San Diego Region - Wetlands and Riparian Protection

The San Diego Water Board's Wetland and Riparian Protection Program (Program) seeks to preserve, protect, restore, and enhance the Region's wetlands, streams, and other aquatic resources that are waters of the United States and/or State (waters). The San Diego Water Board's ability to issue federal Clean Water Act section 401 Water Quality Certifications (Certifications) and/or waste discharge requirements via the California Water Code to applicants that condition the discharge of dredge or fill material to waters is the cornerstone of the Program. To achieve no net loss and a net gain of wetlands and other aquatic resources, applicants are expected to avoid deliberate discharges of materials into waters and then to minimize discharges that cannot be avoided. When impacts are unavoidable, applicants are required to provide "compensatory mitigation" to offset the impacts as a condition of the Certification. Compensatory mitigation attempts to recreate the structure and functions of the impacted waters through creation, re-creation, rehabilitation, and enhancement either on- or off-site.

Effective May 28, 2020, the State Water Resources Control Board adopted a State Wetland Definition and Procedures for Discharges of Dredged or Fill Material to Waters of the State (Procedures). For more information, including training materials and implementation guidance, please visit the new Procedures website.

Public Notices

Public Notices

Last Updated 12/23/2020 - Water Quality Certification Notices (PDF)

State regulations require that applications for 401 Water Quality Certification are publicly noticed for a minimum of twenty one (21) days prior to the San Diego Water Board taking an action. Written comments can be sent by email, mail, or fax to the San Diego Water Board. Please include the 401 Water Quality Certification application File Number in the subject line of your correspondence and send to:

California Regional Water Quality Control Board
San Diego Region
2375 Northside Drive, Suite 100
San Diego, CA 92108
Main Fax Number: (619) 516-1994

Certified Actions

Certifications issued since January 2008 can be accessed by clicking the link below. To review a certification issued prior to January 2008, please request a file review.

Denied Actions

Applications denied since January 2019 can be accessed by clicking the link below. To review denied applications issued prior to January 2019, please request a file review.

Application Information

PRE-FILING MEETING REQUEST NOW REQUIRED. All project proponents must request a pre-filing meeting with the San Diego Water Board at least 30 days before submitting a request for water quality certification. The San Diego Water Board recommends that these requests be made in writing to, ATTN: Eric Becker. Project proponents should maintain a copy of their written requests, as documentation of a pre-filing meeting request must be submitted with a request for water quality certification. This requirement is in accordance with the new federal EPA Clean Water Act Section 401 Certification Rule (part 121.4), finalized on June 1, 2020.

Maintain a copy of the written request, as documentation of a pre-filing meeting request must be submitted with an application for water quality certification. If you have requested a pre-filing meeting, and it has been 30 days since the receipt of your request, you may submit an application for 401 water quality certification to

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