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September 18, 2013

Restoring Wildlife Habitat in the South San Diego Bay

The South San Diego Bay proved crucial habitat for endagered, threatedned and native bird species.
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Terns in the San Diego Bay.

 

Urban rivers parkways in California are some of the most unique, sensitive and ecologically important conservation areas in the state.  Not only do they provide crucial riparian habitat for endangered and threatened species, but they also provide important open space areas for communities.  In California, urban river parkways such as the Otay Valley Regional Park provide opportunities for wildlife viewing, low-impact recreation and open green space for often diverse and underserved communities.  These communities are considered “park poor” in numerous studies, meaning they have insufficient open space areas and lack access to free, public opportunities for recreation and nature based activities. 

Other important urban river parkways in California, such as the Los Angeles River, are great examples of areas where communities are coming together to work towards a healthier river, which means a healthier community.  Organizations such as the LA River Corp are working to restore and improve 51 miles of the LA River into a “Greenway” by 2020, which would be a continuous stretch of parks, bike paths and open spaces for recreation.  The Greenway “…creates healthier spaces where families can ride bikes, play in parks, and breathe fresh air along the water.” 

Restoration of urban river parkways depends largely on local community support through volunteer events and environmental education programs.  The Otay Valley Regional Park is a beautiful example of an urban river parkway used historically for mining, trash dumping and agriculture but thanks to community involvement and government support, has been largely restored to a nature based recreation area.  Its terminus at the South San Diego Bay is home to hundreds of bird species and crucial habitat area.  WILDCOAST is actively working in the OVRP with local community groups and stakeholders to continue this process.

For more information on the LA Greenway please visit:

http://www.larivercorp.com/greenway2020

And to learn how to get involved with projects in urban river parkways in San Diego, contact:

john@wildcoast.net