San Dieguito Project Media Contact: Kelly Sarber, (760) 613-5994
Southern California Edison Media Contact: Scott Andresen, (626) 302-7835
San Diego Gas & Electric Media Contact: Erin Coller, (619) 929-5355
City of Riverside Media Contact: Mike Bacich, (951) 826-5422
DEL MAR, Calif., Nov. 7, 2011 – The $90 million San Dieguito Wetlands Restoration Project that public officials and sponsors Southern California Edison, San Diego Gas & Electric and the cities of Riverside and Anaheim dedicated today creates one of the largest West Coast estuaries.
One of three environmental projects to offset any adverse impact on marine life by the ocean water cooling system of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, or SONGS, the just-completed estuary revitalizes 150 acres of coastal wetlands.
It includes creation of the coastal segment of the Coast to Crest Trail along the San Dieguito River, a perimeter that will help protect sensitive habitat and vegetation and allow public enjoyment of the wetlands area. The habitat already is a fish nursery and refuge for migratory waterfowl and endangered species, and provides open space for community recreation.
“Our primary responsibility at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station is to provide utility customers with safe, reliable, affordable power,” said Pete Dietrich, a Southern California Edison senior vice president and chief nuclear officer. “The wetlands project represents an additional responsibility we take seriously – careful stewardship of our region’s invaluable marine environment.”
“The completed project represents 14 years of work, including research, permitting and construction by a skilled team of environmental project professionals,” said Cecil House, a Southern California Edison senior vice president over environmental projects. “The outcome is a coastal enhancement that will benefit nature and local residents for the foreseeable future.”
The wetlands work augments two previously completed marine enhancement projects — the 174-acre, $46 million Wheeler North Giant Kelp Reef off San Clemente and the Hubbs White Sea Bass Hatchery in Carlsbad — to create a comprehensive environmental mitigation plan for the nearby nuclear power plant. Peter Douglas, former executive director of the California Coastal Commission, has stated, “The Commission is satisfied that marine impacts from SONGS’ cooling water intake system … have been fully mitigated.”
“This groundbreaking restoration project is emerging as a global success story,” said Pam Fair, SDG&E’s vice president, environment and support services, and chief environmental officer. “The newly restored wetlands area has already seen a tripling of bird species and colonization of the nature preserve by millions of baby fish, creating a thriving environmental asset for the San Diego region.”
SONGS uses ocean water for a non-nuclear cooling system. Innovative technologies prevent any adverse impact on more than 94 percent of marine life near the plant’s intake system. However, the cooling system does impact some small fish and fish larvae that the environmental mitigation projects more than offset.
Additional information about the San Dieguito Wetlands Restoration Project is available at www.sce.com/wetlands.
About Southern California Edison
An Edison International (NYSE:EIX) company, Southern California Edison is one of the nation’s largest electric utilities, serving a population of nearly 14 million via 4.9 million customer accounts in a 50,000-square-mile service area within Central, Coastal and Southern California.
About San Diego Gas & Electric
SDG&E is a regulated public utility that provides safe and reliable energy service to 3.4 million consumers through 1.4 million electric meters and more than 840,000 natural gas meters in San Diego and southern Orange counties. The utility’s area spans 4,100 square miles. Exceptional customer service is a priority of SDG&E as it seeks to enhance the region’s quality of life. SDG&E is a subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE:SRE), a Fortune 500 energy services holding company based in San Diego.
About the city of Riverside
With more than 300,000 people, Riverside is the state’s 12th largest city and sixth largest in Southern California. It is the seat of the nation’s second-fastest-growing county and leads the Inland Empire region in virtually every measure of economic power.
About the city of Anaheim
The city of Anaheim, founded in 1857, is one of the nation’s premier municipalities and is one of California’s most populous cities. Anaheim covers 50 square miles with more than 341,000 residents and more than 3,100 city employees. Anaheim supports a thriving business community as well as successful sports franchises. Anaheim also boasts world-class meeting and entertainment venues. In addition, Anaheim embraces its vibrant cultural arts community.