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San Dieguito Lagoon
During the City of Del Mar's San Dieguito Lagoon Committee meeting, members formed a restoration subcommittee that will strive for more collaboration with Wildcoast and other blue carbon groups. Courtesy photo
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Del Mar lagoon committee seeks collaboration on blue carbon project

DEL MAR – The City of Del Mar’s San Dieguito Lagoon Committee last week created a subcommittee with a goal to participate in Wildcoast’s Blue Carbon Collaborative, a network of organizations committed to blue carbon conservation and research.

Wildcoast is an environmental group that works in the U.S. and Mexico to conserve coastal and marine ecosystems and wildlife. One of its projects, right here in San Diego, studies how lagoons and wetlands can help reduce the rate of warming by capturing carbon, a process known as “blue carbon.”

The organization has partnered with the Scripps Institution of Oceanography to study how much carbon these wetlands and lagoons can capture, and how to preserve these ecosystems so they can capture even more.

“By conserving and restoring these ecosystems, we ensure that the carbon stored in them remains in the ground for years to come and that they will have even greater potential to store more carbon in the ongoing fight against climate change,” Wildcoast said of the project.

During the city’s Lagoon Committee meeting, members formed a Restoration Subcommittee that will strive for more collaboration with Wildcoast and other blue carbon groups in the region.

The subcommittee plans to “collaborate with the Sustainability Advisory Committee on Sea Level Rise impacts to the lagoon and the potential for the City to receive Blue Carbon Credits. Raise awareness about the San Dieguito Lagoon and trails through education, fieldwork, and outreach,” according to the staff report.

The subcommittee also hopes to participate in Wildcoast’s Blue Carbon Collaborative and receive and review the findings of the Blue Carbon Study on the San Dieguito Lagoon, which is expected to be released in June 2022.

Mayor Dwight Worden, who is on the Lagoon Committee, and others emphasized the importance of being more in the loop with this project and similar ones on the horizon.

Wildcoast received $42,000 from the San Diego Foundation last year to conduct a countywide study of blue carbon in local wetlands, including the San Dieguito Lagoon. Most recently, the organization received a $1 million grant from the California Ocean Protection Council to restore 43 acres of wetland.

Wildcoast is working with organizations like the San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy and Batiquitos Lagoon Foundation to restore these wetlands in San Diego County.