OCEANSIDE–The City of Oceanside Water Utilities Department was notified Tuesday of a preliminary grant award of $175,000 from the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation’s Coastal Resiliency Fund.
The award will fund the final design of the city’s Loma Alta Slough Wetlands Enhancement Project. The project will restore and enhance approximately six acres of coastal wetland and upland habitat near Buccaneer Beach in south Oceanside. Features include over 1,500 feet of new nature trails with educational signage and planned connections to nearby facilities. Key design benefits include improvements to wetland water quality, storm flow protection and wildlife habitat expansion. The project is currently in the preliminary design phase and has incorporated community input through a robust public outreach process.
“The Foundation’s award marks another important milestone for the City’s Green Oceanside program in promoting environmental protection and awareness,” said Cari Dale, Oceanside Water Utilities Director. The award complements the City’s existing planning grant from the State Coastal Conservancy and will fund completion of engineering and permitting currently underway. The end product will be a construction-ready design package the City can use to seek future implementation grant funding.
“We are excited to work with the Foundation and citizens of Oceanside to restore the ecological and community value of the Slough, as it’s an integral part of our local coastal wetland system,” said Justin Gamble, Oceanside Senior Environmental Specialist.
The National Fish & Wildlife Foundation’s Coastal Resiliency Fund is a nationwide program that contributes towards projects that reduce impacts from storms and rising sea levels on nearby communities while improving habitat quality and community engagement. The Loma Alta Slough Wetlands Enhancement Project was one of 46 projects awarded nationwide in the 2020 grant solicitation. The grant award is expected to be finalized in early 2021 with a project kickoff near June 2021.