Draft Community Involvement Plan for the …...Community Involvement Plan, SWM Unit, SDBNWR Page 4...

23
Community Involvement Plan, SWM Unit, SDBNWR Page 1 Draft Community Involvement Plan for the Sweetwater Marsh Unit Site San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge Operable Unit 1 (Burn Ash Areas) Operable Unit 2 (Gunpowder Point) Operable Unit 3 (F&G Street Marsh) Chula Vista and National City, CA June 2017 OU 1 005804

Transcript of Draft Community Involvement Plan for the …...Community Involvement Plan, SWM Unit, SDBNWR Page 4...

Page 1: Draft Community Involvement Plan for the …...Community Involvement Plan, SWM Unit, SDBNWR Page 4 Sweetwater Marsh Unit of the Refuge. More detailed information describing ederal

Community Involvement Plan, SWM Unit, SDBNWR Page 1

Draft Community Involvement Plan for the Sweetwater Marsh Unit Site

San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge

Operable Unit 1 (Burn Ash Areas) Operable Unit 2 (Gunpowder Point) Operable Unit 3 (F&G Street Marsh)

Chula Vista and National City, CA

June 2017

OU 1 005804

Page 2: Draft Community Involvement Plan for the …...Community Involvement Plan, SWM Unit, SDBNWR Page 4 Sweetwater Marsh Unit of the Refuge. More detailed information describing ederal

Community Involvement Plan, SWM Unit, SDBNWR Page 2

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1 INTRODUCTION ........................................................................................................ 3 1.1 Site Location .....................................................................................................................3 1.2 Purpose .............................................................................................................................4

2 Site Background and Previous Investigation Summaries.............................................. 5 2.1 Operable Unit 1 (Burn Ash Areas) and Surrounding Land Use ........................................5

2.1.1 OU1 History ............................................................................................................................. 5 2.1.2 Summary of Environmental Investigations at OU1 ................................................................. 6

2.2 Operable Unit 2 (Gunpowder Point) and Surrounding Land Use .....................................6 2.2.1 OU2 History ............................................................................................................................. 7 2.2.2 Summary of Environmental Investigations at OU2 ................................................................. 8

2.3 Operable Unit 3 (F and G Street Marsh) and Surrounding Land Use ...............................8 2.3.1 OU3 History ............................................................................................................................. 8 2.3.2 Summary of Environmental Investigations at OU3 ................................................................. 9

3 COMMUNITY BACKGROUND ................................................................................. 9 3.1 Potential Stakeholders ......................................................................................................9 3.2 Potential Community Concerns ...................................................................................... 10 3.3 Community Demographic Profile ................................................................................... 10 3.4 Surrounding Community and Neighborhoods ................................................................ 11

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT ACTIVITES ................................................................ 13 3.5 Community Involvement Activities under CERCLA ...................................................... 13

3.5.1 Community Interest Assessment .......................................................................................... 13 3.5.2 Engineering Evaluation/Cost Analysis ................................................................................... 13

4 KEY CONTACTs LIST .............................................................................................. 16 Species of Concern and Other Special Status Species ........................................................................ 21

OU 1 005805

Page 3: Draft Community Involvement Plan for the …...Community Involvement Plan, SWM Unit, SDBNWR Page 4 Sweetwater Marsh Unit of the Refuge. More detailed information describing ederal

Community Involvement Plan, SWM Unit, SDBNWR Page 3

1 INTRODUCTION The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (“FWS”) prepared this Community Involvement Plan (“CIP”) to enable meaningful community involvement throughout the environmental investigation and cleanup activities at three operable units (“OUs”) within the Sweetwater Marsh Unit (the “Unit”) of the San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge (“the Refuge”) in San Diego County, California. FWS has prepared this CIP pursuant to and consistent with the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (“CERCLA”), 42 U.S.C. § 9601 et seq., and the National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan (“NCP”), 40 C.F.R. Part 300.1

1.1 Site Location The Refuge is located along the eastern, southeastern, and southern portions of San Diego Bay (Figure 1). The Refuge is about 2,620 acres in total size and consists of the Sweetwater Marsh Unit and the South San Diego Bay Unit. Three operable units (“OUs”) are present with the Unit and are collectively referred to as the “Site”. Separate investigations and response action selections were conducted for each OU. Operable Unit 1 (“OU1”) includes Paradise Marsh, Connector Marsh, portions of Sweetwater Marsh, and properties adjacent to the Refuge that are contaminated with burn ash from a now-defunct burn dump located north of the Site. Operable Unit 2 (“OU2”), also known as Gunpowder Point, includes a natural upland area that was the site of intensive industrial activities between 1916 and the 1930s. Operable Unit 3 (“OU3”), also known as the F and G Street Marsh, is not contiguous to the rest of the Site and includes a marsh area that was filled with contaminated materials in the 1960s and 1970s. The three OUs collectively include approximately 210 acres and are shown on Figure 1. OU1 and OU3 are predominantly comprised of intertidal marsh habitat that is part of the Refuge. OU2 consists of a natural upland feature that juts westward into San Diego Bay from the surrounding Sweetwater Marsh area. Fill material was historically placed in some portions of F and G Street Marsh and Sweetwater Marsh, creating uplands or elevated land above the surrounding marsh. The Refuge provides habitat for several State- and federally-listed endangered and threatened species including: the California least tern (Sternula antillarum browni); the light-footed Ridgway’s rail (Rallus obsoletus levipes); the western snowy plover (Charadrius nivosus nivosus); and the salt marsh bird’s beak (Chloropyron maritimum maritimum), an endangered plant species (FWS, 2006). The Belding’s savannah sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis beldingi), an endangered species listed by the State of California, also utilizes habitat within the

1The Site will be investigated and remediated pursuant to CERCLA (also known as the “Superfund” law), and the NCP (the set of regulations that set forth additional requirements on how CERCLA response action must be implemented). CERCLA was enacted by Congress in 1980 to address releases or threatened releases of hazardous substances into the environment. Since then, significant efforts have been made across the country to locate, investigate, and clean up contaminated sites under this law. CERCLA gives the President broad powers to respond to hazardous substance releases, and the President has delegated this authority to a number of federal departments and agencies, including the Department of the Interior. The Service, an agency within the Department of the Interior, is the CERCLA “lead agency” for the Site.

OU 1 005806

Page 4: Draft Community Involvement Plan for the …...Community Involvement Plan, SWM Unit, SDBNWR Page 4 Sweetwater Marsh Unit of the Refuge. More detailed information describing ederal

Community Involvement Plan, SWM Unit, SDBNWR Page 4

Sweetwater Marsh Unit of the Refuge. More detailed information describing Federal and State threatened and endangered species is included in Attachment A.

