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Environment

Progress Made On Mission Bay Project

A sandy berm that keeps Mission Bay from flooding the Kendall Frost Marsh, July 10, 2015.
Nicholas McVicker
A sandy berm that keeps Mission Bay from flooding the Kendall Frost Marsh, July 10, 2015.

The effort to reclaim natural habitat on the northern edge of Mission Bay takes a significant step forward with Tuesday's public meeting as supporters look for input on eight different ideas.

Progress Made On Mission Bay Project
The push to create more wetland habitat on the north part of Mission Bay is moving forward with a key hearing this week.

The suggestions could be blended into four alternatives, which would likely set the table for an environmental review next year.

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"The most habitat-focused one imagines the majority of this northeast corner returned to marsh and that would provide the most ecosystem services from marsh. But of course that has to be balanced with public use, recreation and access," said Rebecca Schwartz Lesberg at the Audubon Society. She's working with the California State Coastal Conservancy and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to restore the region.

The reclamation effort is possible because De Anza Cove and Campland by the Bay are both closing soon. Converting that land could greatly enhance the marsh habitat that already exists in that part of the bay. There are a wide range of possible outcomes.

"Alternatives that are really just the bare minimum of what is recommended in the Mission Bay Park master plan, which is just restoring the existing Campland site to marsh and a small sliver along DeAnza Point,” Schwartz Lesberg said. “We also get to think bigger. This is our opportunity to really imagine what's possible here."

Organizers hope to have four alternatives ready for review by early next year. An environmental impact review could start by next summer.

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