Our thanks and gratitude to the hundreds of attendees, neighbors, families, ReWild supporters, elected officials, media outlets, VIPs, and 30 community partners and organizations who joined us for this year’s Love Your Wetlands Day. What a turnout!
And a very special thanks to the over 500 volunteers who worked on a variety of projects throughout the morning and afternoon at Kendall-Frost Marsh and Crown Point. Together, we collected nearly 300 pounds of trash – mostly sinlge-use plastic litter of some kind, but an entire pound of facemasks and disposal gloves were collected as well. Thank you for your hard work! If it weren’t for you those 300 pounds of trash would still be in the wetlands.
Once again, we topped our previous year’s Love Your Wetlands Day attendance, this year with help from the California Climate Action Corps reaching greater pools of volunteers than ever before in conjunction with ReWild, San Diego Audubon, and the UCSD Natural Reserve System.
With attendees joining us from around Southern California, the public’s interest in the survival and restoration of wetland ecosystems and accessible public lands is clear, along with a growing awareness of the role coastal wetlands play in naturally cleaning and filtering water, preventing storm surges, sequestering carbon, and providing needed habitat to ensure species survival and biodiversity.
We’re thrilled so many could make time to celebrate the ReWild Mission Bay effort and Kendall-Frost Marsh on guided tours, presentations from scientists and naturalists, trash clean-ups, kayak outings, and with a Ha Kwaiyo Tule Boat construction workshop led by Dr. Stan Rodriguez of Kumeyaay Community College, with Tule reeds harvested from Anstine-Audubon Nature Preserve in Vista.
Dr. Rodriguez also joined us for a similar Ha Kwaiyo workshop at last year’s Love Your Wetlands Day, part of his ongoing advocacy to preserve Kumeyaay history, culture, language revitalization, and more.
Our event got strong media coverage too. Thanks to Ramon Galindo and NBC 7 San Diego for joining us and speaking with volunteers, Mayor Todd Gloria, and our own Andrew Meyer as part of their Love Your Wetlands coverage, with some great footage from the event. Share the story on your social media and with friends.
Thanks as well to Greg Moran from the San Diego Union-Tribune, who filed this story on Love Your Wetlands Day and the history of Kendall-Frost Marsh, its relation to legendary San Diego conservationist and oceanographer Walter Munk, UCSD’s stewardship of the marsh as a reserve and research destination, and increasing access for Indigenous Kumeyaay stakeholders at Mission Bay Park.
And on the heels of Love Your Wetlands Day, it was great to see this piece on the economic benefits of the ReWild Mission Bay plan and wetland restoration in the San Diego Union-Tribune from Dick Norris, distinguished professor of paleobiology at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego; graduate student Sean Reese at UC San Diego’s School of Global Policy and Strategy; and graduate student Beverly Scharnhorst at Scripps Institution of Oceanography.
We’re thrilled so many could join us to celebrate our wetlands. Thank you to all the organizations that were a part of this year’s event, and to the elected officials and VIPs who paid us a visit. We’d like to give an extra thank you to our speakers (in alphabeitical order):
- Catherine Blakespear, California’s 38th State Senate District (SD-38)
- Tasha Boerner Horvath, California’s 76th Assembly District (AD-76)
- Josh Fryday, California Chief Service Officer
- Todd Gloria, City of San Diego Mayor
- Pradeep Khosla, University of California San Siego Chancellor
- Joe LaCava, San Diego City Councilmember District 1 (D-1)
- Andrew Meyer, San Diego Audubon Conservation Director
- Scott Peters, California’s 50th U.S. Congressional District (CA-50)
- Stan Rodriguez, Santa Ysabel Band of the Kumeyaay Nation and Kumeyaay Community College Board Chair
- Savannah Stallings, California Climate Action Corps fellow with San Diego Audubon
And we were delighted to be joined once again by Priscilla Ortiz, Miss Kumeyaay Nation 2022–23 of the Iipay Nation of Santa Ysabel, and Maya Vicaldo, Little Miss Kumeyaay Nation 2022–23 of the Barona Band of Mission Indians.
Photos by Craig Chaddock
Tule boat video shot by Tommy Hough