1.2 Purpose The purposes of this CIP are to:

1) Engage and solicit feedback and comments from the public, elected officials, and agencies on their concerns regarding potential environmental contamination at the three OUs;

2) Provide information on contaminant investigations and proposed clean-up actions at the three OUs; and

3) Provide opportunities for public involvement and to receive input from the public, elected officials, and agencies on the contaminant investigations and proposed cleanup actions at the three OUs.

This CIP also provides information on potential community concerns regarding the three OUs as well as community involvement activities that will be conducted to address those concerns. The community involvement activities described in this CIP seek to anticipate and address potential community concerns that may arise during the public review of the Engineering Evaluation/Cost Analysis (“EE/CA”) currently being conducted for each of the three OUs, environmental activities including soil, sediment, and groundwater investigations, and potential future environmental cleanup activities. The specific objective of the CIP is to identify approaches to:

• Establish effective channels of communication between the community and the Refuge. • Understand and respond to concerns and questions from the community regarding soil,

sediment, and groundwater investigations and cleanup alternatives. • Inform the community of the progress of the investigation and cleanup activities at the

three OUs. • Solicit input from the community on concerns about the investigation and cleanup

activities. • Provide adequate opportunities for the community to become informed and comment on

proposed cleanup activities. This CIP is a “living” document and will be updated or revised, as appropriate, as Site conditions change.

OU 1 005807

Page 5: Draft Community Involvement Plan for the …...Community Involvement Plan, SWM Unit, SDBNWR Page 4 Sweetwater Marsh Unit of the Refuge. More detailed information describing ederal

Community Involvement Plan, SWM Unit, SDBNWR Page 5

2 SITE BACKGROUND AND PREVIOUS INVESTIGATION SUMMARIES The following sections provide a brief summary of the locations and surrounding land use, as well as a summary of the background and previous investigations for each of the three OUs.

2.1 Operable Unit 1 (Burn Ash Areas) and Surrounding Land Use The Sweetwater Marsh Unit occupies an area of primarily intertidal saltmarsh habitat in the eastern portion of San Diego Bay, in Chula Vista and National City, California. I-5 bounds the Site on the east, portions of National City are to the north and northwest, the Port of San Diego (Port) property is to the west, portions of Chula Vista are to the southeast, and additional marshlands are present southwest and south. Refuge marshlands parallel I-5 and are bisected by the east-west trending Sweetwater River Flood Control Channel. OU1 includes land west of I-5 that may contain residual burn ash debris, including portions of Paradise Marsh, Connector Marsh, , the Marisma de Nacion Marsh, and portions of Sweetwater Marsh, in addition to property owned by Caltrans (I-5 embankment and bike trail), San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), the Port of San Diego, and the Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) right-of-way. These areas comprise approximately 160 acres total. 2.1.1 OU1 History Development in the vicinity of OU1 began in the late 1800s with construction of a rail line. Businesses, including railroad support offices, slaughterhouses, and manufacturing shops, deposited wastes into Paradise Marsh, which is located in the northern portion of OU1. Finally, the operators of a burn dump that operated north of Paradise Marsh from the 1920s until the 1950s (known alternatively as the Davies Dump or National City Dump) routinely disposed of burn ash resulting from its operations in the vicinity of Paradise Marsh. In 1949, the State of California acquired the land along the eastern edge of OU1 for the construction of what is now the I-5 freeway, and the Davies Dump site was graded and leveled. The initial freeway construction, channelization of the Sweetwater River, subsequent freeway expansion and the construction of embankments to support freeway and interchange stability caused significant impacts to the marsh. In addition, these activities may have contributed to dispersion of burn ash debris throughout other portions of the marsh as well as increased erosion in the marsh channels. A Limited Historical Study of the area and adjacent portions of Paradise Marsh and Sweetwater Marsh was compiled by Ninyo and Moore (2011) for Caltrans, and presents a more comprehensive discussion of historical activities at and near OU1, including disposal of burn ash debris in the marsh. In addition, a detailed description of the historic development of the Sweetwater Marsh area was published in a May 1994 Caltrans report entitled “Historical Study Report for the Proposed South Bay Bikeway Project, San Diego County 11-SD-5, PM 8.6/R10.0.” The Caltrans report was prepared in support of plans to construct the bike path that now parallels I-5 and the Connector Marsh.

OU 1 005808

Page 6: Draft Community Involvement Plan for the …...Community Involvement Plan, SWM Unit, SDBNWR Page 4 Sweetwater Marsh Unit of the Refuge. More detailed information describing ederal

Community Involvement Plan, SWM Unit, SDBNWR Page 6

2.1.2 Summary of Environmental Investigations at OU1 Numerous environmental investigations have been conducted at OU1, largely in response to the historical operation of the Davies Dump, construction of I-5 in the 1950s, expansion of I-5 and Sweetwater River Flood Control Project in the 80’s and construction of the bike path in the 1990s. Ninety-eight documents (or studies) were identified for OU1 as part of a file review and data gaps analysis completed in 2015. Nine subsurface investigations completed by the property owners that included collection of soil, groundwater, sediment, and/or surface water samples were as follows:

• The Caltrans bike path (Ninyo & Moore, 2001) and Caltrans East Bluff area (CalRecycle, 2010);

• The MTS property railway near the Connector Marsh (SCS Engineers, 2011); • The SDG&E property, where a limited removal action (OTIE, 2011) was completed in

2011 and a site investigation in 2014 (Parsons, 2014 and 2015); • Paradise Marsh by the Service (FWS, 2008); and in Connector Marsh, Paradise Marsh,

and Sweetwater Marsh by the Service (Haley & Aldrich, 2011; Geosyntec, 2013; ECM, 2014).

These investigations were summarized in a Supplemental Site Investigation Work Plan (Geosyntec, 2015), prior to additional soil and sediment sampling completed in spring of 2015. Chemicals of potential concern that were identified included metals, dioxins and furans, pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in soil and sediment. Chemical concentrations generally decreased with depth and were associated with the burn debris disposed in the marsh. FWS is currently evaluating data from these investigations to get a better understanding of the source of the nature and extent of these contaminants and to evaluate whether they pose a risk to human health and/or ecological receptors. As part of this evaluation, FWS is developing an EE/CA to identify clean up strategies. Through the site investigations and EE/CA process, the location, nature, and extent of Contaminants of Concern (“COCs”) on OU1 will be identified, and the EE/CA will propose alternatives to address the contamination. The EE/CA is scheduled to be completed in summer 2017 and will be submitted to the general public for input and comments.

