We Won! Lowers. Photo: Steindler
If you are a surfer, you know about the fight to save Trestles, and unless you live under a rock, you know how hard the surf world has been battling the TCA over the proposed toll road. Well people, mark down this day in history because it's very special, this is the day that we won! Emails from the Surfrider Foundation started coming in around 10:00 this morning (December 18, 2008) with the title "We Won!" In a battle that pitted a soulful and passionate group of surfers, surf industry bros, families, beach goers, environmentalists, and concerned citizens against a multi-million dollar mega-business-machine backed by The Governator himself—the odds we stacked against the good guys, but in the end, passion and caring for such a special and amazing area prevailed, and I'll say it again, We Won!
Congratulations to anybody who sent a letter, put a Save Trestles sticker on their car or board, wore a shirt, donated to Surfrider, sent an email, — everything helped, and the effort put forth by Bob Mignona and the Surfrider Foundation was like nothing we've ever seen before.
While we will never fully win the war and save every wave and beach on earth, this battle is won, but the war still rages. We're all soldiers in the battle to save our beaches and seas from trash, development, and more. Join the Surfrider Foundation and keep up the fight!—Chris Cote, Transworld SURF
Here's the email that broke the good news:
This morning we got word that the United States Secretary of Commerce Gutierrez upheld the California Coastal Commission's February ruling that the proposed extension to the 241 toll road violates California coastal law. This decision makes it near impossible for the TCA to move forward with this project.
In short – We won!!!
More details forthcoming, but we wanted to share this great news with you, our friends who have supported us on this journey.
Your pals at the Surfrider Foundation
And here’s the full newspiece:
San Clemente, CA (December 18, 2008) – The Department of Commerce announced today that it would uphold the California Coastal Commission's ruling that found the TCA's proposed extension of the 241 Toll Road inconsistent with the California Coastal Act. In a release issued from the Department of Commerce, they "determined that there is at least one reasonable alternative to the project [and] that the project is not necessary in the interest of national security."
"We are elated that the Secretary of Commerce chose to uphold the California Coastal Commission's ruling against the planned extension to the SR-241 toll road," says Surfrider Foundation's Assistant Environmental Director Mark Rauscher. "This decision is a significant milestone in our efforts to protect San Onofre State Beach Park and the surrounding environment; and underscores the effectiveness of grassroots activism."
While this is a major victory for the Surfrider Foundation and its coalition members, the fight to build the toll road is not over. Toll road opponents need to continue writing letters and communicating with their local elected officials to convey pleasure with the results and support the Department of Commerce's decision.
"This victory would not have been possible if it was not for the activists who showed up by the thousands at the California Coastal Commission and Department of Commerce hearings," continues Rauscher. "Should the TCA decide to appeal the decision, the Surfrider Foundation and its coalition partners are ready to fight that battle as well."
The Surfrider Foundation now calls upon the TCA and other state and local officials to embrace alternative transportation strategies that will better address the county's traffic issues without jeopardizing our environmental, recreational and economic resources.