BVAS Wetlands Reserve

Important Updates!!

The final grading plan for the Wetlands Reserve Restoration Project has been completed! Our next steps include creating a landscape design and submitting documents to the City of Oceanside and Carlsbad for the permitting process.

In 2022, BVAS was awarded a grant from the Dorrance Family Foundation to begin restoration of the Wetlands Reserve. Please see the press release on the grant. It was a successful year for the Wetlands Reserve Restoration  Project; we completed the studies and surveys required for CEQA and permitting, engaged members of the Payόmkawichum Nation and local community on project design and ways to connect with the Reserve, and completed the year with a draft landscape design of the Project (aka “30% Conceptual Design”). This powerpoint presentation describes the project and the preliminary plan.

The generosity of the Dorrance Family Foundation continued when late last year, they granted BVAS funds towards continuing our work restoring this critical piece of coastal wetlands and uplands. This grant provided a match towards the funding needed to complete Phase 2 of our restoration work: 65% design, permitting, and CEQA. As word got out about our need to complete this funding match, local conservation organization Preserve Calavera stepped up and offered to help. They generously gave BVAS a grant to complete Phase 2 of our restoration project. The funds come from the Oceanside Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Fund (OGHGERF) at the San Diego Foundation on behalf of Preserve Calavera. The goal of the OGHGERF is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions via local projects in Oceanside; creation of new wetlands is one of the best ways to accomplish this.

Currently, the Wetlands Reserve Restoration Project is working on engineering tasks, permitting, and CEQA. Stay tuned for more information! BVAS thanks the Dorrance Family Foundation and Preserve Calavera for funding this important project.

See the press release for Phase 2 funding here.  For more information:

Last November, BVAS received media on our Wetlands Reserve Restoration Project: Channel 8 and San Diego Union Tribune.

BV Lagoon Parcel

Why is the Reserve important?

The Buena Vista Audubon Society (BVAS) Wetlands Reserve was BVAS's first property acquisition, purchased in early 2016. This 3.5-acre parcel is located directly across the street from the BVAS Nature Center. A key piece of rare undeveloped coastal habitat in the area, the Wetlands Reserve is also adjacent to the Buena Vista Lagoon Ecological Reserve. Home to the endangered Light-footed Ridgway's Rail (Rallus obsoletus levipes)and other rare species of birds, this piece of land also provides a buffer between urban development and the Ecological Reserve.

History of the Reserve

The property was slated to become an 82-room hotel in 2008. However, due to wetland delineation issues identified by the Coastal Commission, the hotel project was scrapped. Shortly after, BVAS looked into purchasing the property; but the price of $7 million was prohibitive.  In 2013, a new owner dropped the price to $1.5 million and expressed interest in selling the land to BVAS for conservation purposes. BVAS then began reaching out to our members, the community, and state agencies for support. As donations began flowing in, BVAS created a new land acquisition and conservation fund to hold these donations; thus, the BVAS Ridgway's Rail Society Fund (RRSF) was born.


By January, 2016, BVAS had raised a total of $1,560,000 towards the purchase—of this, $70,000 came from over 200 individual donors. Three local non-profits provided grants of $50,000 each: Preserve Calavera, North County Advocates, and the Wimberly Fund at Audubon California. In addition,  the Buena Vista Lagoon Foundation donated $10,000. This community commitment and support paved the way for BVAS to receive a grant of $1.35 million from the Wildlife Conservation Board of the Department of Fish & Wildlife in December, 2015, which completed the funding needed to acquire the land. With this acquisition, BVAS became a landowner for the first time in its more than 65 years of existence.

Thank you to funders and supporters!!!

BVAS is grateful to those who helped make it possible to permanently protect this parcel. It is testament to the community that we were able to raise the funds to purchase the property, and to acquire funding to restore it to native habitat.

Our Mission

To protect and preserve our region's birds, biodiversity, and threatened habitats, and to promote conservation of our natural resources through advocacy, education, and both habitat restoration and management.

Mailing Address

Buena Vista Audubon
PO Box 480
Oceanside, CA 92049

Nature Center

2202 S. Coast Highway
Oceanside, CA 92054



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Wednesday 10 am-1 pm
Thursday 10 am-1 pm
Friday 10 am-1 pm
Saturday 10 am-1 pm

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