2.2 Operable Unit 2 (Gunpowder Point) and Surrounding Land Use OU2 is a 30-acre upland area that is bordered on the west by the San Diego Bay and on the east by the Sweetwater Marsh (Figure 2). A portion of OU2 is occupied by the Living Coast Discovery Center (the “Center”), which is situated in the eastern portion of Gunpowder Point and is open to the public throughout the year. The Center includes the main building; a walking trail; a greenhouse; large outdoor aquaria; a burrowing owl aviary; an avian husbandry support building; a light-footed Ridgway’s rail aviary; butterfly and hummingbird gardens; and raptor enclosures (http://www.thelivingcoast.org). The Center is operated by the Chula Vista Nature

OU 1 005809

Page 7: Draft Community Involvement Plan for the …...Community Involvement Plan, SWM Unit, SDBNWR Page 4 Sweetwater Marsh Unit of the Refuge. More detailed information describing ederal

Community Involvement Plan, SWM Unit, SDBNWR Page 7

Center Foundation. The San Diego National Wildlife Refuge Complex also has their headquarters on Gunpowder Point. OU2, the portion of Gunpowder Point being evaluated for cleanup activities, is inclusive of the entire upland area where former industrial activities occurred on Gunpowder Point, excluding the existing buildings. 2.2.1 OU2 History From 1916 through 1919, during World War I, the Hercules Powder Company (“Hercules”) owned and operated a 30-acre industrial complex at Gunpowder Point. The Hercules complex produced potash and acetone from kelp that was harvested offshore. The Hercules complex consisted of 156 above-ground, 50,000-gallon, wooden fermentation tanks, a shoreline pier with piping, and rail lines utilized for moving material from one part of the plant to another. In addition to the fermentation tanks, the plant also included: nine 400,000 gallons storage tanks; settling basins and a reservoir with the capacity to hold millions of gallons of post-fermentation kelp liquor; fusing furnaces used to produce acetic anhydride and some potash; large crystallization tanks for the production of calcium salts, organic acids, and potash; evaporators to produce acetone; an onsite railroad system; pipelines to convey feedstock and product; a laboratory; and storage buildings (ICF Jones and Stokes, 2008). The plant was the largest of its type in the world at that time until it was closed in 1919. Following the Hercules operations, in 1920, the San Diego Oil Products Corporation owned and operated a cottonseed oil processing facility at Gunpowder Point, which included some of the structures left by Hercules. The cotton was grown elsewhere and the cottonseed brought to Gunpowder Point for processing. The cottonseed processing facilities occupied approximately 10 acres. Structures and operations included the hull house, the mill (to extract the crude oil), cottonseed meal storage, a refinery, oil storage tanks, a machine shop, and cottonseed storage buildings. Primary constituents of cottonseed oil are glycerides of palmitic, oleic, and linoleic acids (FWS, 2011). In 1923, a large fire destroyed some structures of the plant. In 1927, San Diego Oil Products Corporation merged with Pacific Cottonseed Products Corporation. By 1933, Pacific Cottonseed Products Corporation went into receivership and likely ceased operations at that time. Areas near Gunpowder Point were also used for farming as early as the 1920s (FWS, 2011). From 1946 to 1986, the eastern portion of Gunpowder Point (the area east of the former Hercules operation) was used for agriculture. The largest crop produced there were hothouse tomatoes. No agricultural activities have occurred on the OU2 since 1986. Sometime between 1933 and 1961, Gunpowder Point was acquired by the Santa Fe Land Improvement Company (“SFLI”). In 1988, the United States acquired title to Gunpowder Point and the rest of the Site from SFLI and the State of California to be managed by FWS as part of the Sweetwater Marsh National Wildlife Refuge (now the Sweetwater Marsh Unit of the San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge) to establish protected habitat for federally listed endangered species. The land transfer

OU 1 005810

Page 8: Draft Community Involvement Plan for the …...Community Involvement Plan, SWM Unit, SDBNWR Page 4 Sweetwater Marsh Unit of the Refuge. More detailed information describing ederal

Community Involvement Plan, SWM Unit, SDBNWR Page 8

was part of the settlement of an Endangered Species Act lawsuit to require environmental mitigation to offset the effects of the expansion of California Interstate 5 (“I-5”). 2.2.2 Summary of Environmental Investigations at OU2 Several environmental investigations were completed at OU2 from 1988 to 2006 to evaluate former surface features related to historical uses (vaults, concrete structures). These investigations included soil, sediment, and groundwater sampling, and geophysical studies (FWS, 2008; GeoEngineers, 2007 and 2008). In 1988, as part of the transfer agreement, SFLI evaluated and removed approximately 3,000 gallons of waste oil and 50 fifty-five gallon drums of solids from two of the former industrial concrete vaults on the Site. After the removal of the waste, the vaults were demolished and removed from OU2. In 1990, 2006, and 2007-2008, FWS evaluated and removed liquids that had accumulated in the vault, and evaluated soil and groundwater conditions near the vaults. FWS conducted additional subsurface investigations in 2008 through 2012 to obtain soil and groundwater samples (FWS, 2008 and 2011; Geosyntec, 2010, 2011, and 2012). In 2008 and 2009, FWS completed geophysical studies and a soil and groundwater investigation across OU2. As part of the groundwater investigation, FWS installed four groundwater monitoring wells. FWS conducted sampling at the wells in 2010 and 2011. In 2012, FWS completed a supplemental site investigation to obtain additional soil and groundwater samples across OU2 in order to provide more specific data relating to contamination there. COCs identified at OU2 include metals in soil and perchlorate and metals in groundwater. More detailed history and discussion of previous environmental studies at OU2 are provided in the October 2011 Final PA/SI report (FWS, 2011). FWS is currently evaluating data from these investigations to get a better understanding of the nature and extent of these contaminants and to evaluate whether they pose a risk to human health and/or ecological receptors. As part of this evaluation, FWS is developing an EE/CA to identify clean up strategies. Through the site investigations and EE/CA process, the location, nature, and extent of COCs on OU2 will be identified, and the EE/CA will propose alternatives to address the contamination. The EE/CA is scheduled to be completed in summer 2017 and will be submitted to the general public for input and comments.

