Tijuana Estuary Tidal Restoration Program

The Tijuana Estuary Tidal Restoration Program (TETRP) is a large multi-phased wetland restoration program located within the Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve. The primary objective of TETRP is to restore valuable habitat processes that have been lost and to increase the exchange of water in a tidal cycle. This will enhance tidal flushing, improve water quality and control sedimentation to ensure the estuary is a sustained natural habitat.


The California Department of Parks and Recreation and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have initiated the scoping process for the preparation of the draft TETRP II Phase I environmental impact report/environmental impact statement. TETRP II Phase I would restore approximately 80 to 85 acres of salt marsh, mudflat, tidal channel, transitional/upland habitats on portions of both Border Field State Park and the Tijuana Slough National Wildlife Refuge.

For more information, click here for the first of several Restoration Updates for this project. 

To view a scanned version of the 1991 TETRP EIR/EIS, click here (26MB).

Important Dates, see https://trnerr.org/about/public-notices/ for details:

May 27, 2021 –  Notice of Intent and Notice of Preparation issued,
comment period begins

June 16, 2021 – Virtual Public Scoping Meetings (2pm and 6pm)
For meeting materials, see https://trnerr.org/about/public-notices/.

July 12, 2021 – Comment period ends

Funding for TETRP II Phase I comes from:
State Coastal Conservancy (http://www.scc.ca.gov)
State of California Wildlife Conservation Board (https://wcb.ca.gov/) 

Aerial photograph showing the general project area, which is located east of the Pacific Ocean and south of the Tijuana River inlet to the ocean. The Model Marsh is visible on the left side of the photo.

General location of the TETRP II Phase I project site. The wetland on the left is the 20-acre Model Marsh restoration project, completed in 2000.

TETRP I 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, a long abandoned sewage treatment basin area known as the “tidal ponds” was connected to Oneonta Slough. Through channel connections, Oneonta Slough meets up with the ocean and thus changes along with the daily oceanic 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 Model/Friendship Marsh

This Model Marsh, created in 1999-2000, was the first phase of the larger Friendship Marsh project. It is a unique and innovative project that focuses on the restoration of diverse ecosystems such as tidal mud flats, cordgrass habitat and marsh plain that were lost due to the deposition of sediment throughout the Tijuana Estuary over time. 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 and plans for further expansion in 2001-2002 were made.  More details on the project can be found here.

Goat Canyon Enhancement Project

Goat Canyon, or Cañon de los Laureles, 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 use 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. To find out more of this project read more here.

Other Restoration Projects

Napolitano Restoration

Sewage Ponds Restoration