April 2011 home page

Ann Gardner | Via Latina

A specialized dredge removes sand from the San Dieguito River channel, allowing water to reach newly created wetlands and support new fish and bird populations. The 85,000 cubic yards of sand are being stockpiled and dried for placement on five California least tern nesting sites.
Photo Bill Michalsky.

Lagoon Day is the perfect time to consider participating in some of the year-round activities at this environmental masterpiece in our own backyard.

Consider becoming a “citizen scientist,” and training with San Diego Coastkeeper to find out how well the Lagoon’s new treatment ponds are working. After initial training, you would be collecting water samples that will determine if urban runoff is being successfully filtered by the ponds before it flows into the wetlands, taking water quality measurements, and recording conditions at the ponds. Lagoon “citizen scientists” meet on the third Saturdays of every month but the River Park would just like a three-time-a-year commitment from you to come out and do testing – which takes about an hour and a half.

Put on your hiking shoes, get out and be active! Join the Second Saturday Series at the Lagoon and meet with a Park Ranger at 9:15 a.m. at the kiosk every month on San Andres Dr. She/He will walk with you, answering questions about the birds, plants, animals or the restoration project along the way. If you are interested they will also cover the dynamics of how lagoons are created and are different from other bodies of water. This is your chance to get outdoors and explore the wonders of wetlands.

Love birds? Join the growing ranks of amateur bird watchers. Most fourth Saturdays an experienced birder leads a group on the Lagoon trail to see migrating and resident birds of the area. Bird watching guides and a scope are provided but participants are also encouraged to bring their own binoculars. If last year is any indication you can expect to see an increasing number of birds and different species. Every month there seems to be a new first-time sighting along with growing numbers of birds that are on State and Federal watch lists due to their low numbers. With experience you could become part of the monthly bird counters who have access to special areas to record their sightings.

Go to the River Park website (www.sdrp.org) and click on the Activity Calendar for more information about activities and events at the coastal gateway to the River Park. Contact Barbara@sdrp.org for additional information about these and other unique opportunities that continue to be part of the on-going and exciting Lagoon story.


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