Restoration Planning Begins in the Lower Tijuana River Valley
(Above) The Lower Tijuana River Valley is a mosaic of crop fields, rural housing, equestrian facilities, and remnant riparian habitat. There is great potential for habitat restoration in the region to benefit native wildlife species as well as the people that live there.
River Partners continues to expand on restoration efforts in Southern California. We recently received funding from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to develop a Riparian Habitat Pre-restoration Plan for the lower Tijuana River, the Tijuana Slough National Wildlife Refuge, and the Naval Base Coronado. The lower Tijuana River Valley and the associated Tijuana Estuary are the end point of a 1,750 km2 watershed, and is a complex ecological system that straddles the international border between the United States and Mexico. The unique Tijuana Estuary is the largest intact coastal estuary in Southern California. The Valley is home to core populations of the State Endangered Least Bell’s Vireo (Vireo bellii pusillus), as well as the Federally Threatened California Gnatcatcher (Polioptila californica). This grant provides funding to evaluate opportunities to restore riparian forest and sage scrub habitats within the lower Tijuana River Valley. Sediment, trash, and other pollutants carried in stormwater runoff currently threaten the Valley’s valuable ecological, recreational and economic resources. This project will benefit the region by fostering partnerships, identifying restoration opportunities and providing a framework for implementation of future projects to restore degraded riparian habitat within the river valley.
The above article originally appeared in the Spring 2015 issue of the River Partners Journal.