New policy approved on December 15, 2010 by the California Department of Fish and Game, now protects California’s coast. The new policy is called the Marine Life Protection Act Initiative, an extension to the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) first approved in 1999. According to the California Department of Fish and Game, “the MLPA Initiative is a public-private partnership established to help the State of California implement the MLPA.”
There has been previous attempts to implement the MLPA but these did not succeed because of various reasons related to lack of funding and lack of authority. This initiative to implement the MLPA uses a “regional approach” and divides the California coast into individual study regions. These include: North Coast, North Central Coast, Central Coast, South Coast and the San Francisco Bay. Parts of this initiative have already been underway but the California Fish and Game Commission has now given their final approval. for the South Coast region.
The Batiquitos Lagoon lies within the South Coast study region and has been designated as a No-Take, State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA). Taking from the Batiquitos Lagoon is prohibited except by special approval by other agencies.
Caltrans presented to the Carlsbad City Council an overview of the I-5 widening project, which is intended to improve road conditions along the 27 miles that connect the cities of Carlsbad, Encinitas, Oceanside, Solana Beach and San Diego. They discussed a few options and compared cost estimates.
Part of the expansion project involves the section of road over the Batiquitos Lagoon. The expansion project could be beneficial because it may include funding to improve trails next to the highway and build a new water treatment facility that collects water before it reaches the lagoon.
A third raw sewage spill within a month has closed the Carlsbad State Beach. This spill came from the Meadowlark Water Reclamation Facility and flowed down into the San Marcos Creek and out of the Batiquitos Lagoon.
Residents of the Lake San Marcos have mixed reactions after an agreement the City Counsel approved. There is no identification of the source of pollution and no plan to eliminate it. The several agencies involved have decided on a piecemeal approach with no timeline on commitment. People concerned with the pollution feel nothing is being done and no progress has been made. After years of complaints, the pollution in the lake is finally getting attention, however nothing has done so far.