Your Firsthand View of What You Are Seeing Now and in the Next Three Weeks

The San Elijo Lagoon Reviving Your Wetlands project is here. At last night’s Reviving Your Wetlands Open House we enjoyed getting to see so many of you, our supporters, who gathered together to learn more details about Phase I. Thank you for coming!

On-the-ground surveying began December 1. Work crews are staking utility lines in the Central basin and are conducting pre-construction surveys and staking in both Central and East basins.

The focus of Phase I is happening in the Central basin:

Restoration Map Revised

San Elijo Lagoon Basins

  • West basin is west of the railroad tracks
  • Central basin is between Highway I-5 and the railroad tracks
  • East basin is east of Highway I-5

In the next few weeks, you can expect to see the following in the Central basin:

Project perimeter staking and the installation of Environmentally Sensitive Area (ESA) fencing in the Central basin. ESA fencing (t-posts and ropes) ensures that lagoon animals can continue to move freely as they need. This fencing also secures the project’s perimeters, keeping construction in its work site, and providing for your safety on the trails.


Vegetation salvage and clearing in the Central basin. Some of the cord grass is being saved. Crews will transfer large amounts of lagoon cord grasses to an offsite partner nursery that will sustain these native plants for replanting following the lagoon restoration (estimated 2021).

Spartina_foliosa16-Ridgway'sRail copy

Our native cord grass (Spartina foliosa) is the preferred habitat of the endangered Ridgway’s Rail. California cord grass is a welcome component of our saltmarsh ecosystem. Ridgway’s Rail in cord grass image courtesy Al Butler in Guide to the Plants of San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve

Spartina_foliosa1 copy

cord grass (Spartina foliosa)

Crews will begin the construction of Pit Dike and Dike 2b in preparation for building the overdredge pit. The dikes will ensure that the Central basin will not flood during construction, giving birds and animals places to go.

Dike Map Revised

Below is a map showing the main staging area of Phase I:

Staging Map for Blog 12_8_17 copy

Questions about Lagoon Restoration—Reviving Your Wetlands?
Leave a comment. We’re here to keep you updated on all the latest news—behind the scenes as we learn—and about what you’re seeing as restoration begins.

6 thoughts on “Reviving Your Wetlands Restoration Begins

  1. Hello and thanks for keeping the community updated! This blog has really been a wealth of information so far. I’m wondering if there any photo renderings of what the San Elijo lagoon is expected to look like at the end of the project? I’ve seen maps and renderings of some of the other lagoons that are part of the NCC program, but would like to get a sense of San Elijo water levels and fill level (specifically in the Central Basin area) relative to where the lagoon is at today. Thanks for any additional info you can provide!


    1. Hi Mark, thank you for following along and sending us a question. We’re glad these posts are helpful! For an upcoming blog post we are working on obtaining an updated rendering of how tidal flow will look under the bridge when the project is complete. Currently the photo rendering focuses on the new bridge and not its undercrossing; the east/west pedestrian path or how the lagoon will look in that area. We’ll provide more information on tidal flow when new maps show more details, and your question is a good one. So thank you again, and more coming soon…


  2. Happy the work is being done and looking forward to end result but hard for those of us living by lagoon to sleep when machines are beeping at night. Hope you are minimizing night time noise as much as possible. Thanks

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