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Coastal restoration grants awarded

Post Date:03/09/2023

On Tuesday, the Carlsbad City Council awarded $373,687 in grants to support certain agricultural, coastal or wetland restoration projects that enhance quality of life in Carlsbad, including a “living shoreline” project that will restore a section of the Agua Hedionda Lagoon.

Funding for the grants comes from fees that are paid by developers when agricultural land in the city’s coastal zone is used for development.  A seven-member citizens committee appointed by the City Council reviewed the grant applications and recommended the projects for funding.

  • The largest grant, $230,000, was awarded to Carlsbad Aquafarms to create a living shoreline project on 3,500 square meters (or 11,483 square feet) of the Agua Hedionda Lagoon, east of I-5 near the strawberry fields.
  • Living shorelines use natural materials such as plants, sand or rocks to stabilize a coastal edge. Unlike a concrete seawall or other hard structure, which inhibit plant growth, living shorelines grow over time.
  • The Carlsbad Aquafarm project involves installing native Olympia oyster reefs and Eelgrass meadows along a section of the lagoon.
  • The aquafarm project would install native Olympia oyster reefs and Eelgrass meadows to provide a foraging area and habitat for a diverse community of fish, invertebrates and birds, helping to improve water quality and stabilize the shoreline. 
  • Any more details? How would it impact or benefit the aquafarm?
  • The project will take about three years to complete, including planning, restoration and post-restoration monitoring.

Other grants awarded include:

  • $62,000 to the Agua Hedionda Lagoon Foundation for improvements to its Discovery Center, including replacing doors and new interior flooring.
  • $50,000 to the Flower Fields for a pilot project in a controlled area testing whether recycled water mixed with drinking water can be used in flower production. (Recycled water on its own has too much salt.)
  • $30,687 to the Buena Vista Audubon Society to spruce up and increase energy efficiency at its Nature Center.

More information
March 7 City Council staff report
Agricultural Mitigation Fee Grant Program
Agricultural Conversion Mitigation Fee Committee
Nicole Piano-Jones, Program Manager,, 442-339-2191



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