Wheeler North Reef Expansion

Southern California Edison (SCE) sought to expand the existing 174-acre Wheeler North Reef, a manmade rocky reef, off the coast of San Clemente, California by an additional 202 acres as mitigation related to the former operation of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS). Dudek provided CEQA planning, marine mammal monitoring, and tribal consultation, including archaeological diving.

Project Facts
  • Client: Southern California Edison
  • Location: San Clemente, California
  • Scope: Expansion from 174 to 376 acres
  • Milestone: Largest manmade rocky reef in the world
A sea lion swims near a barge on the site of the Wheeler North Reef Expansion project.

The Challenge

As mitigation related to the former operation of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS), Southern California Edison (SCE) sought to expand the existing 174-acre Wheeler North Reef, a manmade rocky reef, off the coast of San Clemente, California by an additional 202 acres. The project needed to comply with CEQA, tribal consultation requirements, the Marine Mammal Protection Act, and more, so marine mammal and archaeological resources were of great concern and required careful monitoring and consultation with the Acjachemen Nation of Juaneno Indians.

A tugboat hauls a barge on the water near the site of the Wheeler North Reef Expansion project off the coast of San Clemente, California.

The Solution

Dudek environmental planners, archaeologists, and marine biologists assisted California State Lands Commission and Southern California Edison, preparing a Subsequent EIR that tiered from the 1999 EIR analyzing the original 174-acre Wheeler North Reef. The Final Subsequent EIR was certified by the California State Lands Commission in February 2019. Then, Dudek’s marine biology team provided marine mammal observer services for the 2019 and 2020 construction seasons, including development of the Marine Wildlife Monitoring Plan. The project was completed in July 2020.

What We Did

Our multidisciplinary specialties allow us to provide efficiencies that maintain project momentum.

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