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Preserve Calavera, a watchdog for local habitats

OCEANSIDE — Preserve Calavera works diligently to preserve, protect and enhance the natural resources of coastal North County.
The nonprofit environmental watchdog has achieved some notable accomplishments. In the last nine years, Preserve Calavera completed restoration of the first 1.8 acres of the Buena Vista Creek Valley; negotiated an agreement with the Carlsbad Unified School District to improve buffers to Calavera Creek; secured an amended Reclamation Plan for Hanson Aggregates to protect El Salto Falls and Buena Vista Creek; and reduced the impacts of a big box store at Palomar Commons in Carlsbad.
In addition to these significant milestones the organization conducts year-round wildlife surveys, hikes and public education events.
The organization’s success has been duly recognized. Preserve Calavera received the Sierra Club 2010 FEAT Award for public service to protect and restore the natural environment of coastal North San Diego County.
Its preservation efforts are ongoing. Development along local waterways is a continuous concern. The Quarry Creek project planned for development along State Route 78 between El Camino Real and College Boulevard encroaches on El Salto waterfall.
“We had limited success last year in getting the city of Carlsbad to reduce the number of housing units they proposed for this valley in their Housing Plan from 600 down to 500,” Diane Nygaard, president of Preserve Calavera, said. “But the developer ignored this and is proposing 656 housing units in an area now zoned for 164.”
Preserve Calavera continues to stand up for preservation and keep an eye on development projects that are moving forward.
Presently Inns at Buena Vista Creek is planned for development and will include three hotels, a medical office building and a parking garage on Jefferson Avenue along Buena Vista Creek; and Dos Colinas, a large senior and affordable housing project, is on the drawing board to be developed in the Sunny Creek area of Carlsbad along Agua Hedionda Creek. 
“We have serious concerns with all of these projects and will be working with the developers and cities to end up with projects that are much less damaging to our local creeks and wildlife corridors and the quality of life for the adjacent neighborhoods,” Nygaard said.
Private donations are essential in order for Preserve Calavera to continue its work. A volunteer board of directors allows 100 percent of collected donations to go toward preservation efforts.
For more information, visit

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