Coastal Preservation
June 09 2016

Voice Your Support for Expansion of the California Coastal Monument

by Joanna Malaczynski

Several California leaders in Congress are stepping up to help secure protection for special places in the state as part of the California Coastal National Monument Expansion Act. The bill would designate approximately 6,200 acres of existing U.S. Department of the Interior lands in Humboldt, Santa Cruz, and San Luis Obispo Counties under the California Coastal National Monument.  

The current California Coastal National Monument is made up of 20,000 rocks and islands, and one on-shore area. Designated in 2000 by President Bill Clinton, the monument is managed by the Bureau of Land Management with cooperation from community groups around the state.

National Monument designation recognizes the importance of these lands, including their exceptional historical, cultural, scientific, ecological and recreational values.  Designation means protection, local and community-based management, and opportunities for funding conservation work. 

The proposed California Coastal National Monument Expansion Act would add five areas to the monument, greatly expanding its scope and allowing these priceless special places to be protected for the future. 

Voice your support for this bill by adding your name to the Campaign for the California Coast petition

Here is a bit more info about each of the five areas proposed for expansion of the California Coastal National Monument:

  • Trinidad Head on the Northern California Coast offers breathtaking ocean views of offshore rocks and islands.  It is of significant spiritual and historic importance to the community and is the central focus of the origin story of local Native Americans.  Today it overlooks a beloved surf spot and provides opportunities for spiritual reflection for locals and visitors alike.
  • Piedras Blancas overlooks the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and is home to the historic Piedras Blancas Light Station (1875).  Its rocky shoreline includes fantastic coastal vistas, estuaries, dune fields and abundant marine life.  Its biological diversity attracts world-class research into whale migration, marine mammal populations and tide pools.
  • Coast Dairies, a 5,800-acre area just north of Santa Cruz, would link together a vast landscape of coastal prairies, redwood forests and riparian canyons on both sides of Highway 1.  The coastal foothill area is home to rare species (such as the California red-legged frog).  Conservation of this space would include a plan for remediation of the former CEMEX plant.
  • Lost Coast Headlands.  The headlands of California’s Lost Coast provide a remote and peaceful habitat for coastal wildlife. They include rolling mountains and windswept coastal bluffs, along with narrow beaches and foraging habitat for shorebirds and gulls.  The headlands are a spectacular area for solitude and appreciation of the beauty of California’s coastline.
  • Lighthouse Ranch overlooks the Eel River Delta, the South Spit of Humboldt Bay and the Pacific Ocean, occupying a site of exceptional panoramic views.  The site was a commune in the 1970s; residents worshipped in the fog signal building which had been converted to a chapel.  Today it is a perfect place for hiking, picnicking and enjoying the views of surrounding beauty.

Contact our state leaders in Congress and ask them to support expansion of the California Coastal National Monument