History of ReWild Mission Bay

History of ReWild Mission Bay

ReWild Mission Bay, a project of the San Diego Audubon Society and our ReWild Coalition, was started in 2015. The project seeks to enhance and restore the natural wetlands in the northeast corner of Mission Bay. Explore our timeline to learn more about the history of the effort to protect Mission Bay and its communities.

Since Time Immemorial

The Kumeyaay People Inhabit the Area Surrounding Mission Bay

Native Americans have inhabited this area since time immemorial, using the resources and landscape around Mission Bay and providing crucial land management for its upkeep.


The Mission Bay Park Master Plan Is Created

The City of San Diego creates the Mission Bay Park Master Plan, calling for 80 acres of restored tidal wetland. The plan secures water quality improvement as the foremost consideration of land use.

SEPTEMBER 17, 2014

San Diego Audubon Awarded Funds for Mission Bay Feasibility Study

The California State Coastal Conservancy board unanimously votes to award San Diego Audubon $460,000, with an additional $25,000 awarded by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, to undertake the Mission Bay Wetland Feasibility Study. This study will explore options for expanding and improving tidal mudflats in NE Mission Bay.

JULY 31, 2015

San Diego Audubon Launches ReWild Mission Bay

San Diego Audubon Society announces the launch of ReWild Mission Bay and its affiliate website, a program that includes collecting community input and generating plans to restore the wetlands along Pacific Beach Drive and on both sides of Rose Creek. ReWild aims to show how to achieve the acreage called for in the Master Plan while planning for coming changes in sea level rise.

JUNE 20, 2016

City of San Diego Announces “De Anza Revitalization” Plan

The City launches their “De Anza Revitalization” Plan to amend the Mission Bay Park Master Plan and reimagine the NE corner of Mission Bay. This comes about one year into the Mission Bay Feasibility study.

FEBRUARY 10, 2018

ReWild Mission Bay Hosts 12th Annual “Love Your Wetlands Day”

Over 175 members of the public attend this rare opportunity to explore the typically off-limits Kendall-Frost Marsh Reserve. Participants of all ages learn about the importance of wetlands and the history of Mission Bay. Volunteers removed litter, planted native vegetation, and fixed nesting habitats for endangered marshland birds.

OCTOBER 30, 2018

ReWild’s Final Wetlands Restoration Plans Released in the ReWild Mission Bay Feasibility Study

ReWild Mission Bay releases its final plans for wetland restoration in the NE corner of Mission Bay. These plans detail three possible restoration scopes for Mission Bay and provide alternative options for adapting to climate change in coming decades.


ReWild Advocates for the Adoption of the “Wildest” Restoration Plan

Upon the release of the Feasibility Study, San Diego Audubon Board votes to begin advocating for the Wildest plan, which shows how we can achieve 315 acres of restored habitat in the northeast corner of the bay. The plan allows for the most intensive scope of restoration and enables the most protection against sea level rise, while still being cost-effective to the City.

JUNE 25, 2019

San Diego City Council Votes to Approve New and Expanded Campland Leases

The San Diego City Council approves two new leases for Campland, an RV camping vendor that leases public property in the northeast corner of Mission Bay. This vote comes after the persistent concerns about water quality, climate resiliency, transparency, accountability, and the necessity of a rushed process for environmental restoration of Mission Bay. The decision postpones the implementation of the “Wildest” restoration plan for up to eight years.

AUGUST 1, 2019

City Council Declines Rose Creek Park Designation in New Balboa Ave Station Plan

The City Council votes to implement a trolley stop and transit center at the base of Balboa Avenue. Despite ReWild’s push for the inclusion of a park designation for the neighboring Rose Creek, the City declines the inclusion. Rose Creek is the watershed for the ReWild area and has a critical water quality and ecological connection to the remnant and soon-to-be restored wetlands at the mouth of the creek.

SEPTEMBER 20, 2019

San Diegans Gather at Kendall-Frost in Support of the Global Climate Walkout

ReWild joins the Mission Bay High School Eco Club on the first annual “March to the Marsh” in support of the Global Climate Walkout. ReWild expected a few dozen attendees, but the event was attended by over 500 people, who gathered to urge City leaders to take action on effective and immediate climate plans.

