This project restores 874 acres of riparian and marsh habitat in the San Dieguito Watershed in northern San Diego County through the treatment and control of invasive species such as Arundo donax, perennial pepperweed, pampas grass, eucalyptus, and tamarisk, with subsequent revegetation using native species.
Invasive non-native plant species are displacing native habitat, depleting available water, causing numerous water quality impacts, and creating a flood and fire threat. The river is designated as critical habitat by the Fish and Wildlife Service for three endangered species: least Bell’s vireo, southwestern willow flycatcher, and arroyo southwestern toad, and San Dieguito Lagoon has the state’s third largest population of light-footed clapper rail. The San Dieguito River Valley is also recognized as an official ‘cornerstone’ of both the County MHCP and City MSCP Plans. The invasives program is also part of an integrated regional effort that uses common approaches, mapping, permitting and monitoring. This increases long-term benefits and efficiency of projects under the program.