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What's at stake?

A State Park is at Risk - Protecting San Onofre State Beach for People and Wildlife

Trestles beach

"San Onofre State Beach is one of the last remnants of large coastal open space in Southern California. Sea and sky, surf and reef, beach and coastal bluff, wetland and grassland, sycamore groves and scrub, hillsides and arroyos, long coastal strip and broad coastal valley. Experiencing the broad natural expanses of San Mateo valley, the coastline, and the sea reinvigorates the senses and renews the spirit"

Source: State Parks and Recreation "Mitigation Assessment of FTC-South Impacts on San Onofre State Beach"

We seek to ensure San Onofre's future as a state park by defeating the ill-concieved Foothill-South Toll Road. If the toll road were to be built, we could lose nearly 60% of the park, including the San Mateo Campground, the last pristine watershed in Southern California, the best surf break in North America--Trestles Beach, a Sacred Native American site, and the Donna O'Neill Land Conservancy.

We are citizens taking action by writing letters to decision makers, attending public hearings, attending events and telling our friends and neighbors.

 

Development Would Devastate Popular Park

The proposed Foothill-South toll road extension through the inland portion of San Onofre State Beach would devastate the park, ruin a popular campground and threaten the world-famous Trestles surfing beach. Among Southern California surfers, the Trestles breaks are known as "The Yosemite of Surfing." As State Parks has noted, "Trestles is such a vital surfing experience that for many, it is the paragon of surfing destinations and each visit is a pilgrimage." The park is also threatened by the proposed development of adjacent lands owned by the Rancho Mission Viejo development company. Interference with natural stream erosion and sedimentation, pollution of currently clean creeks with runoff, and light pollution would compound the problems the toll road would create.

Affordable Camping Would be Lost

The developed 161-unit San Mateo Campground provides rare affordable public access to a rural coastal valley and a world-class surfing beach for thousands of families annually. Construction of the toll road through the park would also preclude the development of a second family campground of 150 to 200 sites, an interpretive site, an equestrian camp and seven primitive or environmental camp areas.

Endangered Species in Jeopardy

An astounding number of threatened and endangered species depend on the park for protection. The Pacific Pocket Mouse has in the park one of its three known locations. Southern Steelhead Trout race through the park to spawn in upstream ponds and also spend time in the park's estuary. Least Bell's vireo, southwestern flycatcher, gnatcatchers are some of the rare birds that inhabit the chaparral and riverine habitat.

If the Foothill-South toll road is built through this park, then State Parks will relinquish the majority of the inland portion of the park, depriving Californians of an important park resource.

Robin Everett
robin.everett@sierraclub.org
Conservation Organizer
Sierra Club/Friends of the Foothills
949-361-7534 / fax: 949-361-6623