For 15 years, Surfrider Foundation, along with the Save San Onofre Coalition (SSOC), fought to protect San Onofre State Beach and its world-class surf break from a 6-lane toll road that would devastate California’s 5th most popular park that is used by 2.5 million people annually.
After five lawsuits and countless public hearings, the SSOC settled lawsuits in November 2016. Through the lawsuit settlement, we were able to permanently protect the Park by establishing an “Avoidance Area” which clearly defines where a toll road cannot be constructed. Our Coalition successfully negotiated the Avoidance Area not only to protect the Park and watershed, but also for the benefit of the millions of people who use the Park each year and for the thousands of people who fought to protect the park over the years.
Unfortunately, in July 2017, the City of San Clemente and The Reserve Management Corporation filed separate lawsuits against the TCA and, as part of the lawsuits, named all 12 California and national environmental organizations that comprise the Save San Onofre Coalition as “real parties in interest.” By filing the lawsuit, the City of San Clemente and The Reserve Management Corporation are both supporting a toll road route that would devastate San Onofre State Beach. The lawsuits attack SSOC’s settlement agreement, which protects San Onofre State Beach (one of California’s most popular state parks) and other sensitive natural lands. An attack on San Onofre State Beach is an attack on San Clemente residents, visitors and industry who highly value the coastal park.
The Save San Onofre Coalition strongly opposes any toll road alternative that impacts San Onofre State Beach and the sensitive watershed contained within the Avoidance Area.
(We must remain neutral on other toll road alternatives provided they do not enter the Avoidance Area that protects the State Park, Trestles, and other important natural resources.)
To compound the situation, Congressman Darrell Issa stated he would like to undo this historic settlement agreement and dig up controversial plans to ram a road through San Onofre State Beach. Clearly, Mr. Issa forgot about the thousands of people who fought for years to protect this Park and that the Bush Administration and Coastal Commission denied the road in 2008. Building a road through State Park is an outdated way of solving traffic—and we need you to tell Mr. Issa to ditch his farfetched plans. Send Congressman Issa a letter urging him to protect San Onofre State Beach and the surf break—and not build a road through these treasured lands. See surfrider.org, “Get Involved” and “Take Action” for more!
Staff contact: Stefanie Sekich-Quinn| Coastal Preservation Manager | Surfrider Foundation | firstname.lastname@example.org