres by 2100, while the acres of marshland in the city’s plan would shrink to 40 acres by 2100.”

And in an opinion piece for the San Diego Union-Tribune this week, Dick Norris with Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the director of the UCSD Natural Reserve System argued the time has come for the city to adopt and implement the ReWild Wildest plan, as it would “become the largest, most visible project anywhere to protect a city from sea level flooding. This wetlands project would put San Diego on the map as a place that is working on future threats while we can fix them.”

Please share these stories with friends, family, neighbors and colleagues as we consolidate our most recent success for Wildest, and commit to seeing the city’s process through to include Wildest as part of its new proposal.

Also, in the coming months, we need to make sure the incoming mayor and city council:

  • Are aware of the broad support in our neighborhoods for Wildest.
  • Understand the commitment of our 46-member strong ReWild Coalition.
  • Appreciate the extraordinary opportunity before the city to restore the northeast corner of Mission Bay Park, and revitalize it into a true ecological, educational, equitable, and recreational destination.

It’s time our city leaders take the idea of wetland restoration in our bay, and the many benefits it offers, with the urgency it needs before we lose time to the sea level rise forecasted by the city’s own sea level rise vulnerability assessment.

The Wildest plan will sequester carbon, help reconnect us to nature, clean our bay, and attract tourists, swimmers, fishers, paddleboarders and the economic value they bring with them.

The time for wetland restoration in northeast Mission Bay is now, and the city now has the funds it needs to create a visionary park, ready for the next 100 years – not stuck in the last 100 years.

As the chair of the Regional Water Quality Control Board said about the city’s Supplemental Environmental Project (SEP) following the unanimous 6-0 vote, “This is more than a SEP, it’s an approval of a goal.”

Photo by Greg Hoxsie

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