EHC's current efforts in South San Diego

Community Planning – insure that the Bayfront Master Plan is implemented

Green Energy/Green Jobs – make certain that the bayfront development utilizes the maximum renewable energy and the highest green building standards 


Prior to the 1900s, San Diego Bay was a fertile, shallow bay supporting great biodiversity in its open water, salt marshes and mud flats. Dredging and filling of the Bay, along with development have eliminated over 90% of the mudflats and 78% of the salt marshes. Those that remain are found mostly in South San Diego Bay.

sbwildlife refugeMost of the land surrounding San Diego Bay is controlled by the San Diego Unified Port District or the U.S. military. The last remaining piece of privately owned bayfront property was 125 acres between the Sweetwater Marsh Unit of the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge and a marina/commercial development on Port controlled land to the South. When developers proposed dense commercial and residential development at this site, environmentalists and South Bay residents objected.

Sweetwater Marsh Unit of SDNWR

In the late 1970s/early 1980s two projects were proposed that would severely threaten these remaining wetlands habitats: a combined highway/flood control channel along the Sweetwater River that separates National City and Chula Vista, and construction of a 440-room hotel at Gunpowder Point along with high rise residential complexes on the D-Street Fill.

A multi-year legal battle, led by the Sierra Club and League for Coastal Protection, ensued. In 1987 a District Court judge issued a permanent injunction to stop all work, and in 1988 the 315.8-acre Sweetwater Marsh National Wildlife Refuge was created. It is now home to the Chula Vista Nature Center.

South San Diego Bay Unit of SDNWR: The water and land at the far south of the Bay was still unprotected

Pollution Burden

Pollution in South San Diego Bay has come from the South Bay Power Plant, bayside industries such as Rohr Industries, the nearby Interstate 5, and urban runoff.

Relationships to other EHC Efforts

Regional Transportation

San Diego Port District

San Diego Bay

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