San Elijo Lagoon Tidal Flushing Project

Location: San Diego County

Project Type: Restoration

Status: Completed

Habitat Type: tidal wetlands

Cost: $2,300,000

Area Affected: 415 acres

Assembly District: 76

Senate District: 36

Congressional District: 49

Project Lead/Grantee:
San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy (Doug Gibson 760-436-3944)

This project restored continuous tidal action to 415 acres of degraded salt marsh through the creation of an endowment to remove sand and cobble from the mouth of the lagoon on an ongoing basis. The endowment allows for selective dredging and filling to improve tidal circulation throughout the lagoon to restore tidal flushing.

The San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve spans across 979-acres in the city of Encinitas and hosts over 700 species of plants and wildlife, including some rare and endangered species. Although the lagoon is supporting important ecosystem functions and wildlife, it is also experiencing severe human pressures. The hydrology of the lagoon over the years has been manipulated and sediment loads have been increased. Further, invasive plants proliferate the Reserve thus threatening the beautiful native flora. This project aimed to continuously restore historical physical processes to the lagoon to aid in restoration of native flora and fauna.