SONGS coastal view

Mitigation Projects > Wetland > Restoration Planning

[Wetland] Restoration Planning

San Dieguito Lagoon Restoration Project Components Aerial view of "Mixed Habitat Alternative" restoration design for San Dieguito Lagoon prior to restoration. Labels identify the various restoration modules.  Click image for larger view. 

A public working group consisting of resource agency representatives, non-governmental organizations, and interested members of the public worked together to develop a reasonable range of alternatives for restoration of SDL. As required by the SONGS Permit, SCE submitted a Preliminary Restoration Plan for the restoration of SDL to the CCC in September 1997. Following CCC approval of the Preliminary Restoration Plan in November 1997, the wetland restoration project entered the environmental review process. The San Dieguito River Park Joint Powers Authority (JPA) took the role of state lead agency under CEQA and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) took the role of federal lead agency under NEPA. The JPA incorporated the SCE wetland restoration project into their overall Open Space Park Project for the San Dieguito River Valley area. A joint Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/EIS) was prepared for the entire San Dieguito Wetlands Restoration (Restoration Project) component of the Park Project, which included the : (1) creation or substantial restoration of 150 acres of tidal wetlands to fulfill SCE’s SONGS Permit requirement, (2) restoration of additional wetland acreage for parties as yet unidentified, (3) creation of California least tern nesting sites, (4) establishment of public trails, and (5) a visitor center.

The EIR/EIS examined five alternative configurations for the restoration of SDL. These alternatives were designated: Mixed Habitat Alternative, Maximum Intertidal Alternative, Hybrid Plan Alternative, Maximum Tidal Basin Alternative, and Reduced Berm Alternative. Of these alternatives, the lead agencies determined, with input from the public and other interested parties, that the Mixed Habitat Alternative was the preferred configuration. The Mixed Habitat Alternative is similar to the design proposed in the SCE Preliminary Restoration Plan previously approved by the CCC.

A detailed description of the proposed restoration plan is provided in Section 4.0 of the San Dieguito Wetlands Project Final Restoration Plan (FRP).  A key element of both the approved preliminary plan, the EIR/S preferred alternative, and the FRP is maintenance of the San Dieguito Lagoon tidal inlet in an open condition in perpetuity. The SONGS Permit, as amended, grants 35 acres of restoration credit for this commitment. Thus, SCE is required to create or restore at least 115 acres of tidal wetlands in addition to the 35 acres achieved by maintaining an open tidal inlet.

Click on the MAP to view the mix of habitat elements in the San Dieguito Lagoon Restoration Plan.