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Spending Time on the North County Coastline — Alliance Team Meets with Partners

The Climate Science Alliance team spent the week along North San Diego County’s coastline, on shared Payómkawichum and Kumeyaay lands, meeting with past, current and future partners to build coastal climate resilience.

Four people walk down a dirt path bordered by bushes and a rope fence.

The Climate Science Alliance’s science program team spent a week in mid-June, 2023 meeting with partners along the North San Diego County coastline, on shared Payómkawichum and Kumeyaay lands, as part of the Alliance’s Coastal Initiative and Binational Climate Project, to build climate resilience and reconnection along the coastline (read about our previous visits here!).

Our first meeting was with California Department of Fish and Wildlife to learn about their planned restoration of the Buena Vista Lagoon to restore tidal flow. We also met with Buena Vista Audubon Society (BVAS), which runs the Nature Center located in the lagoon between Carlsbad and Oceanside. BVAS is also involved in the restoration of the Buena Vista Lagoon, creating new marsh habitat that had been previously filled with dirt along Coast Highway. As part of the visit, we also explored the lagoon loop trail, which welcomes visitors with a land acknowledgement signage, written in partnership with Payómkawichum organization, ‘ataaxum Pomkwaan. To round out this trio of partnership at Buena Vista Lagoon, we also met with the team at ‘ataaxum Pomkwaan in Rincon to learn more about their important work with Native youth and reconnecting their community to coastal lands in mutual healing. Check out ‘ataaxum Pomkwaan’s website for more information about their work and the upcoming Gathering of Native Americans. See Buena Vista Audubon's website for opportunities to help in their garden space, or dip your toes into the world of birding with their guided walks.

Down the coast at Ponto beach in Carlsbad, we were welcomed by the State Parks team who shared their work with dune restoration at Carlsbad State Beach. If you frequent the area, you may have seen these dunes in action just south at Cardiff State Beach. These restored dunes cleverly utilize fences—which help trap sand to keep our sandy beaches in tact—that help build up the coastline to create resilience in face of storm surge and sea level rise. These dunes also house some of our beautiful native dune species, like sand verbena and beach primrose, which not only reduce dune erosion, and beautify the space, but importantly are also utilized by nesting birds, reptiles and native insects. Visit one of these sites early in the morning to see animal tracks! This project was done in collaboration with the Nature Collective, learn more here.

At our southernmost stop in Solana Beach, we met with the Nature Collective to learn more about their restoration efforts, and to get the backstory about the impressive lagoon restoration project that has been taking place in the San Elijo lagoon over the past few decades. This huge effort has widened the lagoon’s flow underneath the I-5 freeway, created transition zones to plan for sea level rise in the future, restored habitat for the endangered Ridgway's Rail, and as a result, eelgrass meadows have begun to pop up in the lagoon’s channels (see these from the bridge). If you’d like to help out, consider joining their restoration team on Wednesdays! See the Nature Collective’s website to learn more.


The Climate Science Alliance team is grateful to all of our partners who hosted us over the past weeks to show us their restoration efforts. We are grateful to the original stewards of our North County Coastlines, the Payómkawichum and Kumeyaay peoples, who continue that good work today. We look forward to continuing building relationships and climate resilient coastlines with the many communities who share in our love for San Diego’s coast.


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