Think waters flowing in, birds flying, fish in the water, and nature discovery all around

Here’s a look at what you are seeing in the East Basin of San Elijo Lagoon as crews continue to revive your wetlands. The East Basin is east of Interstate 5.

The restoration in this area is all part of creating and imagining the bigger picture of a healthier wetland. When the tidal channels are dredged to make them deeper and wider, this area will look different than it did before we started Reviving Your Wetlands, the San Elijo Lagoon Restoration Project.

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In this rendering, you can see how significant the ebbing and flowing of tides will reach into Central and East Basins, following lagoon restoration.

This area will also support low and middle salt marsh. We are making sure the endangered Ridgway’s Rail has their preferred cord grass places to live.


This is the approximate one-acre onsite cord grass nursery in the Central Basin. These  thriving California cord grasses were transplanted earlier in this year and will be  relocated to enhance habitat in the East Basin later in the project. 

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Ridgway’s Rail on mudflat, courtesy Dr. Pamela Polcyn

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As we continue to imagine how improved lands and waters will look, remember that a pedestrian Interstate 5 bridge under crossing will also provide excellent birding and wildlife views. Water will flow on both sides of the bridge, as shown above.

Our role in guiding the Reviving Your Wetlands project is in continuous water quality monitoring and maintaining quality control standards in the lagoon’s native habitats and wildlife. Envision the flow of healthier waters and an increase in wildlife diversity at San Elijo Lagoon. New trail connections will be worth the wait.

Thank you for following Lagoon Connections. Share your questions. Invite friends, neighbors and colleagues to join as we keep you up-to-date on the actions underway for healthier waters, habitats and in the near future—new trail connections.

3 thoughts on “Imagine a Healthier Wetland

  1. The east lagoon presently looks like devastation. As of last weekend, the west lagoon was not flowing and smelled of death. I love the lagoon and appreciate all the wonderful work of the Conservancy. I hope I live to see it flourish once again.


    1. Thank you for writing us. The annual inlet excavation has improved tidal flow at the mouth of the lagoon. Yet the smell is temporarily prevalent as there is a natural buildup of algae and kelp decomposition in the lagoon channel. And, while the East basin is looking messy, we hope everyone can visualize an increase in healthier and flowing waters, and in wildlife diversity, as Build NCC rail, highway, and restoration projects conclude in three years.


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