Skip to content (press enter)


Tijuana River Valley Recovery Team Workshop

Meeting notes from Friday, January 29, 2010 – 9am to 12

Lowest Atmospheric pressure ever recorded.
Mouth of the river -> Sand covered channels south of the river mouth. Tidal exchange keep lagoon healthy.
Goat Canyon Flows – sediment basins: capacity of sediment basins is 55 to 60,000 cubic yards
Binational Action Team Priority Projects:
Study sediment loads. This should be the #1 priority. Funding is currently the issue. Prioritize which of the five main Tijuana canyons contribute the most and what mechanisms will work best and where to locate them (characterization study). Los Salces Canyon (Yogurt Canyon), Los Laureles (Goat Canyon), Matadoro (Smugglers Gulch), Central, Main Channel . This would require negotiation with Mexico.
End goal of restoration of River Valley and Estuary
Understand the hydrology of the river valley. Studies that have been done of the hydrology
Legislation at the state level is what we need
Place trash booms/sediment basins in each of the five canyons, in order of importance (i.e. each canyon would have a cost and be an individual project). Trash study of where its coming from and cut off the flow. Issues have been addressed in the 2012 meetings.
Purchase conservation easements to protect undeveloped areas and reduce sediment loads.
Implement a Tijuana tire reutilization program to use tires where they are generated for building projects that create engineered retaining walls that will stabilize a defined number of acres, shredding for pavement, creating cells to confine trash in landfills and other uses.
Establish a plastic recycling program that includes recycling centers and redemption funding for turning in plastics. There are currently no government sponsored recycling programs. Carme’s group is looking at private grants. Need to reduce the flow of plastics. Sutdies have been done on the sediment and trash.
Border Action Team:
Design and implement a Smuggler’s Gulch sediment basin and trash capture facility. The design would be completed in a defined period of time and would include the location, size & design of the basins, need for CEQA & other studies, information about how complement the downstream configuration.
Upgrade existing goat canyon sediment basin to increase capacity and identify costs to cover ongoing operation and maintenance costs, including disposal of sediment.
Design and implement Main River channel sedimentation basin and trash capture facility.
Raise portions of Monument Road to elevate it above flood areas, act as a buffer to project marsh areas and Border Field State Park. Work should be integrated as part of the Smuggler;s Gulch plan.
Install flow monitoring systems in the main river channel, Smugglers Gulch, Goat Canyon, Silva’s Drain and Stewart’s Drain
Cleanup Action Team
Completely characterize all trash, sediment, and pollutant sources in the Tijuana River valley that provides a basis for the “Cleanup Action Plan.” Characterization should include:
Trash – type, quantity, value, removal methods. Present on website and link it to the TJ River Recovery Team website.
Sediment – location, quantity, removal methods. URS is currently conducting this study. Test Pits and borings report. Flow gauges placed at sediment basins for trash characterization.
Pollutant source – location, source, levels, removal/treatment methods
Estimated Cost - $1 million
Complete a hydraulic and hydrology study of the Tijuana River valley to provide information as to the quantity and type of sediment and trash deposited in the Tijuana River valley. Estimated cost: $750,000
Develop a plan to dispose of and/or reuse sediment from past, current and future deposits on an ongoing basis. The team believes this can be a cost neutral action with good planning and agency cooperation. The plan would include communicating effectively between the cleanup agencies following
They can provide high quality reclamation products that can be used by other agencies, local area residents, Mexico, etc.
Cost offsets can be achieved by negotiating contracts with material suppliers to excavate and process high value material.
Material deemed suitable can be used to replenish South San Diego or Tijuana Beaches with material that would have been naturally deposited.
Restoration of the Nelson/Sloan Quarry could be met with materials removed from the Tijuana River valley.
Both Local residents and area agencies could benefit from materials made available to construct storm water control devices and property elevation.
Remove sediment on a continual basis. With an effective reclamation plan the costs for removal can be mitigated and offset as stated above. This includes maintenance, placement/location and removal of illegal fill. Estimated cost: $20 to $25 million over ten years for the above items.
List Tijuana River Valley properties that would be best purchased for long term mitigation. Properties not agency held should be compiled in an effort to analyze which properties have the most potential for inundation and where acquisition would facilitate clean up.
Restoration Action Team
Develop a restoration master plan and guiding principles to unify various plans, visions, and project lists plans, (e.g. ACOE plan, Estuary and County Habitat Plans, etc.) Key factors will be flood control and design, identification of specific restoration projects like exotic invasive removal and work to ease permiting hurdles. Include coordination and management funding to implement.
Unify the various agencies/parties plans and projects for the river and estuary.
Verify the “models” used in the plans and projects.
Develop an ecosystem-scale monitoring and assessment program that includes flood control and gauging.
Remove the fill on the Peggy Brown property to restore river elevation. Fill was unpermitted and property is no deeded to the county. The fill is a bottleneck to floodplain function and river flow.
Restoration Action Team projects already funded and being implemented at Recovery Team level.
Develop and enhance GIS, web, data portals to improve information dissemination (includes identifying and archiving and mapping past, present and proposed projects and plans mentioned in Retoration Action team list)