The California Coastal Conservancy has awarded a $460,000 grant to the San Diego Audubon Society to support the Mission Bay Wetland Feasibility Study.
The report will detail a large-scale effort to explore options to expand and improve at least 100 acres of tidal marsh and mudflat habitats and re-establish the historic connection between Rose Creek and the Kendall Frost Marsh Reserve in Mission Bay.
“The state Coastal Conservancy grant places San Diego Audubon in a leadership role in planning for a regionally-significant wetlands restoration project in an area where we have played an active advocacy role for decades,” said Chris Redfern, San Diego Audubon’s executive director in a statement.
The grant will support a planning process to include stakeholders, a technical advisory committee, and an environmental consulting firm to design a set of conceptual restoration approaches.
Collaborating organizations include the University of California San Diego, the Rose Creek Watershed Alliance, Beautiful PB, and Friends of Mission Bay Marshes.
The feasibility study is deemed an important first step of a broader Mission Bay Wetlands Initiative aimed at protecting and restoring salt marsh habitat in the northeast corner of Mission Bay.
In addition to providing critical habitat for wildlife in Mission Bay, expanding the marsh is expected to increase the wetland’s scope of ecosystem benefits including coastline stabilization, water quality improvement, and as a buffer against future sea level rise.