Habitat restoration through invasive species removal
The RCD of Greater San Diego County is committed to habitat restoration, especially along the riparian corridors of our reservoirs and rivers. Water is an essential resource, yet its quality and quantity are strained each year due to longstanding drought periods coupled with high temperatures. San Diego County imports the majority (80%) of its water supply from the Bay Delta and the Colorado River and the remainder from local surface and groundwater supplies and conservation efforts. We are committed to managing water sources efficiently and improve the water supply for future generations. We believe that our diversified regional water efforts will make our communities more resilient against drought, flooding, population growth, and climate changes.
In 2018, we focused our efforts on the following two projects:
The RCD works with the San Diego River Conservancy and Lakeside River Park Conservancy to perform riparian restoration and invasive species removal along the San Diego River and its tributaries. These water-ways are frequented by millions of residents and visitors annually, yet they are plagued by water quality and flow issues. Sycamore Creek in Santee, CA is severely impaired by Arundo that has displaced the native habitat, halted water flow, and impaired the creek’s use for recreation.
The RCD is managing a multi-year, multi-million dollar Proposition 84 Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM) Implementation Grant to eliminate invasive plants, weeds, and wildlife species along the El Capitan Reservoir to limit their deleterious effects on water supply and quality and reduce the fuel load. The removal of six prolific and highly flammable invasive plants, including Arundo and Tamarisk, will restore flow, minimize erosion, and stabilize hillsides along the watershed. Moreover, feral pig eradication will limit the spread of disease to other animals, livestock, and humans, ultimately benefiting human health and conservation efforts. This project is a collaboration with several local, state, and national stakeholders, and tribal entities across 93 acres within unincorporated San Diego County.