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In my story today on Gaylord Entertainment and its proposed billion-dollar hotel and convention center on the Chula Vista bay front, Environmental Health Coalition spokesperson Laura Hunter commented on the environmental impact report prepared for the project.

“I’m not over-the-top excited about it,” she said, referring to how impacts to bay front wildlife, among other things, are addressed in the report.

The coalition submitted a detailed response to the EIR on a range of issues, which is summarized here. The following are a few examples of the impacts to wildlife that the agency is concerned about.

  • Introduction of new and greater numbers of predators to the area. Specifically, environmentalists are worried that stray dogs and cats, skunks and opossums — predators that follow humans into an area — will further endanger threatened species. Particularly vulnerable is the California Clapper Rail, a shorebird.
  • Flushing impacts to shorebirds and other species by boaters and walkers, and headlights at night. The term “flushing” refers to forcing birds to fly. Many of the birds on the bay front are migratory, and need to be in a resting state while here so they can fatten up for the trip back to their nesting grounds.
  • The presence and use of motorized personal watercraft in or near sensitive foraging and nesting habitat areas.

Update: The environmental impact report referred to in this post is for the Chula Vista Bayfront Master Plan, which includes the Gaylord project.

DAVID WASHBURN

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