Work Almost Finished On IB Salt Pond Project

Salt Pond To Be Restored To Natural Wetlands Habitat

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is finishing work on a massive restoration project at the southernmost end of San Diego Bay.

The project is called the Salt Pond Restoration Project. Contractors are wrapping up dredging work on what is known as Pond 10, which is located between Coronado's Silver Strand and Imperial Beach.

Work is expected to be completed later this summer and once it is finished, the area will be returned to a natural wetlands habitat.

"Fishes, birds [and] all kinds of creatures… live in the sediment," said Andy Yuen of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. "It'll be a biologically productive area."

For the last 50 years, the area has been used as a salt pond to harvest salt from ocean water. Since February, crews from Bert W. Salas, Inc. have been dredging channels and creating small islands for future wildlife.

The pond is currently separated from the bay by levees. Once dredging is completed, the pond will be opened up to the rest of the bay for the first time in decades.

"That will allow the tide to come in and out of the bay as well as allow fishes to move back and forth," said Yuen.

The entire project will cost about $7.9 million. The funding comes from a number of government sources, including $3.3 million from President Obama's stimulus bill in 2009.

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