The San Dieguito Lagoon Committee is in search of one member to complete its nine-member roster.
Volunteering on the committee involves a monthly meeting, subcommittee work and tracking issues that face the lagoon at the north end of Del Mar, where the Pacific Ocean flushes into tidal basins at the westernmost reaches of the San Dieguito River watershed.
The City Council appoints applicants to the lagoon committee, one of 12 advisory commissions, boards and committees serving the City of Del Mar. Learn about volunteering on City committees.
The San Dieguito Lagoon Committee works closely with two nonprofit groups and a regional government consortium to preserve and enhance the river valley and surrounding open space in Del Mar and beyond.
The City of Del Mar’s lagoon committee has been a driving force behind the construction of River Path Del Mar, which follows the southern bank of the lagoon west and east of Jimmy Durante Boulevard. A planned extension is proposed between the Grand Avenue lookout and the Crest Canyon trailhead.
Meanwhile, the nonprofit San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy “preserves, protects and shares the natural and cultural resources of the San Dieguito River Valley through collaborative efforts to acquire lands, complete trails, restore habitats, establish educational programs, create interpretive centers, encourage recreation, and mobilize public support,” according to its mission statement.
The conservancy runs conservation, education and recreation programs and hosts a number of events. For one of them, on Sept. 21, the conservancy is seeking volunteers to weed and water along River Path Del Mar from 9 a.m. to noon.
Another nonprofit group, Friends of the San Dieguito River Valley, was established in 1986 and is supported by a network of members and affiliates, with this as its mission statement:
“Friends of the San Dieguito River Valley promotes and supports conservation, restoration, preservation and enhancement of the natural scenic, ecological and open-space resources of the San Dieguito River Valley through advocacy, study, monitoring, and education.”
Still another organization, the San Dieguito River Valley Regional Open Space Joint Powers Authority, is creating a natural, open space park from the river mouth in Del Mar to the headwaters on Volcan Mountain near Julian.
The mission of the River Park is, “To preserve and restore land within the Focused Planning Area of the San Dieguito River Park as a regional open space greenway and park system that protects the natural waterways and the natural and cultural resources and sensitive lands and provides compatible recreational opportunities, including water related uses, that do not damage sensitive lands. To provide a continuous and coordinated system of preserved lands with a connecting corridor of walking, equestrian, and bicycle trails, encompassing the San Dieguito River Valley from the ocean to the river’s source.”
The River Park’s board includes two elected officials each from the County of San Diego and the City of San Diego, one elected official each from the Cities of Del Mar, Escondido, Poway and Solana Beach, and one public member representing the Citizens Advisory Committee.
Among other activities, the River Park employs park rangers and maintains the historic Sikes Adobe Farmhouse in Escondido.
River Park officials are working to complete the planned, 71-mile-long Coast-to-Crest pedestrian trail, of which 48 miles are open.
In 2007, in Del Mar and adjoining areas east of Interstate 5, construction began on the 440-acre San Dieguito Wetlands Restoration Project. The four-year, $100 million project was responsible for dredging vast basins, building berms and creating an environment where wildlife could flourish, much as it did before highways and a railroad crisscrossed the river valley and before the Del Mar Fairgrounds, an old airfield and shopping centers and tomato fields covered the fragile ecosystem.
Southern California Edison paid for the project to compensate for marine life harmed by the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station.