Archives for February 2010

Coastal Cleanup Day

California Coastal Cleanup Day is the premier volunteer event focused on the marine environment in the country. In 2009, more than 80,500 volunteers worked together to collect more than 1,300,000 pounds of trash and recyclables from our beaches, lakes, and waterways. California Coastal Cleanup Day has been hailed by the Guinness Book of World Records as “the largest garbage collection” (1993). Since the program started in 1985, over 800,000 Californians have removed more than 14 million pounds of debris from our state’s shorelines and coast. When combined with the International Coastal Cleanup, organized by The Ocean Conservancy and taking place on the same day, California Coastal Cleanup Day becomes part of one of the largest volunteer events of the year.

Coastal Cleanup Day is the highlight of the California Coastal Commission’s year ’round Adopt-A-Beach program and takes place every year on the third Saturday of September, from 9 a.m. to Noon. In 2009, that day fell on September 19. Coming at the end of the summer beach season and right near the start of the school year, Coastal Cleanup Day is a great way for families, students, service groups, and neighbors to join together, take care of our fragile marine environment, show community support for our shared natural resources, learn about the impacts of marine debris and how we can prevent them, and to have fun! Coastal Cleanup Day is also the kick-off event for Coastweeks—three weeks of coastal and water-related events for the whole family.

Participating in Coastal Cleanup Day is as easy as 1, 2, 3! Pre-register with your local Coordinator, or simply show up at any of our drop-in sites.

For more information, contact us at (800) COAST-4U or Join us on Saturday, September 19, 2009, from 9 a.m. to Noon for the 25th Annual California Coastal Cleanup Day. Be part of the solution to marine pollution!


Restoration at the Estuary

The Tijuana River and its estuary are a dynamic system. The forces of flood, erosion, sedimentation, storm and fire constantly change the face of the river and the estuary and their habitats, flora and fauna. However, the changes produced by human activities since the mid-19th century are unprecedented in both their scope and impact on native communities. Decades of disturbances to the watershed, such as localized diking and land filling as well as extended periods of sewage contamination have significantly altered the environmental factors that control habitats. Restoration and protection of these communities are the focus of our effort today.

Tijuana Estuary Tidal Restoration Program
see also

The Tijuana Estuary Tidal Restoration Program’s (TETRP) is a large multi-phased wetland restoration program involving up to 500 acres of restoration. Its primary objective is to restore habitat values that have been lost and to increase the exchange of water in a tidal cycle. This will enhance flushing, improve water quality and control sedimentation.

TETRP Projects

Oneonta Tidal Linkage

The Oneonta Tidal Linkage project, completed in 1997, was designed to improve tidal circulation in areas of mudflat and salt marsh habitat. To accomplish this, an area known as the “tidal ponds”, a long abandoned sewage treatment basin, was connected to Oneonta Slough. Through channel connections, Oneonta Slough meets up with the ocean, thus is affected by the daily changes in tides.
This project quickly achieved its goals of providing 2 acres of habitat for wetland species and water quality benefits to some 200 acres of salt marsh vulnerable to sedimentation.

The Friendship Marsh

This Model Marsh, created in 1999-2000, is the first phase of the larger Friendship Marsh. It is a unique and innovative project that focuses on the restoration of diverse habitats such as tidal mud flats, cordgrass habitat and marsh plain as opposed to a single habitat restoration. Due to the deposition of sediment throughout the Tijuana Estuary over time these habitats were lost. In the midst of an urban environment many cooperating organizations designed and implemented a program that included excavation, re-vegetation and natural species colonization. Various researchers will monitor the restored tidal marsh for at least ten years to examine the biological success, as well as efficiency of restoration techniques. The 20-acre marsh was dedicated as Friendship Marsh on April 29, 2000. Planning to expand the marsh is underway in 2001-2002.

Goat Canyon Enhancement Project

Goat Canyon, called Cañon de los Laureles in Mexico, and its creeks are located within the Tijuana River watershed just inland of the ocean. This 4.6 square-mile sub-watershed contains steep slopes, sandy soil and rare coastal sage scrub and riparian habitats. Human activities and land uses have disturbed and altered this area increasing sedimentation and erosion, resulting in habitat losses, public access problems and safety hazards.

The Goat Canyon Enhancement Plan, completed in 2000, outlines a program for Goat Canyon. This program includes construction of sediment management basins and creek restoration. Final plans and environmental review are in progress in 2001 with construction expected in 2002-2003.

Funding for TETRP projects come from:
California Coastal Conservancy (
US Fish and Wildlife Service (
US Environmental Protection Agency (
Southwest Wetlands Interpretive Association (SWIA) (
The State of California

Other Restoration Projects
Cañada de los Sauces


The Mission of the Stewardship Program at TRNERR is to serve as a consistent, hands-on land management program and regional resource that has the knowledge and ability to:

  • protect endangered and valued species and habitats from general degradation
  • provide ground-based input and assistance for large-scale restoration and research projects
  • identify and control new infestations of invasive non-native plants
  • maintain suppressed levels of controlled occurrences of invasive non-natives plants
  • develop good working relationships with interested NGO’s
  • appropriate government entities and community members; engage community involvement by developing and maintaining volunteer stewardship projects
  • assist with facility maintenance and public access
  • monitor key environmental variables
  • produce reports and coordinate environmental permits as necessary

Priority Topics

Water Quality

Changes in Biological Communities

Habitat Alteration


The Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve has exciting, hands-on education programs for students as well as tours, informative lectures and other outreach opportunities for adult audiences. In addition to our ongoing programs, the Tijuana Estuary also puts on special events throughout the year, such as Fiesta del Rio in September and International Migratory Bird Day activities in May. Check our calendar for current schedule and details of all activities.

The mission of the TRNERR Education Program is to:
Provide interactive, hands-on, thematic, bilingual, environmental education to local and regional students and the community, working in partnership with local schools, community groups and government agencies.

TRNERR Education Department
(619) 575-3613
Anne Marie Tipton,
Education Coordinator
amtipton(at), ext. 304
Lorena Warner-Lara, Education Specialist
lwarner(at), ext. 305
Marya Ahmad, Education Specialist
mahmad(at), ext. 306

Click on a link below for additional information:



The international scope of the Tijuana River watershed, the diversity of habitats, and the range of human and physical problems facing the Reserve make the area rich for study in both the biological and social sciences.

The Reserve’s research and monitoring programs are guided by national plans that identify goals, priorities, and implementation strategies for these programs, as well as research needs specific to the Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve (TRNERR). When combined with the education and outreach programs, the research at the Reserve  helps ensure the long-term availability of scientific information with system-wide consistency. This allows any research information gathered to be useful for the protection and management of other estuaries.

An overarching focus of the research and monitoring program at TRNERR is to conduct and facilitate adaptive management by coupling science with on-the-ground stewardship activities.  The reserve has long been a site for the development of adaptive approaches to the restoration of tidal salt marsh, and the long-term vision of the Reserve’s restoration program is to explicitly couple research with marsh creation activities.  In addition, the Research program is actively working on the ecology and management of exotic species within estuarine settings.

For specific information on research programs at the Reserve, visit the links below:

System-Wide Monitoring Program

Tijuana Estuary Tidal Restoration Program (TETRP)

Invasive Estuarine Plants in the Bight of the Californias

Tijuana River – Current Flow

NERRS Graduate Research Fellowship