California State Parks and the Los Peñasquitos Lagoon Foundation have been working on habitat restoration along the southern side of Carmel Valley Road since mid October 2008.
The three-acre Carmel Valley Road Restoration Project's aim is to remove nonnative/invasive plant species along the road and thereby increase the native-habitat area and health of the Los Peñasquitos Lagoon ecosystem.
The area was covered in one to three feet of Carpobrotus edulis, commonly called ice plant. Removal entailed first killing the ice plant and then pulling it out by hand after it had dried up. Other nonnative species present were myoporum trees, acacia trees, Brazilian pepper trees, black mustard, wild radish, along with several species of nonnative grasses.
Once the nonnative plants are removed and the ground is prepared, native, wetland, and upland plants are planted. After the planting, the areas are monitored for invasive weeds, which will be removed as needed.
A half acre has yet to be cleared, and 1.5 acres remain to be planted. The invasive removal and installation phase of the project is slated for completion within the next month or so.
The project has been funded in part by State Proposition 84 bonds, a Community Wetland Restoration Grant, and the Torrey Pines Association. Many groups (including Scripps Assist, Tadeka Pharmaceuticals, Eli Lilly Pharmaceuticals, Del Mar-Solana Beach Rotary, Torrey Pines Docents) and individuals have volunteered their time and sweat. Volunteer days are the first three Saturdays of each month (9:00 a.m.–noon).