December 26 – SDNews.com reports – The San Diego Audubon Society, with significant input from the ReWild Mission Bay Coalition, is recently announced five new community organizations have either joined its coalition or submitted letters of support in the effort to restore native wetlands in northeast Mission Bay over the past month, including:
• Community Congregational Church of Pacific Beach;
• Islamic Center of San Diego;
• Montgomery-Gibbs Environmental Coalition;
• Pacific Beach Christian Church Disciples of Christ;
• San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council Environmental Caucus.
In a letter to San Diego councilmembers and their staffs dated Dec. 4, San Diego and Imperial counties Labor Council Environmental Caucus chair Dr. Jim Miller addressed the need to invest in parks and public spaces.
“Public lands belong to all of us, and the city should do its best to protect and enhance them while doing what is necessary to sustain a healthy environment,” said Miller. “The water quality of Mission Bay cannot be improved without sufficient and functional wetlands. The San Diego Audubon Society has shown through their ReWild Mission Bay Feasibility Study that substantial wetland restoration is feasible, and will have numerous benefits to the wildlife and people that use Mission Bay Regional Park.”
A Pacific Beach resident for over 25 years, the Rev. Brian Daly of the Pacific Beach Christian Church Disciples of Christ noted in his Nov. 19 letter of support that the City of San Diego’s plan for Mission Bay should “include the largest wetlands possible.”
Daly agreed with the conclusions of the 1994 Mission Bay Park Master Plan that “water quality improvement must be foremost in consideration for future land uses,” and added that the City of San Diego “must be proactive in expanding the current Mission Bay wetlands.”
Highlighting the ability of restored wetlands to sequester carbon and help communities adapt to climate change, Imam Taha Hassane of the Islamic Center of San Diego in Clairemont wrote in his Dec 6 ReWild Mission Bay letter of support that, “Southern California has already lost 62 percent of its historic tidal wetland acreage. Without intervention and informed planning, it is predicted that another 10 percent or more will be lost by the end of the century.”
According to Andrew Meyer, conservation director with San Diego Audubon and ReWild Mission Bay program manager: “With the addition of these and other organizations that represent thousands of neighbors who live, work, and worship in our community, we again call on the City to invest in a plan for Mission Bay that will ensure climate resiliency for the next 100 years. Let’s restore our water quality, remove barriers to public access, stay ahead of sea-level rise, mitigate climate change by sequestering carbon with natural infrastructure, and restore habitat for fish, endangered birds, and local wildlife. ReWild Mission Bay checks all those boxes.”
San Diego Audubon and the ReWild Coalition continue to participate and organize climate change and sea-level rise awareness efforts, including the upcoming Love Your Wetlands Day on Saturday, Feb. 1, at Kendall-Frost Marsh in Pacific Beach. Offering an up-close look at what Mission Bay used to look like, and how the northeast corner of the bay may begin to look following restoration, activities will include guided walking tours in the marsh, wetlands-themed crafts and science projects, wildlife presentations, and remarks from Audubon team members, wetlands advocates, and area VIPs.
The ReWild Mission Bay Coalition includes the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) Guild, Local 1931; Audubon California; California Native Plant Society San Diego Chapter; Citizens Coordinate for Century III (C3); Climate Action Campaign; Community Congregation Church of Pacific Beach; Environmental Center of San Diego; Friends of Famosa Slough; Friends of Mission Bay Marshes; Friends of Rose Canyon; Friends of Rose Creek; Islamic Center of San Diego (ICSD); Mission Bay Fly Fishing Company; Montgomery-Gibbs Environmental Coalition; Outdoor Outreach; Rose Creek Watershed Alliance; San Diego 350; San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council Environmental Caucus; San Diego City College Audubon Club; San Diego City College Chapter of the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos, Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS); San Diego Audubon; San Diego Coastkeeper; San Diego County Democrats for Environmental Action (SDCDEA); Save Everyone’s Access; Sierra Club San Diego; Southwest Wetlands Interpretive Association; Stay Cool for Grandkids; Surfrider Foundation San Diego; Sustainability Matters; Unite Here! Local 30; WildCoast.
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