2.3 Operable Unit 3 (F and G Street Marsh) and Surrounding Land Use OU3, the F&G Street Marsh, is located on Lagoon Drive at the west end of F Street in Chula Vista, California. The F and G Street Marsh consists of an upland fill area in the north-central portion of the marsh, and is bounded to the north by Lagoon Drive, to the west by Marina Parkway, and to the east and south by Goodrich Aerostructures facilities (Goodrich). In total, OU3 covers approximately 17.5 acres, with the uplands fill area comprising approximately 3.75 acres. 2.3.1 OU3 History Based on historical reports, undocumented fill was placed at the F and G Street Marsh between 1964 and 1975, corresponding with the development of roads and nearby industrial operations

OU 1 005811

Page 9: Draft Community Involvement Plan for the …...Community Involvement Plan, SWM Unit, SDBNWR Page 4 Sweetwater Marsh Unit of the Refuge. More detailed information describing ederal

Community Involvement Plan, SWM Unit, SDBNWR Page 9

(i.e. Goodrich and others; FWS, 2013). Anecdotal information suggests that the fill may contain a variety of discarded materials, including construction debris, municipal street sweepings, and asphalt and concrete pavements (FWS, 2013). Based on observations during the PA/SI, the fill material includes soil, rubble, and construction debris, ranging in depth from approximately 1 to 3 ft below ground surface (bgs) (or potentially deeper in areas where drilling refusal was encountered). The volume of fill located is sufficient to have raised the surface elevation and created upland habitat out of historical salt marsh habitat (FWS, 2013). The fill area is intersected by an unlined drainage feature that originates from the vacant land to the north of OU3, drains to the south through a pipe culvert beneath Lagoon Drive, and ultimately discharges into the San Diego Bay. 2.3.2 Summary of Environmental Investigations at OU3 FWS completed subsurface investigations at the F and G Street Marsh in 2003, 2004, and 2014 (P&D Environmental, 2003; FWS, 2008 and 2013; Ahtna, 2015). Based on the results, elevated concentrations of metals were detected in soil, with lead being the primary risk driver for any subsequent assessments or mitigation. Elevated concentrations of lead in soil were generally present in the southern and eastern portions of the uplands. The lowest concentrations were generally along the northern and western edges of the filled area, with higher concentrations generally in surface soils. In addition to metals in soil, localized areas with chemicals of potential concern included petroleum hydrocarbons in soil, and metals in groundwater and one sediment sample. FWS is currently evaluating data from these investigations to get a better understanding of the source of the nature and extent of these contaminants and to evaluate whether they pose a risk to human health and/or ecological receptors. As part of this evaluation, FWS is developing an EE/CA to identify clean up strategies. Through the site investigations and EE/CA process, the location, nature, and extent of COCs on OU3 will be identified, and the EE/CA will propose alternatives to address the contamination. The EE/CA is scheduled to be completed in Spring 2017 and will be submitted to the general public for input and comments.

3 COMMUNITY BACKGROUND This section identifies potential stakeholders, potential health and safety concerns, and an overview of the general characteristics of the communities of Chula Vista and National City surrounding the Refuge.

3.1 Potential Stakeholders The potential stakeholders for communication about the Refuge’s environmental activities are:

• Staff, volunteers, docents, Board of Directors, and visitors of the Center, • County of San Diego Supervisor District 1 • City officials of Chula Vista and National City and other federal, State, and local elected

officials; • Unified Port of San Diego; • Residents and businesses surrounding the Refuge;

OU 1 005812

Page 10: Draft Community Involvement Plan for the …...Community Involvement Plan, SWM Unit, SDBNWR Page 4 Sweetwater Marsh Unit of the Refuge. More detailed information describing ederal

Community Involvement Plan, SWM Unit, SDBNWR Page 10

• Environmental organizations actively involved in contaminant cleanup, environmental justice and historic preservation in San Diego Bay and watersheds;

• Federal, State, and County of San Diego environmental regulatory agencies. FWS may identify and add to the communication outreach list additional individuals and organizations depending on the level of interest in the Site’s activities after the community interviews or surveys are completed.

3.2 Potential Community Concerns Consistent with the requirements of the NCP, FWS conducted baseline community interviews to assess the level of public knowledge and interest in the Site. Identifying and outlining these issues will help FWS proactively address community concerns. Local jurisdictions, interested agencies and organizations, residents, and other stakeholders have the following concerns regarding the environmental contamination and proposed cleanup of the three operating units:

• Environmental justice concerns from no-action or a delayed cleanup response, potential releases of contaminants into surrounding communities during cleanup actions, and non-attainment of air quality standards from construction activities;

• Potential exposure to visitors, especially young children and school groups, that use the Refuge trails;

• Potential reduction in visitors to the Center from a perception that the area is contaminated;

• Potential impacts of proposed cleanup actions to the operation of and public access to the Center;

• Potential impacts to businesses and Port tenants from cleanup actions and construction-related activities (noise, fugitive dust, and increased truck traffic) in the vicinity of the cleanup actions;

• Potential impact to cultural and historic resources from the cleanup actions; • Impact of COCs on threatened and endangered species and their habitats, as well as

impacts to other birds, fish, wildlife, habitats, and other ecological resources; • Contaminant loads on humans and wildlife from the consumption of locally caught fish

in south San Diego Bay • Transport of COCs into San Diego Bay during the cleanup actions; • Potential impacts to aquifers and wells used by nearby residents; • The extent, location and sources of contamination; • Human health risks from exposure to soil and/or groundwater contamination; • EE/CA timeline and schedule of activities; • Proposed cleanup alternatives and costs; and

3.3 Community Demographic Profile Table 3.1 presents community demographic information. The table shows demographic information for areas within 1- and 1.5-mile radii from the address of the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge Complex Headquarters, which is located on Gunpowder Point: 1080 Gunpowder Point Drive, Chula Vista, CA 91910.

OU 1 005813

Page 11: Draft Community Involvement Plan for the …...Community Involvement Plan, SWM Unit, SDBNWR Page 4 Sweetwater Marsh Unit of the Refuge. More detailed information describing ederal

Community Involvement Plan, SWM Unit, SDBNWR Page 11

As shown in the table, the 2012 total population within a 1-mile radius of the Site is estimated to be 6,120 (based on 2010 census data). Based on the census data, the population in this area is projected to decrease slightly over the next five years to 5,968. However, the Chula Vista Bayfront Master Plan redevelopment envisions that the population may increase. For this area, approximately 78 percent of the total population is classified as Hispanic or Latino and 22 percent as “Not Hispanic or Latino.”2 The 2012 average household income in this area is estimated to be $35,941. Most of the housing units (estimated at 2,251) are renter occupied (68 percent). Executive Order 12898 requires FWS to make achieving environmental justice a priority and to identify and address disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects on minority or low-income populations of its removal actions at the Site. Potential impacts to minority and low-income populations may result from no-action or a delayed cleanup response; potential releases of contaminants into surrounding communities during cleanup actions; non-attainment of air quality standards from construction activities; construction-related noise, fugitive dust, and increased truck traffic in the vicinity of the cleanup actions; and consumption of locally caught fish from south San Diego Bay with high contaminant levels.

