OCEANSIDE — The National Fish & Wildlife Foundation awarded Oceanside’s water utilities department a $175,000 grant to assist with the city’s Loma Alta Slough wetlands enhancement project, which was announced this week.
The project is intended to restore and enhance approximately six acres of coastal wetland and upland habitat near Buccaneer Beach in south Oceanside.
The award, a preliminary grant from the Foundation’s Coastal Resiliency Fund, will fund the final design of the project. Grants are scheduled to be finalized in early 2021 and the project is scheduled to begin construction in the summer of 2021.
Features include more than 1,500 feet of new nature trails with educational signage and planned connections to nearby facilities. The project is being designed with a focus on improvements to wetland water quality, storm flow protection and wildlife habitat expansion. The project is currently in the
preliminary design phase and has incorporated community input through a robust public outreach process.
“The foundation’s award marks another important milestone for the city’s Green Oceanside program in promoting environmental protection and awareness,” said Cari Dale, Oceanside’s water utilities director.
The award complements an existing planning grant from the State Coastal Conservancy and will fund the completion of engineering and permitting currently underway.
“We are excited to work with the foundation and citizens of Oceanside to restore the ecological and community value of the slough, as it’s an integral part of our local coastal wetland system,” said Justin Gamble, Oceanside senior environmental specialist.
The National Fish & Wildlife Foundation’s Coastal Resiliency Fund is a nationwide program that contributes towards projects that reduce impacts from storms and rising sea levels on nearby communities while improving habitat quality and community engagement.
The Loma Alta Slough Wetlands Enhancement Project was one of 46 projects awarded nationwide in the 2020 grant solicitation.