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Residents Rally To Save San Dieguito Lagoon Boardwalk

A person walks on the boardwalk through the San Dieguito lagoon, March 21, 2015.
Chris Chan
A person walks on the boardwalk through the San Dieguito lagoon, March 21, 2015.

A group in the North County is renewing its efforts to make a popular boardwalk a permanent feature of the San Dieguito Lagoon.

About 70 people rallied on Saturday to save the 1,200 foot structure, which was built with volunteer labor and cost about $350,000 in grants and donations.

Earlier this month, the Coastal Commission split, with a 5-5 tie vote, effectively denying an application to change the permit, and make the walkway a permanent feature, rather than temporary. It runs through what will be a major wetland restoration project.


Local residents say the walkway brings a great benefit to the community, allowing people to learn about the surrounding wetlands and offering a place to exercise.

Some local political leaders, including San Diego County Supervisor Dave Roberts and Del Mar Councilman Don Mosier, support the community’s efforts to petition the Coastal Commission to reconsider its decision.

“There’s so many people that use this trail and enjoy it,” Mosier said. “We think the public should rise up and say the Coastal Commission made the wrong decision this time.”

A report from commission staff states that the boardwalk occupies space in the south overflow parking lot of the Del Mar Fairgrounds, which will eventually be turned into an extra acre of wetlands.

In the report, commission ecologists argue that the boardwalk could block tidal flows and introduce trash and other pollutants to the lagoon with a higher flow of human traffic.


The Coastal Commission suggests the boardwalk could eventually be relocated closer to Jimmy Durante Boulevard where it will be on the edge of the restored wetlands area.

Corrected: May 19, 2024 at 10:01 AM PDT
Chris Chan is a freelance multimedia reporter. Contact him on Facebook:; Twitter: @chrischansd
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