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NEWS | May 8, 2009

Symposium Gathers San Diego Bay Enthusiasts

By Mario Icari Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southwest

NAVFAC Southwest and Navy Region Southwest organized a symposium for government agencies, non governmental organizations (NGOs), and researchers who share an interest in the health and management of San Diego Bay April 30 at the Cabrillo National Monument Auditorium in San Diego. 

"The San Diego Bay Symposium was a good opportunity to see how the Navy takes on projects that reflect good environmental stewardship," said Sara Yamashita, NAVFAC Southwest National Policy Environmental Act (NEPA) planner and symposium organizer. "The event was also a great way to experience how we work with other organizations.

NAVFAC Southwest Marine Biologist Jessica Bredvik, NAVFAC Southwest NEPA Planner Sara Yamashita, and Navy Region Southwest Marine Biologist Suzanne Graham organized and structured the event to allow participants to share their work with other professionals and build stronger relationships amongst the attendees.

NAVFAC Southwest and Navy Region Southwest NEPA and Natural Resources personnel along with environmental professionals from Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command San Diego, National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, National Marine Fishery Service, California Department of Fish and Game, Army Corps of Engineers, Southwest Fisheries Science Center, Scripps Institute of Oceanography, University of California San Diego, and San Diego State University participated in the symposium.

Aquatic Adventures, San Diego Oceans Foundation, and Chula Vista Nature Center, the Audubon Society, and San Diego Coastkeeper were some of the NGOs at the event. 

"Seeing how many people were interested in helping the quality of San Diego Bay proved to be a positive reflection of making the San Diego Bay Symposium an annual event," said Yamashita.

Rear Adm. Len Hering, commander of Navy Region Southwest, introduced the event with comments about the positive changes the Navy has made in managing San Diego Bay. NAVFAC Southwest Archaeologist Dr. Andy Yatsko spoke about the history of human usage of San Diego Bay and the potential effects of local rising sea levels. Participants also addressed their organizations interest in the health and management of the bay.