Protect Mira Mesa's Last Remaining Vernal Pool Habitats


View Mira Mesa Vernal Pools in a larger map

There are few remaining vernal pool sites in Mira Mesa that provide habitat for endangered species and the life forms above and below these species on the food chain - Least Terns, San Diego Fairy Shrimp, birds, geese, ducks, toads and frogs. The Endangered San Diego Fairy Shrimp consume bacteria and micro algae below them....they are also an importat food source for waterfowl and toads above.  After it rains, the vernal pools are teeming with life (see our pictures of the Jonas Salk Vernal Pools in 2010).

We've lost 97% of California's vernal pool habitat to short-sighted development  (Frank Lloyd Wright was an advocate of building in harmony with nature).  SDUSD is working (again!) to develop the Jonas Salk Vernal Pool Site, via questionable landswap with The City of San Diego (San Diego's MSCP laws and precedent should prevent the city from removing vernal pools, but SDUSD says those laws don't apply to them).  You can read the Memo of Understanding (MOU) between SDUSD and the City of San Diego HERE.

There was a court decision and injunction in 2006 that prevented the removal of San Diego vernal pools -- US Fish & Wildlife was sued in United States District Court - Southern District of California, for issuing an incidental take permit (ITP) in 2006. To quote the injunction: "...it appears to this Court that the ITP would permit monumental destruction of the vernal pool species...it is undisputed that the fairy shrimp cannot be transferred by human transplant from one area to another with any measure of reliability or survivability......the purported mitigation is unlikely to conserve the listed species...the Court finds that this plan violates both teh spirit and letter of the ESA (Endangered Species Act)."  HERE is a copy of the ruling for your reading pleasure!


Jonas Salk Site -- January 2010

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The above is a view from the corner of Gold Coast and Parkdale.  This may be the last  horizon left like this in Mira Mesa.

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The first vernal pool we saw was filled with life!

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The next was even bigger!

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The pools have the effect of making one pause and contemplate about how fragile the natural environment is.

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Signs of life!

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You can see how large this pool is because of the person in the distance--it's quite possibly the largest vernal pool in all of Mira Mesa. 

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Here is the other half of this giant pool--looking west.

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One of the unique aspects of the Jonas Salk Site is it is connected to a protected canyon that leads to the ocean.

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See here how the natural environment is recovering, because it's been left mostly untouched.  With careful planning we could create a healthy ecosystem once again!

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This pool in front of my brother is a great example--if protected and encourage to survive, it would turn green and sustain life for many endangered species.  These open lands of Mira Mesa would be a vestige for wildlife and a hallmark of our community effort to live in harmony with our natural surroundings.


READ EMILY'S POST: Mira Mesa Town Council, Schools - Not Money Smart, Not Green

 AWAKE POST:  Preserve Mira Mesa's Last Vernal Pools, Endangered Fairy Shrimp

DOCUMENT:  Write a letter please, click here to download a file for reference if you'd like.

MOU between San Diego City and SDUSD outlining plan to remove one vernal pool habitat.

 
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