SAN DIEGO (AP) - The California Coastal Commission has approved a plan by Poseidon Resources to restore coastal wetlands in San Diego County's Otay River floodplain.

Poseidon announced Wednesday that commissioners voted unanimously to allow 66 acres of commercial salt ponds in south San Diego Bay to be converted into a wildlife refuge.

The Connecticut-based company will work with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service to prepare environmental studies and a final project design.

The Coastal Commission required the restoration of marine life habitats as part of its approval in 2009 of Poseidon's $320 million water desalination plant in Carlsbad.

The plant, the largest of its kind in the Western hemisphere, is expected to come online by 2012.


Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.