09 February 2008

City Zine Article #5

Photo by Mary Michel

Surf Report: The Smackdown in Del Mar

On Wednesday, February 6, the California Coastal Commission met in Del Mar to vote on the proposed extension of the 241 Toll Road. Environmentalists and surfers throughout the state waited for the decision with bated breath. The Transportation Corridor Agencies group (TCA) had already turned Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s head by offering the state $100 million, supposedly to mitigate the damage the toll road extension would cause to San Onofre State Beach. The governor proved that he could be bought; he announced his support for the toll road extension soon after revealing the state was in the throes of a budget crisis. (Question: Isn’t the TCA a special interest group? Question: Didn’t Arnold rail against special interest groups when he ran for office? “Special interests cannot buy me. I have enough money.”)

Photos by Craig Ferre

As the day of the hearing approached, the grass roots campaign against the toll road swung into action. When the hearing finally took place, a crowd of 3,500 was in attendance. Surfers from all over California drove to Del Mar for the meeting. One Los Angeles surfer was determined to be part of the solution, “I grew up here and have watched every single watershed between here and San Diego be compromised. I'm not watching anymore.” The surfing community was determined to be heard, or at least have its presence felt.

Photo by Craig Ferre

Photo by Mary Michel

The hearing lasted for over 12 hours. In the end, the California Coastal Commission voted 8-2 against the toll road extension. One of its reasons for voting the extension down was the fact that the toll road would negatively and irreversibly impact the “surfing resources” at San Onofre State Beach.

Photos by Mary Michel


At 2/11/08, 9:13 AM, Blogger Beach Bum said...

One battle won .... lot's of wars to fight .. but enjoy this one


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