More Debate on Its Future and Restoring Wetlands to Northeast Mission Bay’s De Anza Cove

by on November 15, 2023 · 1 comment

in Environment, Ocean Beach, San Diego

Here are two views within the continuing community debate over the future of De Anza Cove in northeast Mission Bay recently published by the San Diego Union-Tribune:

Does city grasp that restoring wetlands is key to cleaner Mission Bay?

By Tyler Vanosdell / Op-Ed SD U-T / Nov. 13, 2023

Whenever I’m taking a visitor or someone new to San Diego onto Mission Bay, I’m aware I’m providing them with what may be their first impression of our city, and that they’re seeing San Diego in a way few residents have experienced it — on the water, in the midst of what is, for better or worse, the nation’s largest aquatic park.

I’m aware of how much Mission Bay has been modified from its natural state over the last 100 years, but I can’t deny the bay remains an enduring gem, and a special asset we San Diegans are fortunate to call our own. But with that pride of ownership comes responsibility for its care. That’s why the ReWild Mission Bay campaign to restore the historic wetland habitats this area has lost to development over time is so important to me.

As the proprietor of a fly fishing company, ensuring the water of Mission Bay is clean and healthy for fish and other marine habitat is critical to my livelihood. The fish that I make my livelihood from are tied to the surviving wetland habitat we have in Mission Bay; either they’re born there and leave when they’re big enough, or they eat the fish that are born there.

My clients come from around the world — Italy, England, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Mexico, Hong Kong, China, Iran and dozens of other countries. Similarly, visitors from around the U.S. from Maine, Michigan, Florida, Utah and elsewhere come to fish at Mission Bay. Each has their own story of an imperiled body of water near them.

For the balance of this article, please go here.

Vanosdell is the owner and operator of Mission Bay Fly Fishing Company, and lives in San Diego.

City’s flawed plan won’t right Mission Bay’s wrongs of the past

By John Heatherington / Op-Ed / Nov. 13, 2023

De Anza Cove is in the northeast corner of Mission Bay. If you are not familiar, you may have seen it, driving by on the freeway. It’s a beautiful place, with green grass, a few trees and the calm lagoon beyond. But this placid lagoon has been at the center of controversy for a long time.

It was controversial in the late 1940s, when the city dredged up a beautiful salt marsh to create leasable land and make money for city coffers. And it was controversial in the 1950s when the original trailer park turned into permanent housing. The State Lands Commission, which granted the tidelands to the city, intervened in the early 1960s and declared it an illegal use. The situation, however, was complicated by the 50-year lease the city had signed and by legislation passed in the interim that protected the rights of trailer park residents. In 1982, state legislation, known as the Kapiloff bill, AB 447, allowed the residents to stay until the lease ran out in 2003.

All this time, De Anza Point has been closed to the public. But the Public Trust Doctrine, enshrined in our state Constitution and given teeth by the California Coastal Act, gives you and me the right of convenient access to the water. But the abuse of the public trust has continued. Just two years ago, the California Coastal Commission fined the operator of Campland and De Anza RV Resort (same operator) somewhere around $1 million in fines and penalties for blocking public access on De Anza Point and on the other side of Rose Creek, and so, after three-quarters of a century, some public access has been restored. But don’t rejoice yet; the city has another plan.

This plan is in the form of an amendment to the Mission Bay Park Master Plan. I encourage you to go to and look at the map. Right in the middle, illustrated in pink, is an area labeled Low Cost Visitor Serving Accommodations (58.5 acres). The city says this means a mix of RVs and tent camping. Yet those facilities are in place now and according to an analysis by the California Coastal Commission are priced at two to three times the cost of similar sites at San Elijo and Silver Strand State Beaches. This is hardly low cost.

For the balance of this article, please go here.

Heatherington is a volunteer for the Environmental Center of San Diego and is on the Board of Directors of The Chaparral Lands Conservancy. He is retired and lives in Rancho Bernardo.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Mateo November 15, 2023 at 2:11 pm

I have spent most of my life steps away from Rose Creek. The City has robbed Rose Creek and the surrounding neighborhoods of City services for over 70 years. Rose Creek is the only naturally occurring fresh water tributary feeding Mission Bay. The Balboa Specific Plan to take us from 1900 existing affordable (not in quotation marks) housing units to 7,500 luxury apartment units. The Creek cannot tolerate such stresses but there are no environmentalists left in the California Democratic Party, so hyper- gentrification is happening because all public input was superseded by the the SANDAG Gastapo.


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