3.4 Surrounding Community and Neighborhoods The three OUs are located within the Sweetwater Marsh Unit, which covers a large area of open space. The nearest residential community is the City of Chula Vista and the City of National City, located just east of I-5. The residential area is densely populated, and population demographics are presented below in Table 3.1. There are at least four schools within 1-mile of the eastern edge of the Sweetwater Marsh including:

• Feaster Charter School at 670 Flower Street, Chula Vista; • Chula Vista Middle School at 415 5th Avenue, Chula Vista; • Pilgrim Lutheran School at 497 E Street, Chula Vista; and • Christian Academy at 494 E Street, Chula Vista. • National City Adult School at 517 Mile of Cars Way • Kimball Elementary School at 302 W 18th St • Olivewood School at 2505 F Ave • Sweetwater Union High School at 2900 Highland Avenue • California College San Diego at 700 Bay Marina Drive, Suite 100, National City, CA

91950 • National City Middle School at 1701 D Ave • John A. Otis Elementary School at 621 E 18th St • San Diego Neighborhood Home Schools at 22 W 35th St.

2 The Census Bureau uses four race categories (White, Black, American Indian and Alaska Native, Asian and Pacific Islander) and two ethnicity categories (Hispanic and non-Hispanic). This means that everyone is classified as both a member of one of the four race groups and also as either Hispanic or non-Hispanic.

OU 1 005814

Page 12: Draft Community Involvement Plan for the …...Community Involvement Plan, SWM Unit, SDBNWR Page 4 Sweetwater Marsh Unit of the Refuge. More detailed information describing ederal

Community Involvement Plan, SWM Unit, SDBNWR Page 12

There is also a new housing development called the Paradise Creek Apartments that lie on the south side of Paradise Creek, on the East side of I-5, at 2120 Hoover Avenue. The nearest hospital is Scripps Medical Hospital (435 H Street, Chula Vista, CA), located approximately 1.8 miles east of the Site. Table 3.1. Area Demographic Characteristics

1 mile Radius 1.5 mile Radius Population 2017 Projection 5,968 20,547 2012 Estimate 6,120 20,649 2000 Census 6,236 20,270 1990 Census 4,895 17,193 Growth 1990 – 2000 27.40% 17.90% Households 2017 Projection 2,181 7,206 2012 Estimate 2,251 7,271 2000 Census 2,474 7,654 1990 Census 2,216 7,283 2012 Estimated Population by Single Race Classification White Alone 50.67% 53.01% Black or African American Alone 5.29% 5.35% American Indian and Alaska Native Alone 1.19% 1.27% Asian Alone 5.64% 5.65% Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander Alone 0.41% 0.46% Some Other Race Alone 31.68% 29.42% Two or More Races 5.11% 4.84% 2012 Estimated Population Hispanic or Latino by Origin Not Hispanic or Latino 22.32% 25.13% Hispanic or Latino 77.68% 74.87% Income 2012 Estimated Average Household Income $35,941 $38,924 2012 Estimated Median Household Income $29,644 $31,902 2012 Estimated Per Capita Income $13,242 $13,783 2012 Tenure of Occupied Housing Units Owner Occupied 32.12% 27.16% Renter Occupied 67.93% 72.84% Source: Nielsen, March 1, 2012. Based on 2010 Census data.

OU 1 005815

Page 13: Draft Community Involvement Plan for the …...Community Involvement Plan, SWM Unit, SDBNWR Page 4 Sweetwater Marsh Unit of the Refuge. More detailed information describing ederal

Community Involvement Plan, SWM Unit, SDBNWR Page 13

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT ACTIVITES The goal of the community involvement program is to develop a strategy to address potential concerns and issues identified in the previous section of this CIP. Additionally, this community involvement program is guided by the CERCLA and NCP requirements to develop and coordinate community outreach and involvement activities. This section of the CIP outlines the components of the community involvement activities that are required by federal statutes, regulations and applicable guidance. Additionally, this section outlines other community outreach activities that may be required depending on the level of public interest on the proposed cleanup activities at the Refuge. For each of the phases of the project, different community relations activities may be required and recommended.

3.5 Community Involvement Activities under CERCLA Community relations activities under CERCLA and the NCP relate essentially to two general categories of actions. The first corresponds to activities related to actions taken as part of a remedial response or actions that are part of the process of identifying, investigating, and remediating sites contaminated with hazardous substances. The second corresponds to activities related to removal actions or short-term responses to an immediate threat to public health, welfare, and the environment. The community outreach activities that can be conducted during sampling studies and after the development of the EE/CA are outlined below. FWS and its contractors will conduct the community outreach activities described in the subsections below, including written communication materials, implementation of outreach activities, and communication and community outreach support. 3.5.1 Community Interest Assessment The following activities must be conducted prior to the completion of the EE/CAs to get a better understanding of the potential issues of concerns from the community and their level of interest:

• FWS must conduct community interviews with local elected officials, key community leaders, and other stakeholders. FWS may choose to conduct individual one-on-one discussions with the businesses located near the Site. The discussions may be held in person or over the telephone depending on the individual’s availability. These one-on-one discussions may replace the need to do formal interviews with community representatives. These one-on-one discussions will be an important part of the public participation process because they will allow FWS to tailor community outreach activities.

• FWS may prepare an information fact sheet to be mailed to the community. The

information fact sheet can briefly describe the three OUs; the results of the soil and groundwater sampling previously conducted by FWS and the community involvement activities planned. It can be sent to those identified in the mailing list and to residents and businesses within a mile of the Site and to other interested parties.

3.5.2 Engineering Evaluation/Cost Analysis The activities that must be completed after the development of the EE/CAs include:

OU 1 005816

Page 14: Draft Community Involvement Plan for the …...Community Involvement Plan, SWM Unit, SDBNWR Page 4 Sweetwater Marsh Unit of the Refuge. More detailed information describing ederal

Community Involvement Plan, SWM Unit, SDBNWR Page 14

• FWS must publish a notice of availability for each EE/CA in a major local newspaper of general circulation or use one or more other mechanisms to give adequate notice to the community. FWS is also required to hold a 30-day comment period to solicit comments from the public on cleanup alternatives and cost analysis presented in each EE/CA. FWS will also prepare and distribute an information fact sheet for each OU (as described above) to advise the public of the comment period.

• FWS will obtain and prepare a mailing list to include the addresses of residents and

businesses within one-mile mile of the Site, as well as other stakeholders that may have an interest in the project. FWS will prepare a Key Contacts List to include names and contact information of elected officials as well as agency and community representatives that may have an interest in the Site. The Key Contacts List and mailing list will be merged for any future mailings to the community and updated as warranted. The contacts lists for each of the three sites are provided in Appendix B of this CIP.

