Future of popular Mission Bay campground uncertain

SAN DIEGO --  The debate over the redevelopment of Mission Bay is pitting environmentalists against supporters of a popular bayfront campground.

The redevelopment of De Anza Cove has been sparking controversy for the last decade, but now two competing plans are being considered. Environmentalist want to see restoration of natural wetlands, but supporters of Campland by the Bay don't want to lose recreation facilities.

The two similar plans are the latest attempt at compromise from city officials trying to balance recreational use and the restoration of the wetlands. Both plans include a few dozen acres for habitat restoration, but Campland would shrink significantly to about 40 acres. Campland supporters are furious, and environmentalists are not satisfied.

"Some my most treasured family memories in the last 15 years were at Campland, and to not even include it is just a slap in the face," saud Sean Schwab from Friends of Campland. But dozens of environmentalists spoke at a public meeting Thursday night to say the city’s proposals for habitat restoration don’t go far enough.

“Only 1 percent of Mission Bay is still natural wetlands, and if one of these plans goes forward, maybe we will get to 2 percent, but it's still insignificant,” said Rebecca Schwartz from the San Diego Audubon Society.

Several more meetings are expected before the master plan is finished. Work on the plan for De Anza Cove is unlikely to get started until at least 2019.