Surf Protection
February 11 2013

One Step Closer to Historic Designation for Trestles and San Onofre

by Mark Rauscher

San Onofre and Trestles have been synonomous with California surfing since the 1930s. The area is world-renowned for its consistent, near perfect waves. Trestles provides some of the best year-round surfing waves in California, an area with the greatest concentration of surfers in the world.  This past Friday, Surfrider made our case to the CA State Historical Resources Commission that Trestles and San Onofre beaches should be listed on the National Register of Historic Places as a contributor to American culture under the category of "Recreation."  The area would be desigated the "Trestles Historic District."

Following five years working with the Office of Historic Preservation we were finally heard by the Commission, where they decided whether or not to support our application and forward it to the Keeper of the Register at the National Park Service for the final decision. 

We spoke of the historical significance that Trestles and San Onofre have made to the creation and development of surfing culture, which has permeated the American lifestyle through language, books, film and clothing.  Testimony was provided by myself and Jim Kempton, former editor of Surfer Magazine and current President of the California Surf Museum.  We also presented a video statement from Steve Pezman, publisher of the Surfer's Journal, seen below.  Final words were provided by Wayne Donaldson, former CA State Historical Preservation Officer, who has shepharded the application through the process of state and federal government.  In the end, the Commission voted unanimously to support our application and forward it to the Keeper.

A huge thanks to our supporters who came to the meeting, and to the thousands who signed the online petition or wrote letters to the Commission.  Over 1300 letters and 3800 signatures were collected from 48 states, PR, DC and 21 other countries, making it clear that there is wide support for this.  All of your letters and comments will be inluded in the final package that is sent to D.C. for consideration.

Additional press can be seen at SD Union Tribune, OC Register and LA Times.

On a personal note, in addition to our great speakers I would like to thank Michael Blum of the Malibu Surfing Association and Steve Long of the San Onofre Foundation for their tireless work to preserve surfing's culture and assist in the research and writing of our application.  Also, the staff and leadership at the CA Office of Historic Preservation have been a pleasure to work with and are the epitome of professionalism in their field.