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CWA approves contract for wetlands mitigation planning and design


Last updated 1/10/2008 at Noon

The San Diego County Water Authority approved an amendment to an existing professional services contract to add wetlands mitigation site planning and design support for two properties, including a site along the San Luis Rey River.

The SDCWA’s December 6 board vote authorized an additional $246,000 in the contract with Dudek and Associates, Inc., to cover the wetlands mitigation site planning and design support services for the San Luis Rey River and Tijuana River Valley properties. The amendment brings the total contract amount to $1,230,000.

The CWA’s Capital Improvement Program includes a mitigation program intended to address short-term and long-term objectives with regard to Federal and state environmental permitting. The CWA has purchased a 45-acre parcel on the north side of the San Luis Rey River for development as a riparian woodland and scrub mitigation bank. The parcel, about half a mile west of Interstate 15 and south of State Route 76, is bisected by the CWA’s Second Aqueduct and is currently used for agricultural purposes.

“We haven’t advanced far enough in the planning to actually come up with any conceptual design for that property,” said CWA senior water resources specialist Don Chadwick. “It’s actually going to be tracking behind the Tijuana River wetlands site.”

The Tijuana River Valley site is on land owned by the County of San Diego but is part of a mitigation agreement between the CWA and the county. The CWA will maintain and manage the created wetlands there until a predetermined success standard is achieved, after which the County of San Diego will undertake long-term management.

Chadwick gave a Fall 2010 timeframe as the planned start for the actual mitigation work on the San Luis Rey River site, although permitting issues may delay that commencement. The CWA will construct wetlands at both the San Luis Rey River and Tijuana River Valley sites and will enter into a wetland mitigation banking agreement with the Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, and the California Department of Fish and Game. The wetland banking agreement will identify wetland sites as pre-approved mitigation areas for CWA activities which result in impacts to regulated wetlands.

Dudek’s role includes preparing environmental compliance documents, obtaining permits from regulatory agencies, developing conceptual site construction plans and supporting habitat management plans, and negotiation and preparation of the wetland mitigation banking agreements.


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