The NCP requires that FWS establish an administrative record (“AR”) and information repository locations (e.g. document storage locations) for each OU. FWS will update the AR and information repository locations on an as-needed basis to provide public access to Site documents. An AR has been established for each OU of the Site. The AR for each OU, including technical documents, such as work plans and reports, and this CIP will be delivered to the information repositories. The repository is located close to the Site at the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge Complex’s office, 1080 Gunpowder Point Drive in Chula Vista, California. In addition, the Administrative Record will be available online at https://www.fws.gov/refuge/san_diego_bay/what_we_do/resource_management/Sweetwater_Marsh_Restoration.html

• FWS plans to hold two community meetings within the comment period for the EE/CAs:

one community meeting for OU1 and OU2 and a second community meeting for OU3 to present the proposed removal action plans and solicit feedback from the public. The public meeting would allow the community to interact with Service project staff on issues of concern. The meeting would also allow the community a chance to provide direct feedback and comments. The meetings are planned to follow an “open-house” or a “workshop” format, where project staff provide a presentation on each OU, and then are available to answer questions and to speak one-on-one with members of the community.

• Following the comment period for each EE/CA, FWS must prepare written responses to significant public comments. These comments and responses will be included in the AR for the relevant OU and made publicly available in the information repository locations described above.

• FWS must issue an Action Memorandum documenting the removal action alternative that

it selects to address the contamination at each OU. The Action Memorandum, as part of the AR, will be available at the information repository locations noted above. FWS may also notify interested parties of the final decision through mailings.

• FWS will provide a periodic update to the public located within the one-mile radius of the project site and listed stakeholders. This update will be in both English and Spanish,

OU 1 005817

Page 15: Draft Community Involvement Plan for the …...Community Involvement Plan, SWM Unit, SDBNWR Page 4 Sweetwater Marsh Unit of the Refuge. More detailed information describing ederal

Community Involvement Plan, SWM Unit, SDBNWR Page 15

and may be both mailed, printed and posted within community centers and popular business establishments, local libraries, and posted online to the refuge website.

• FWS will provide a bilingual fact sheet to distribute to nearby residents and stakeholders both in print and on the San Diego Bay NWR website to reach the affected communities. The Fact Sheet can also be distributed through Chula Vista and National City Schools through Peachjar, a digital flyer service that both school districts use.

• Any updates, fact sheets, or announcements for public meetings will be amplified by advertising on the refuge social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram). It will also be amplified by being added to city newsletters and the Environmental Health Coalition E-Blast, and Living Coast Discovery Center E-Blast.

• FWS staff will take the opportunity to speak at meetings such as “Coffee with the Principal” at Kimball Elementary School or City Council Meetings for Chula Vista and National City. Often these city council meetings are broadcast on the local television station.

OU 1 005818

Page 16: Draft Community Involvement Plan for the …...Community Involvement Plan, SWM Unit, SDBNWR Page 4 Sweetwater Marsh Unit of the Refuge. More detailed information describing ederal

Community Involvement Plan, SWM Unit, SDBNWR Page 16

4 KEY CONTACTS LIST U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Andrew Yuen, Project Leader San Diego Bay NWR, USFWS 1080 Gunpowder Point Drive Chula Vista, CA 91910

Slader Buck, Deputy Project Leader San Diego Bay NWR, USFWS 1080 Gunpowder Point Drive Chula Vista, CA 91910

MaryAnn Amann Environmental Protection Specialist CERCLA Project Manager Regions 1 & 8 U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Division of Engineering 911 NE 11th Avenue Portland, OR 97232

Local Elected Officials Contact Name Phone E-mail or Fax

City of Chula Vista, Mayor Mary Casillas Salas (619) 691-5044 [email protected]

City of Chula Vista, Councilmember John McCann (619) 691-5044 [email protected]

City of Chula Vista, Councilmember Patricia Aguilar (619) 691-5044 [email protected]

City of Chula Vista, Councilmember Steven Padilla (619) 691-5044 [email protected]

City of Chula Vista, Councilmember Mike Diaz (619) 691-5044 [email protected]

National City, Mayor Ron Morrison (619) 336-4236 [email protected]

National City, Vice Mayor Albert Mendivil (619) 336-4236 [email protected]

National City, Councilmember Jerry Cano (619) 336-4236 [email protected]

National City, Councilmember Mona Rios (619) 336-4236 [email protected]

National City, Councilmember Alejandra Sotelo-Solis (619) 336-4236 [email protected]

Port of San Diego, Chairman Marshall Merrifield (619) 686-6200 [email protected]

SD County Supervisor, District 1 Greg Cox (619) 531-5511 [email protected]

State Assembly Member, District 78 Toni Atkins (619) 645-3090 (619) 645-3094

State Assembly Member, District 79 Shirley Weber (619) 531-7913 (619) 531-7924

State Senator, District 40 Ben Hueso (619) 409-7690 (619) 409-7688

State Senator, District 36 Pat Bates (916) 651-4036 (916) 651-4936

US Congress Rep., District 51 Juan Vargas (619) 645-3090 (619) 645-3094

OU 1 005819

Page 17: Draft Community Involvement Plan for the …...Community Involvement Plan, SWM Unit, SDBNWR Page 4 Sweetwater Marsh Unit of the Refuge. More detailed information describing ederal

Community Involvement Plan, SWM Unit, SDBNWR Page 17

REFERENCES

Ahtna 2015. Preliminary Assessment/Site Inspection (PA/SI), F and G Street Marsh, San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge, Chula Vista, CA; 6 July 2015.

California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle). 2010. Site Investigation Report East Bluff – Paradise Marsh, National City, San Diego County. DRAFT. Solid Waste Cleanup Program, California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery. Sacramento, California.

Environmental Cost Management, 2014. Data Validation of Supplemental Site Investigation Samples - Sweetwater Marsh Burn Ash Site, San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge, Chula Vista, California; July 11, 2014.

GeoEngineers 2007. Summary Report, San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge - Sweetwater Marsh Unit, Oily Wastewater Disposal and Geophysical Survey, Chula Vista, California. October 11, 2007.

GeoEngineers 2008. San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge - Sweetwater Marsh Unit Geophysical Survey Results, Chula Vista, California, File No. 0758-147-01. October 1, 2008.

Geosyntec Consultants, Inc., 2010. Installation of Monitoring Wells and Collection of Groundwater Samples, Gunpowder Point, Sweetwater Marsh Unit, San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge, San Diego County, Chula Vista, California. December 2, 2010.

Geosyntec Consultants, Inc., 2011. Groundwater Monitoring Well Sampling Gunpowder Point, Sweetwater Marsh Unit, San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge, Chula Vista, CA GSA Contract No. GS-10F-1060M. April 18, 2011.

Geosyntec Consultants, Inc., 2013. Preliminary Assessment/Site Inspection - Sweetwater Marsh Burn Ash Piles, San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge-Sweetwater Marsh Unit, Chula Vista, CA; March 23, 2013.

