Nature's hidden gem - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Nature's hidden gem

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Those of you who have lived in Pacific Beach may recall an ugly trailer parked in front of the marshes on the northeast side of Mission Bay. Since this summer, it's been transformed into an awe-inspiring nature mural.

Forty acres of pristine nature thrives in this uncommonly quiet corner of Pacific Beach, named the Kendall-Frost Mission Bay Marsh.

It's easy to miss unless you happen to walk by and notice a trailer painted by local artist Celeste Byers.

"So it was kind of a surprise to me -- oh there's a marsh here -- and I learned this whole area used to be a marsh and this is the only remaining marsh left and I think it's really important to keep nature there because there's so many little animals and big animals that rely on it," Byers said.

Her artwork doesn't just make the trailer more appealing, but it tells a story of the people who care about the marsh and the birds and animals who call it home.

"These are clapper rails, and they're endangered. They're called the light-footed clapper rails. They do a rehabilitation project here and they raise them and they have to keep rereleasing them here because it's so small they can't sustain a natural population," Byers said.

"One of the selling points in terms of housing is that you can see marsh, see downtown and Mission Bay," volunteer Roy Little said.

Little is a volunteer who leads Friends of Mission Bay Marshes. He wants to see this area further protected and worries about future development.

"It's a nursery for all the marine life in the bay. All the fish, all the worms, all the crustaceans grow up in the marsh some of them stay in the marsh some of them move into the bay," he said.

"It's the only remaining marsh in Mission Bay and it's important for people to realize that it's a unique feature," Little said.

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