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Buena Vista Audubon Society Buys Wetlands Next To Lagoon

Photo caption: Buena Vista Audubon Society President Andy Mauro at the the Buena Vista Lagoo...

Photo by Promise Yee

Buena Vista Audubon Society President Andy Mauro at the the Buena Vista Lagoon, Jan. 3, 2016.

The Buena Vista Audubon Society closes escrow this week on the purchase of 3.5 acres of wetlands next to the Buena Vista Lagoon in Oceanside.

The Buena Vista Audubon Society closes escrow this week on the purchase of 3.5 acres of wetlands next to the Buena Vista lagoon.

The Buena Vista Lagoon Ecological Reserve lies between Oceanside and Carlsbad. It is part of the Pacific Flyway and more than 200 bird species have been spotted there.

Eight years ago the site was slated for development — until the California Coastal Commission denied the hotel project.

Since then, the price of the land was reduced. Over the past two years, the Buena Vista Audubon Society raised $1.5 million from private donors, nonprofits and the California Wildlife Conservation Board to purchase the swatch of wetland.

“It's a great way to begin the year,” said Buena Vista Audubon Society President Andy Mauro. “About half the property is considered wetlands, the other half is also at that low elevation. It's an ideal site for restoration. It would be relatively easy, to restore that property to support the adjacent habitat.”

The site is an important buffer between surrounding urban development and the reserve.

“It's been a high priority for acquisition for a long time,” Mauro said. “You need to have buffer zones in order to create a habitat that is viable for endangered species, and regular natural native species that exist there. Otherwise the effects of having adjacent development start to degrade that habitat: we're talking about runoff, and light pollution, and noise pollution, exotic plants, and exotic pest animals.”

The lagoon is home to the endangered Ridgway's Rail.

Restoration of the site will be done in conjunction with plans to restore the rest of the 220 acre reserve, which is owned and managed by the California Department of Fish and Game. Those restoration plans are in the final phase of a 20 year study and approval process.

Promise Yee is a North County freelance writer. Contact her at promise.yee1@gmail.com. Twitter: @promisenews.

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