Andrée Clark Bird Refuge Restoration
Construction of the Andrée Clark Bird Refuge Restoration Project was completed in early 2023. The project included replacement of the weir gate at Cabrillo Boulevard with an improved design, construction of an upstream treatment wetland at the Municipal Tennis Courts on Old Coast Highway, restoration of habitat around the lake with the installation of native plants and trees, and restoration of dune and salt marsh habitats at the mouth of the Bird Refuge on East Beach.
About the Bird Refuge
The Andrée Clark Bird Refuge is a 42-acre passive City park on East Cabrillo Boulevard that contains a shallow 32-acre brackish lake. The lake is an historic salt marsh that was once connected to Sycamore Creek. The salt marsh was dredged in the late 1920’s to provide a year-round water feature and to improve habitat for open water bird species.
Poor water quality conditions and strong odors at the lake have been problematic since the 1930s. The accumulation of nutrients, lack of flushing storm events, and drought conditions lead to low dissolved oxygen levels, cyanobacteria blooms, poor water clarity, and strong odor events. The Creeks Division collected several years of data and evaluated of a number of potential techniques for improving water quality conditions in the Bird Refuge leading up to the restoration project.