Friday, December 18, 2009

Happy one-year anniversary of keeping the toll road out of San Onofre State Beach!

It was exactly one year ago today that the Federal government ruled to shut down the ‘highway from hell’.  This morning, the Union Tribune ran a front-page story examining some of the steps toll road developers have taken since the Dept of Commerce decision last year.

Surfrider has received several inquiries about what is transpiring.  At this point, it appears there is no “new plan”  A toll road Director is quoted as saying: “We are looking at a host of concepts. I don’t even call them options at this point”.

Regardless, Surfrider continues to keep an eye our Park and surrounding watershed.  We are steadfast in our belief that a toll road doesn’t belong in a watershed that contains a popular park, sacred Native American sites, and some of the last open space we have in Southern California!  

We continue to attend the TCA’s public board meetings and we are present at any regulatory meetings the TCA goes to. Rest assured, Surfrider and our Coalition partners (CA State Parks Foundation, NRDC, Sierra Club, Endangered Habitat League and others) will make sure our Park and watershed remains intact.
 
Read the article here and please leave comments if you have time.

Speaking of Park Protection….
For those of you who follow California politics you still might be cringing from the threat to close 80% of our State Parks and Beaches. While that death sentence didn’t fully come to fruition, California Parks and Beaches are facing some closures and major cutbacks-- and it will become painfully obvious next spring and summer when people show up at State Parks to realize half of the lifeguards are gone, Park amenities (bathroom, kiosks, etc) are shabby-shape, and a few Parks have a padlock around the gates.

The current State of our State Parks can be described like this:

"Sort of closed, sort of open." That's how Greg Retsinas, an editor at the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, summed up the cutbacks to California's state park system.  Our friends at the California State Parks Foundation are spearheading a statewide ballot measure, slated for November 2010, which would create a stable source of funding for the state park system, wildlife conservation, and to provide increased and equitable access to those resources for all Californians.

Funding would come from an annual State Park Access Pass surcharge of $18 per vehicle. The surcharge would apply California vehicles and they would receive FREE DAY USE ADMISSION throughout the year. Voters need to approve the measure.

The Surfrider Foundation has singed on as an official supporter of this effort because we believe our State Parks need protection.  If you would like to learn more about the State Park Access Pass and how you can gather signatures to qualify it for the ballot please visit 

See a recent blog post about why Surfrider is supporting this initiative (hint: 8 of the ‘top 10’ Parks are located on our coastline!!).

Thank you for your continuing support!  Surfrider is an all grassroots organization and we would not be able to do our work without your support!

Happy Holidays!

Your Pals at Surfrider

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