More than 600 people expected at ‘Love Your Wetlands Day’ – City Times

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The Kendall-Frost Marsh Preserve in Mission Bay will be open to the public for a day of activities

After simply nursing wild sunflowers lining the wetlands, a hummingbird sits on the chain-link fence surrounding the Kendall-Frost Marsh Preserve in Mission Bay, San Diego. The marsh will be open to guests and volunteers for “Love Your Wetlands Day” on February 5. Photo by Philip Salata/City Times Media

The 17th Edition”Love Your Wetlands Day“, organized by the UC San Diego Nature Preserve System in conjunction with the Audubon Society of San Diego, will be held at Kendall-Frost Swamp Preserve February 5.

San Diego City College will be represented by Lisa Chaddock, who is both an advisor to City’s Audubon Club and vice president of the San Diego Audubon Society.

Offices along the marsh
The UC San Diego Nature Reserve System offices overlook the wetlands. The Kendall-Frost Marsh Preserve is owned by the University of California. Photo by Philip Salata/City Times Media

The event is a rare opportunity for the public to set foot in the marsh, which is normally off-limits as it is sensitive habitat and a key breeding ground for the endangered Ridgway’s Rail.

A rusty-gray footed bird, Ridgway’s rail spends most of its time hidden in dense grasses such as cordgrass, which used to grow abundantly in the marsh.

But according to Heather Henter, executive director of UCSD NRS, 80-90% of California’s salt marsh system has been eradicated.

Now, even in Kendall-Frost, cordgrass is rare.

Researchers and volunteers facilitate the breeding process, which takes place between February and September, by constructing raised platforms on which the birds can nest.

At high tide, water comes just up to the nests, protecting the birds from domestic and wild predators which are abundant due to nearby development.

San Diego Audubon Society staff member Andrew Meyer welcomed recent developments in the City of San Diego’s De Anza Cove Amendment to the Mission Bay Park Master Plan. The addendum promises to add an additional 200 acres of wetlands to the area.

“We’re pushing them to embrace catering,” Meyer said.

Still, Meyer said, that’s not enough.

Volunteers prepare for an event in the swamp.
UCSD NRS Executive Director Heather Henter leads volunteers in preparations for the event. Photo by Philip Salata/City Times Media

Interest in wetlands appears to be high. Henter said the event already had more bookings than expected.

The 600 seats allocated on Eventbrite are already reserved and many more are expected to come.

Visitors can take guided tours of the marsh, help rebuild nesting platforms, learn about water quality testing from Mission Bay High School students, and join expert birdwatchers at the belvedere.

Kumeyaay tule boats on the swamp.
During the event, the guests will be able to experience and work on the traditional tule boats of Kumeyaay. Photo by Philip Salata/City Times Media

Guests will also get to experience and repair traditional Kumeyaay tule boats and experiment with an augmented reality app which offers immersive 360 ​​degree interaction with the Kumeyaay language and culture.

At Crown Point, just west of the swamp, Aqua Adventures will run kayak tours during which guests can also pick up litter in the surrounding area.

A number of speakers will attend the event, including Mayor Todd Gloria as well as Professor Stanley Rodriguez of the Kumeyaay Santa Ysabel Band of the Iipay Nation.

The event will take place on February 5 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For more details, click here.

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