Haley & Aldrich, Inc./Nautilus Environmental, LLC, 2011. Sampling and Analysis Report Ash Deposit 1 and Eroding Burn Ash Deposit along the Connector Marsh, South Bay National Wildlife Refuge - Sweetwater Marsh Unit, National City, California; September 20, 2011.

ICF Jones and Stokes 2008. Historic Resources Evaluation Report for the Hercules Powder Company Site, Chula Vista, California (ICF Jones and Stokes 2008).

Neushul 1992. Peter Neushul. The Hercules Powder Company. In, Chula Vista – The Early Years. Tecolote Publications, San Diego, CA.

Ninyo and Moore, 2001. Limited Subsurface Soil Assessment and Precursory Radioactivity Survey Proposed Bayshore Bike Path I-5 between SR 54 and E Street, San Diego, CA. Prepared for CDOT; March 12, 2001.

OU 1 005820

Page 18: Draft Community Involvement Plan for the …...Community Involvement Plan, SWM Unit, SDBNWR Page 4 Sweetwater Marsh Unit of the Refuge. More detailed information describing ederal

Community Involvement Plan, SWM Unit, SDBNWR Page 18

Ninyo and Moore, 2011. Draft Limited Historical Study, Gunpowder Point (aka Paradise Marsh), SWIS No 37-CR-0028, National City Dump (aka Davies Dump)- 37-CR-0084, Chula Vista and Nation City, CA; April 20, 2011.

Oneida Total Integrated Enterprises (OTIE), 2011. Removal Report, Sweetwater Marsh, Chula Vista, CA, prepared for SDG&E; June 10, 2011.

P&D Environmental, 2003 (P&D). Preliminary investigation of soil and groundwater contaminants, F&G Marsh, Sweetwater National Wildlife Refuge, Chula Vista, California. P & D Consultants, Incorporated, San Diego, California.

Parsons, 2014. Supplemental Site Characterization Workplan, San Diego Gas and Electric, Sweetwater Marsh, Chula Vista, CA; September 10, 2014.

Parsons, 2015. Draft Supplemental Site Characterization report San Diego Gas and Electric Sweetwater Marsh, Chula Vista, California. January 20, 2015.

SCS Engineers, 2011. Preliminary Site Investigation and Characterization Paradise Marsh (a.k.a. "Gunpowder Point") Chula Vista, CA prepared for Opper & Varco, LLP; April 29, 2011.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2006. San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge, (Sweetwater Marsh and South San Diego Bay Units), Comprehensive Conservation Plan and Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), September 29, 2006.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2008. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Sampling and Analysis Plan for Soil and Shallow Groundwater Contamination, Gunpowder Point, Sweetwater Marsh Unit, San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge, San Diego National Wildlife Refuge Complex, 6010 Hidden Valley Road, Suite 101, Carlsbad, CA 92011. December 17. 2008.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2011. Final Preliminary Assessment Site Investigation (PA/SI) Report, Gunpowder Point Project, Chula Vista, California. October 2011.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), 2008. San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge, F&G Street Marsh, Sweetwater Marsh Unit, F&G Street Marsh Contaminants Investigation. San Diego National Wildlife Refuge Complex, Carlsbad, California.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), 2013. San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge, F&G Street Marsh, Sweetwater Marsh Unit, Pre-Cleanup Characterization of Contaminants in Fill. San Diego National Wildlife Refuge Complex, Carlsbad, California.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) (Gorbics and Zeeman), 2008. Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office, Paradise Marsh Contaminants Investigation, April 2008.

OU 1 005821

Page 19: Draft Community Involvement Plan for the …...Community Involvement Plan, SWM Unit, SDBNWR Page 4 Sweetwater Marsh Unit of the Refuge. More detailed information describing ederal

Sweetwater Flood Control Channel

San Diego Bay

Operable Unit 2 (Gunpowder Point)

Operable Unit 1 (Sweetwater Marsh)

Operable Unit 3 (F and G Street Marsh)

P:\G

IS\P

NG

0649

- Sw

eetw

ater

Mar

sh\P

roje

cts\

Fig0

0_S

anD

iego

Bay

_NW

R.m

xd 8

/7/2

017

4:31

:35

PM

0 0.5Miles

San Diego, California

Operable Units of the Sweetwater Marsh Unit of the San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge

Figure

1

Santa Barbara August 2017

Legend

Operable Units

Esri, HERE, DeLorme, MapmyIndia, © OpenStreetMap

San DiegoBayP

a c i f i c Oc e a n

ChulaVista

Coronado

San Diego

Imperial Beach

NationalCity

5

OU 1 005822

Page 20: Draft Community Involvement Plan for the …...Community Involvement Plan, SWM Unit, SDBNWR Page 4 Sweetwater Marsh Unit of the Refuge. More detailed information describing ederal

Community Involvement Plan, SWM Unit, SDBNWR Page 19

Appendix A: Threatened and Endangered Species Federally Listed Species The federally listed endangered and threatened species that utilize the habitats within the Sweetwater Marsh Unit of the San Diego Bay NWR are described below, with additional details in the San Diego Bay NWR CCP/EIS (USFWS 2006). The Sweetwater Marsh Unit in the D Street Fill area, which is located north of the Gunpowder Point Site, is designated as critical habitat for the western snowy plover. California Least Tern (Sternula antillarum browni). Around San Diego Bay, there are six areas where least terns nest: Lindbergh Field, Naval Air Station (“NAS”) North Island, NBC (NAS North Island, NBC), NAB Coronado, NBC (delta beach and ocean beach), D Street Fill (Sweetwater Marsh Unit), Living Coast Discovery Center, and the salt pond levees within the South San Diego Bay Unit. The California Least Tern uses the nesting sites at D Street Fill regularly; however the number of least tern pairs has varied over the years.. In 2008, approximately 148 nests and 17 to 24 fledglings were documented on the site. Ridgway’s Rail (Rallus obsoletus). Ridgway’s rails inhabit coastal marshes from the Carpinteria Marsh in Santa Barbara County, California, to Bahia de San Quintin, Baja California, Mexico. Light-footed Ridgway’s rails use coastal salt marshes, lagoons, and other maritime environs for food, shelter, and nesting. The birds generally nest in the lower elevational zone of coastal salt marshes where dense stands of cordgrass are present. They also occasionally build nests in pickleweed or upland transition vegetation. They require shallow water and mudflats for foraging, with adjacent higher vegetation for cover during high water (Massey et al. 1984). Ridgway’s rails forage in all parts of the salt marsh, concentrating their efforts in the lower marsh when the tide is out, and moving into the higher marsh as the tide advances. Foraging activity is greatest in the early morning, while vocalizing shows a strong peak just before dark. Activities are also tide-dependent. The rails are omnivorous and opportunistic foragers. They rely mostly on salt marsh invertebrates, such as beetles (Coleoptera), garden snails (Helix spp.), California hornsnails, salt marsh snails (Melampus olivaceus), fiddler and hermit crabs (including Pachygrapsus crassipes, Hemigrapsus oregonensis, and probably Uca crenulata), crayfish, isopods, and decapods. This species may also forage on frog tadpoles (Hyla spp.), California killifish, and even California meadow mice (Microtus californicus). The rails ingest some vegetable matter, including cordgrass stems and pickleweed tips, but this is uncommon. The Ridgway’s rail has been able to sustain a regular breeding presence in one or several of the areas of tidal salt marsh that are near or part of the Sweetwater Marsh Unit including along Vener Pond, and other salt marsh areas adjacent to the Living Coast Discovery Center volunteer parking lot and Gunpowder Point Drive. Salt Marsh Bird’s Beak (Chloropyron maritimum maritimum). Salt marsh bird’s beak is an annual plant that typically grows in the upper elevations of tidal salt marsh habitat, but can also occasionally be found in nontidal salt marsh. The plant occurs in the coastal marshes of northern Baja California and southern California from San Diego to Santa Barbara Counties. Salt marsh bird’s beak has an upright, branched growth form with an abundance of purple pigment in its tissues. The plants of San Diego County have bare pale cream-colored flowers. A

