Ocean Champions is the only political voice for ocean health. We take a non-partisan approach in working with
the U.S. Congress to ensure ocean health through electoral and legislative action.

Surfers, Environmentalists Score Another Victory in the Fight to Save Trestles

Posted by: Mike Dunmyer

san-onofre-beach

Woo Hoo!  The U.S. Department of Commerce has rejected the proposed 241 Foothill South Toll Road extension!  As most of you know, the extension would have posed a serious threat to the environment around the sensitive San Mateo watershed, impacting the balance and natural beauty of the area, local water quality and the world class Trestles surf break.  The California Coastal Commission (CCC) first ruled against the proposal, forcing the Transportation Corridor Agency (TCA) to challenge the ruling at the national level. The Department of Commerce, which includes the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) had jurisdiction to hear the challenge, and thankfully upheld the CCC’s earlier decision. The TCA can still appeal or litigate, but their options are running out and this last decision may bring an end to their misguided plan to pave a watershed.  You can get the full story at the save Trestles web site.

The victories that have been won are the result of a strong coalition of environmental groups. The coalition was led by the Surfrider Foundation, and included the Friends of the Foothills, the Sierra Club, major surf industry players, and many, many committed individuals. The campaign has included grass roots activism and heavy engagement in the political process, and as such, underscores two important lessons:

  1. To win major victories and to project and sustain them, ocean activists MUST engage in the political process. This is why Ocean Champions works so hard to elect pro-ocean Congressmen and women and then to build strong, credible relationships with them.   The objective of consistently passing legislation that will ensure thriving coasts and oceans won’t happen unless ocean enthusiasts can maintain and amplify this voice on Capitol Hill.
  2. The interests that are aligned against long term ocean and coastal health have deep pockets and are relentless. To beat them, ocean environmental groups MUST work together.

On a personal note, Trestles isn’t easy for an east coast surfer like me to reach. Over the years I’ve been lucky enough to get there three times, but one session was all it took for me to realize that it is a unique place that must be protected.  Beyond the perfect waves it produces, Trestles has a magical feel to it - an aura - that I believe comes from its unspoiled, unexploited, raw beauty.  To me, surfing there felt different and more special than any other place I’d been.  The unbelievable support the “Save Trestles” campaign generated shows that many of you feel the same way.  So in closing, I want to thank all the people who’ve worked so hard in this battle for so many years.  This was an incredible win for an incredible place, and truly, an early holiday gift!

Date Posted: December 20, 2008 @ 4:02 pm

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Ocean Champions is the only political voice for ocean health. We take a non-partisan approach in working with the U.S. Congress to ensure ocean health through electoral and legislative action.

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