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August 30, 2011

WiLDCOAST Sponsors Tour for South Bay Wildlife Advisory Group Members and Public at Sweetwater Marsh

Future tours of "upland" and "marine" ecosystems planned for October and December
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Jim Peugh from San Diego Audubon Society discusses endangered bird habitat at Sweetwater Marsh

In order to help support the creation of a meaningful Natural Resource Management Plan for the Chula Vista Bayfront, WiLDCOAST hosted a wetland tour of the Sweetwater Marsh, part of the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge Complex. The tour was open to interested public and the South Bay Wildlife Advisory Group (WAG) members.

Tour highlights included discussions about the natural history and habitat restoration efforts in the South Bay by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Andy Yuen, as well as threats to, and recovery efforts of endangered bird species by San Diego Audubon's Jim Peugh. Environmental Health Coalition's Laura Hunter discussed the pressing management concerns related to these natural resources in lieu of the Chula Vista Bayfront Master Plan.

Two more tours are planned tentatively for October 7th and December 9th to discuss the upland and marine ecosystems in the South Bay. More details will be released as the dates and agendas are finalized.

The Chula Vista Bayfront Master Plan proposes to redevelop 556 acres along the community's waterfront that will include a 1,500 to 2,000-room resort and conference center, three smaller hotels, residential condominiums, and scenic gathering spaces around the harbor.

The environmental review process for the project included proposed amendments to the Port Master Plan, the city's general plan and local coastal program.

The Port of San Diego, the City of Chula Vista, the redevelopment agency for the City of Chula Vista and the Bayfront Coalition entered into a settlement agreement in May 2010 that requires additional measures for protection of the environment above and beyond those required by current federal, state, and local laws and regulations.

A Wildlife Advisory Group was formed to prepare a Natural Resources Management Plan for the Chula Vista Bayfront, in conformance with the agreement and in recognition of the sensitivity of the natural resources in the area.

The next meeting of the WAG is scheduled for September 21st. For more information Email: wag@portofsandiego.org