OCTOBER 19, 2019

San Diego Audubon Secures Agreement With Campland and City of San Diego Regarding De Anza Leases

San Diego Audubon reaches an agreement with Campland and the City of San Diego that guarantees the RV spaces located in the NE corner of Mission Bay will be kept away from the public bayfront on the east side of Rose Creek and prevents interim development in areas south of the Mission Bay RV Resort and along the east side of Rose Creek. This agreement opens up the potential for wetland restoration in Mission Bay, and comes after the City’s controversial decision to extend Campland’s lease agreement.

NOVEMBER 22, 2019

New Studies Suggest That Restoring Wetland Habitat Will Reverse the Staggering Extinction Rate of Birds

A pair of studies released by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society detail the rapid decline of bird species worldwide and the increasing threat of extinction due to climate change. Both studies also cite wetland restoration as a means of combating climate change and as an invaluable source of wildlife habitat that will mitigate the rapid decline of bird populations.

FEBRUARY 1, 2020

ReWild Mission Bay Coalition Reaches 30 Members

With the addition of Urban Corps, St. Dunstan’s Episcopal Church, and the Ocean Foundation, the ReWild Mission Bay Coalition reaches a total of 30 members.

AUGUST 27, 2020

ReWild Mission Bay Releases Equity Statement Advocating for Marginalizied Racial Communities in San Diego

ReWild Mission Bay releases an equity statement advocating for improved access to the ReWild Mission Bay area for theIndigenous Kumeyaay people who historically occupied the land and San Diegans of color who have historically faced societal barriers and been denied access to our parks and open spaces.

DECEMBER 18, 2020

ReWild Mission Bay Coalition Grows

As 2020 comes to a close, the ReWild Mission Bay Coalition grows, with nearly 50 local businesses and organizations coming together to support the San Diego’s wetlands.

FEBRUARY 7, 2022

Annual Love “Your Wetlands Day” Brings Hundreds to Kendall-Frost Marsh Reserve

Hundreds of San Diegans gather at Kendall-Frost and Crown Point to celebrate, learn, and join ReWIld for guided tours, marsh walks to repair nesting rafts, and clean up trash along the reserve. For the first time, participants learned about traditional tule boat making and got to partake in traditional Kumeyaay culture.

MARCH 9, 2022

ReWild Mission Bay Coalition Grows With Local Support

The ReWild Coalition grows to be represented by 75 local organizations and businesses, with a cross section of key conservation organizations, labor unions, civic and public health groups, tribal leaders, and neighborhood stakeholders.

JULY 16, 2022

Campland Receives Coastal Development Permit to Remove Empty Mobile Homes on the De Anza Penninsula

The Coastal Commision finally approves Campland’s request for a Coastal Development Permit, allowing them to clean up the delapidated mobile home park after years of negotiating and stalling. Removing the mobile homes enables further cleanup of our parks and makes way for improved water and soil quality.

AUGUST 2, 2022

The City of San Diego Passes a New Climate Action Plan

The City adopts a new climate action plan that takes bold steps towards wetland revitalization and San Diego carbon neutrality. A proposed 700 acres of new wetlands will be incorporated into the City by 2035 as a push for habitat restoration.

SEPTEMBER 20, 2022

San Diegans Rally Outside City Hall to Push For Prioritized Wetland Restoration

The ReWild Coalition, representing over 75 environmental and conservation organizations, gathers outside City Hall along with dozens of supporters in a push for San Diego to prioritize effective wetland restoration in Mission Bay. The rally highlights public support for ReWild’s mission to restore wetlands and help San Diego adapt to climate change.

FEBRUARY 6, 2023

ReWild Mission Bay Hosts Another Successful “Love Your Wetlands Day”

841 San Diegans join in on Love Your Wetlands Day where participants cleaned over 300 pounds of trash from Mission Bay. Attendants join from all across Southern California to show their support for wetland restoration and environmental sustainability.