Poseidon’s proposed 66-acre restoration site is located in the South San Diego Bay Unit of the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge and is part of an ongoing restoration effort by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). The wetlands restoration site is managed and owned or leased by the USFWS exclusively for restoration of coastal wetlands and associated uplands. Poseidon and the USFWS are entering into a partnership to facilitate the restoration and enhancement of wetlands. The Commission’s approval of the wetlands restoration site clears the way for Poseidon and the USFWS to prepare environmental studies and a final project design.
Poseidon’s proposed site was endorsed by the Commission staff and widely supported by federal and state resource agencies and environmental organizations and local elected officials including: the California Coastal Conservancy, California Department of Fish & Game, San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board staff, Environmental Health Coalition, Audubon Society, Agua Hedionda Lagoon Foundation, WiLDCOAST, Friends of the San Diego Wildlife Refuges, San Diego County Supervisor Greg Cox, Chula Vista Mayor Cheryl Cox, National City Mayor Ron Morrison, San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders, Imperial Beach Mayor Jim Janney, State Senator Juan Vargas, State Assemblyman Ben Hueso and San Diego City Councilman David Alvarez.
In 2007, the Coastal Commission approved a Coastal Development Permit (CDP) for Poseidon’s Carlsbad Desalination Project. The approved CDP included a condition that Poseidon prepare a Marine Life Mitigation Plan (MLMP) to address potential impingement and entrainment impacts to marine life that might occur during the lifetime of the desalination plant. The Coastal Commission approved the MLMP in August 2008 and required Poseidon to research and propose a site for the wetlands restoration.