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July 29, 2013

Biking Through the Restored South San Diego Bay

Recent ranking of biking paths in the United States lists San Diego’s Bayshore Bikeway as number one!
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Bikers rest and enjoy the beautiful view on the southern portion of the Bayshore Bikeway.

The Active Times recently ranked San Diego’s Bayshore Bikeway as the best bike path in the nation.  For San Diego, a city with a lack of reliable public transportation and regularly congested freeways, it makes sense that the biking community would make use of our wonderful bike paths and open space.  The Bayshore Bikeway, a 25-mile bike route that extends around the San Diego Bay, runs through significant restoration areas in the south San Diego Bay.  The US Fish and Wildlife Service (and partners) restoration of 300 acres along the Silver Strand portion of the Bayshore Bikeway is a great example of a very successful restoration project that was completed in 2011 and received the prestigious Coastal Partnership award this year, demonstrating a successful collaboration between partners to restore important coastal habitat.

 

The path also runs by Pond 20, a 90-acre parcel of land owned by the Port of San Diego that is up for development.  The best option is restoration and mitigation of the parcel into tidal wetlands.  Not only can it be restored and connected to other similar projects and rehabilitated ponds in the area, but it is also great spot for nature based recreation and wildlife viewing.  The River Partners restoration project at the Western entrance of the Otay Valley Regional Park can also be seen from the Bayshore Bikeway.  The River Partners planted nearly 20,000 native plants, trees and grasses and it is turning into a beautiful restored area that makes the ride from the Bayshore Bikeway to the OVRP a wonderful experience.  Other restoration projects are planned.  The USFWS and Poseidon Resources have planned a joint project to restore up to 70 acres just to the north of Pond 20 and west of the OVRP.  It only makes sense to continue restoration on Pond 20. 

 

As a highly urbanized bay, decades of urban development, dredging and filling operations have resulted in a loss of nearly 70 percent of San Diego bay’s historic marsh habitat and tidal wetlands.  Today, as a result of restoration efforts, the southern part of the SD Bay contains more that 90 percent of its intertidal habitat that was once dominant.  Biking, along with walking and wildlife viewing, is one of the best ways to enjoy our beautiful south San Diego Bay.  You can see seven federally or state listed threatened and endangered species, as well as thousands of migratory birds that travel along the Pacific Flyway and stop in the SD Bay.  The San Diego community must to continue to work collaboratively and proactively to support restoration and conservation projects through out the Bay and make it a beautiful and accessible coastal ecosystem for all.    

 

For the full article on the Bayshore Bikeway see:

 

http://www.foxnews.com/travel/2013/07/25/america-1-best-city-bike-paths/