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Wetlands work begins; Dust Devil trail closes weekdays

| Conservation, Hiking
San Dieguito Lagoon Wetland Restoration Project Phase II

We are excited to report the launch of a two-year, $87 million restoration of 84 acres of wetlands just south of the river west of El Camino Real and east of Interstate 5.

During construction, the nearby Dust Devil Nature Trail and parking lot will be open on weekends only from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Hikers participating in the 2021-22 Coast to Crest Trail Challenge are encouraged to plan a weekend visit to the Dust Devil trail or, if necessary, complete a similar hike on the nearby Coast to Crest Trail. For details, visit the Coast to Crest Trail Challenge webpage.

The Jan. 3 start of the San Dieguito Lagoon Wetland Restoration Project II is a big victory for our friends at the San Dieguito River Park Joint Powers Authority. The San Diego Association of Governments and Caltrans are running the job as part of their 40-year, $6 billion North Coast Corridor Program.

Plans for the restoration show a blend of habitats, including open water, low salt marsh, mid-high salt marsh, coastal brackish marsh, riparian enhancements, coastal sage scrub and marsh upland.

The project adds to earlier restoration work completed in 2011 that brought expansive, open-water basins and improved tidal flushing to adjoining areas east and west of Interstate 5. Both phases are designed to create ecosystems that can sustain flooding and future sea level rise.

Today, the work program includes building a new connection from the Coast to Crest Trail to the Dust Devil Nature Trail just south of the project. Workers will revegetate restored areas with native plants. A set of utility poles is scheduled for removal.

Visit the Restoration Project Webpage

During construction, the Dust Devil Nature Trail and parking lot will be open on weekends only.