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Pond 20 Wetland Mitigation Bank
San Diego, CA
Client: Port of San Diego
Awards: Meritorious Outstanding Innovation in Green Planning & Design - AEP | Outstanding Technical Report - AEP
The Port of San Diego engaged Great Ecology to determine the feasibility of developing a tidal wetland mitigation bank on the Pond 20 parcel and to develop the restoration plan for the site. Pond 20 is a 95-acre former salt evaporator pond located in southern San Diego Bay, adjacent to several restored tidal wetland complexes. In the Phase I feasibility assessment, Great Ecology developed a preliminary conceptual design and restoration plan, determined an initial cost estimate for the project, verified that the wetland credits produced would be fungible with market needs, and conducted a market analysis within Southern California to codify the business case for conversion of the Site to a mitigation bank.
As prime for Phase II of planning and permitting of the bank, Great Ecology developed the restoration and design of the bank and provided support on regulatory and legal submittals. The specific project tasks were primarily desktop-based, including preliminary development of the planting, irrigation, and grading plans for the bank, coordination with the Inter-agency Review Team (IRT) for development of the mitigation banking instrument, and preparation of construction documents to the 60% design level. Fieldwork-based techniques included baseline condition surveys, a preliminary biological resources survey, soil sampling and characterization, and wetland delineation.
Construction is set to begin in 2022.
A Landmark Project for All
When completed, Pond 20 will be one of the largest tidal wetland mitigation banks in California providing critical habitat for migrating birds, numerous native tidal wetland species, eelgrass, and upland vegetation.
In addition to providing over 70 acres of new habitat, Pond 20 provides benefits in the form of carbon sequestration and sea level rise and storm surge protection for the surrounding Imperial Beach community. Improved public access to native wetland habitat was also an important goal for this project, as the existing Bayshore Bikeway runs along the northern edge of the Pond 20 parcel with direct site lines into the wetland.