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US Fish & Wildlife Service FieldNotes
SAN DIEGO BAY NWR: Refuge Awarded Paul S. Sarbanes Transit in Parks Program Grant Funds
Region 8, October 30, 2008

by Chantel Jimenez, San Diego NWRC

The San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge has been awarded $45,000 from the Department of Transportation's Federal Transit Administration as part of the Paul S. Sarbanes Transit in Parks Program.  The program funds capital and planning expenses for alternative transportation systems in parks and public lands.  The 52 projects selected for funding in Fiscal Year 2008 represent a diverse set of capital and planning projects across the country ranging from bus purchases to installation of Intelligent Transportation Systems.


The funds awarded to San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge will be used to evaluate the costs and benefits of replacing the existing 12-passenger, gasoline-powered van now used for transporting visitors on a five-mile, guided tour of the refuge’s salt pond complex with a higher-passenger capacity, more eco-friendly alternative transportation vehicle.   The key objective of the feasibility study will be to identify a vehicle design and total carrying capacity that optimizes visitor experience, while minimizing disturbance to wildlife, particularly migratory birds.


The refuge is located at the south end of San Diego Bay and encompasses approximately 2,620 acres of land and water.  Tens of thousands of migratory birds visit the refuge annually, some to rest and feed on their way to and from distant breeding grounds, while others, including seven species of seabirds, return each summer to nest and raise their young on the refuge’s salt pond levees.  Guided public tours are conducted along the salt pond levees during fall and winter migration.


Contact Info: Scott Flaherty, , Scott_Flaherty@fws.gov