OU 1 005823

Page 21: Draft Community Involvement Plan for the …...Community Involvement Plan, SWM Unit, SDBNWR Page 4 Sweetwater Marsh Unit of the Refuge. More detailed information describing ederal

Community Involvement Plan, SWM Unit, SDBNWR Page 20

hemiparasitic plant, salt marsh bird’s beak is believed to derive water and perhaps nutrients through specialized root connections with other species (USFWS 1985). It is often found in association with pickleweed, shore grass, salt grass, Frankenia, and sea lavender. The plant occurs in well-drained/well-aerated soils that dry during the summer and where the only freshwater input is rainfall. Studies indicate that freshwater influence in the spring encourages germination and that salinities at the time of germination usually cannot exceed 12 ppt. Germination and flowering usually spans May to October but can sometimes occur during the winter. Pollination by upland, native bees is considered important to seed production, and yearly population numbers depend directly on seed dispersal and a site that provides the precise conditions required for germination. Colonies of salt marsh bird’s beak are found in only a few scattered salt marsh habitats between Santa Barbara and San Diego Counties. It is currently surviving at Carpinteria Marsh, Mugu Lagoon/Ormand Beach, Upper Newport Bay, Sweetwater Marsh, Naval Radio Receiving Facility (YMCA Surf Camp site), and Tijuana Slough. This species was listed as endangered in 1970 due to destruction and degradation of southern California’s coastal salt marsh systems. Within the Sweetwater Marsh Unit, salt marsh bird’s beak has been observed in Paradise Marsh and Sweetwater Marsh. Western Snowy Plover (Charadrius nivosus nivosus). There are only a handful of snowy plover breeding locations currently used in southern California. Well-used locations include Bolsa Chica (Orange County), Camp Pendleton, Batiquitos Lagoon, NAB Coronado, Silver Strand State Beach, Naval Radio Receiving Facility, and Tijuana Estuary in San Diego County. Within the San Diego Bay NWR, snowy plover nesting occurs most years at the salt works, but typically in very low numbers and with poor success. Snowy plover nesting has also been documented on the D Street Fill in the past; however, plover nesting has not occurred there since 2000, when one nest was identified. Disturbance, predation, and inadequate access to foraging areas are the most likely reasons for this history of low nesting numbers and poor reproductive success. California Gnatcatcher (Polioptila californica californica). The coastal California gnatcatcher is one of three subspecies of the California gnatcatcher and is restricted to coastal southern California and northwestern Baja California, Mexico, from Los Angeles County (formerly Ventura and San Bernardino Counties) south to El Rosario. The coastal California gnatcatcher occurs almost exclusively in the coastal sage scrub, although it is also occasionally found in chaparral. Over the past two years, one to two California gnatcatchers have been observed vocalizing in the disturbed coastal sage scrub habitat occurring on Gunpowder Point within the Sweetwater Marsh Unit. No nests have been observed. State-Listed Species Three of the federally listed endangered species supported by this Refuge, including salt marsh bird’s beak, California least tern, and Ridgway’s rail, are also listed as endangered by the State of California. The salt marsh habitat within Sweetwater Marsh also supports the Belding’s savannah sparrow, which is another species listed by the State of California as endangered. Belding’s Savannah Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis beldingi). The Belding’s savannah sparrow is unique in that it represents one of only two wetland-dependent avian species that

OU 1 005824

Page 22: Draft Community Involvement Plan for the …...Community Involvement Plan, SWM Unit, SDBNWR Page 4 Sweetwater Marsh Unit of the Refuge. More detailed information describing ederal

Community Involvement Plan, SWM Unit, SDBNWR Page 21

reside year-round in the coastal salt marshes of southern California (Powell and Collier 1998). This salt marsh species is reliant upon coastal salt marsh habitat for all of its life history requirements. This subspecies ranges along the southern California coast from Santa Barbara County (Goleta Slough) in the north to El Rosario, Baja California, Mexico in the south (James and Stadtlander 1991). Belding’s surveys conducted every five years since 1986 show a regular presence, but fluctuating numbers, within the San Diego Bay NWR. Habitat fragmentation, disturbance/predation, and changing conditions within the marsh are contributors to these fluctuations. The 2015 survey (Zembal et al 2015) identified 253 territories within the Sweetwater Marsh Unit, including 22 in Paradise Marsh, 222 in Sweetwater Marsh, and nine at the F&G Street Marsh. Belding’s savannah sparrows occur along the edge between Gunpowder Point and Sweetwater Marsh. Species of Concern and Other Special Status Species Birds of Conservation Concern. The Sweetwater Marsh Unit supports approximately 33 avian species that FWS has identified as Birds of Conservation Concern (USFWS 2008). These species are included in the BCR 32 (Coastal California) List, USFWS Region 8 List, and/or the National List. Of these species, 11 species are seabirds or shorebirds; two species are raptors, including Swainson’s hawk (Buteo swainsoni) and peregrine falcon (Falco peregrine); and 20 species are primarily upland species. Species Covered by the Multiple Species Conservation Program (MSCP). Of the 85 species covered by the San Diego and Chula Vista MSCP Subarea Plans, 27 have been observed or have the potential to occur within the Sweetwater Marsh Unit.

OU 1 005825

Page 23: Draft Community Involvement Plan for the …...Community Involvement Plan, SWM Unit, SDBNWR Page 4 Sweetwater Marsh Unit of the Refuge. More detailed information describing ederal

Community Involvement Plan, SWM Unit, SDBNWR Page 22

Appendix B Contacts Lists

OU 1 005826