As the Sun Sets on 2012 …
We give thanks for all of our wonderful volunteers and supporters! It has been a busy year and much has been accomplished with their help: we are wrapping up 400 miles of Coastal Trail Signage, looking forward to building a new alliance of Coastal Trail jurisdictions, celebrating our second annual Sacramento Legislative reception and completed our 29th Season of coastal hiking and camping adventures. And, very sadly, we are mourning the loss of coastal hero, Peter Douglas … but also reveling in his leadership skills as will listen to new “Stories of the Coast” podcasts featuring Peter’s voice on Coastwalk’s web site. Following are a highlights of the past year …
Highlights of 2012
New Podcasts Featuring Coastal Hero Peter Douglas
In celebration of the Coastal Initiative’s 40th Anniversary, Coastwalk is offering new Podcasts that feature the voice of the late Peter Douglas. Peter, who was the Executive Director of the California Coastal Commission, was also instrumental in the passage of Proposition 20, the California Coastal Initiative which passed in 1972. The Coastal Initiative led to the Coastal Act and founding of the California Coastal Commission and then the State Coastal Conservancy. These form the foundation of California’s coastal protection program. Coastwalk’s podcasts, produced in partnership with KRCB, a public broadcasting station located in Sonoma County, were funded by a Whale Tail Grant from the Coastal Commission. The podcasts are based on interviews conducted by Coastal Commission Legislative Director, Sarah Christie.
Click here “PODCASTS“ and listen to these fascinating stories of the Coastal Commission’s work in protecting our California coastline.
Your will hear:
- How the Coastal Commission took on the Southern Pacific Railroad in Monterey, and protected the right-of-way that is now a popular multi-use trail along the edge of Monterey Bay.
- How the Coastal Commission used public access policies of the Coastal Act to force an exclusive men’s club in Santa Monica, the Jonathan Club, to drop its discriminatory membership policies.
- How the Coastal Act prevented the historic cottages at Crystal Cove from being converted into a private, luxury hotel in a state park.
At present you can go to Coastwalk’s website to listen to these podcasts while sitting at your computer. Coastwalk is also seeking funding to make these podcasts instantly available on smart phones using GPS positioning so hikers can have the benefit of a “virtual” docent while walking on the Coastal Trail segment to which each of these stories pertain.
Coastwalk Awarded New Grant From Coastal Conservancy to Fund Formation of Coastal Trail Alliance
Coastwalk was awarded a new $300,000 grant by the State Coastal Conservancy’s Board of Directors in November. Coastwalk, with help and funding from the Conservancy, will be working to develop a collaborative network of cities, counties and other agencies that own a strand of the Trail. Coastwalk is also receiving technical assistance from the National Park Service for this project. This network will share Trail information and resources, working together to ensure that the Trail has the wherewithal and plans needed to realize its completion. This step is absolutely necessary not only to manifest the vision of a continuous unbroken trail, but also to ensure the long term protection of California’s coastline.
The new Conservancy Grant will also be funding Coastwalk’s continuing work on its Coastal Trail signage program as well as its collaborative work with the Conservancy on public education regarding the Trail.
The State Coastal Conservancy is the lead state agency in planning for and completing the California Coastal Trail. Coastwalk and the Conservancy are committed partners as we work together to complete this amazing public resource and vital economic asset.
Governor Attends Coastwalk Legislative Reception in Sacramento
Coastwalk’s Second Annual Legislative Reception in celebration of the California Coastal Trail (CCT) was a big success. This year the event was also celebrating the 40th Anniversary of Proposition 20, the Coastal Initiative, which began California’s Coastal Program, and was passed by a vote of the people in November of 1972.
The big news is that, thanks to a personal appeal by State Senator Noreen Evans, Governor Brown dropped in on Coastwalk’s event and shared some conversation and ideas.
Resources Secretary, John Laird began the event’s program by giving some excellent remarks about the importance of the Trail and the need for all agencies to work collaboratively to finish the Trail. He thanked Coastwalk, as the leading non-profit advocating for the Trail, for all its efforts and accomplishments.
Mary Shallenberger, Chair of the Coastal Commission, delivered short remarks regarding the huge impacts the Coastal Initiative has had on California’s coastline. Charles Lester, Executive Director of the California Coastal Commission also made excellent remarks and spoke of his first year at the helm of the Commission and his commitment to maintaining California’s high level of coastal protection.
In summation, Sam Schuchat, Executive Officer of the State Coastal Conservancy, spoke about progress on the Coastal Trail and the Conservancy’s important partnership with Coastwalk. He also discussed the critical value of the project that the Conservancy will be working on with Coastwalk over the next three years. This project will build a coalition (association) of Coastal Trail owners and stakeholders. He explained that this coalition will be crucial to the success of the Coastal Trail and that all long distance trails have similar supporting groups.
The Reception was attended by a spectrum of legislators as well as Sacramento based environmental advocates including the Director of Sierra Club California, Kathryn Phillips, and the new Executive Director of the Planning and Conservation League, Bruce Reznik.
It is critical to the future of the Trail that Coastwalk continue its education of each newly elected group of legislators about the Trail’s existence and its importance, both as a cornerstone of coastal protection, and an economic engine. Coastwalk looks forward to its 3rd legislative reception in 2013.
Coastwalk Holds Fantastic 29th Walks Season
Attendance was up this year on Coastwalk’s annual multi-day Coastwalk camping and hiking adventures. A great time was had by those who participated. This year “Walks” were held in Humboldt, Marin, Ventura, San Luis Obispo, San Francisco and more.
The Rob Hill Overnight segment of the Golden Gate Family Walk was a great success. Coastwalk partnered with other trail organizations including the Bay Area Ridge Trail, the San Francisco Bay Trail and the Anza National Historic Trail, in celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge. Coastwalkers camped in the Rob Hill campground at the Presidio in San Francisco and were treated to a fantastic campfire program. Historic re-enactors played the role of the Juan Bautista de Anza expedition and educated the audience about life on that historic journey. Additionally, the campers were honored to watch a tribe of Ohlone Native Americans perform traditional dances and talk about their people’s history in San Francisco.
The Jug Handle Art Weekend in Mendocino was a big hit, and appealed to Coastwalkers interested in hostel accommodations rather than outdoor camping. This Walk will be offered again in the upcoming season. San Luis Obispo was sold out and had a big waiting list in 2012. Walkers report that this trip, with its hikes in San Simeon State Park, was fabulous. The SLO Walk will also be offered in 2013 and we are expecting to also offer a Walk in Del Norte County.
For those unfamiliar with Coastwalk culture, it is a goal of long term Coastwalkers to complete a Coastwalk in all 15 coastal counties. Several “walkers” accomplished this goal in this past year.
Coastwalk overnight trips are expeditions along the California Coastal Trail and are organized at Coastwalk headquarters, but primarily run by volunteers and expert local guides who share a mission to protect the coastal places they cherish through education, advocacy and stewardship of the California Coastal Trail.
Trips vary in the number of days and nights and in their degree of difficulty, hiking distances, and terrain. Some involve casual walks over easy terrain, some are moderate hikes of 5-10 miles a day, and a few even have a combination of difficulty and terrain in the same day. On many of the trips, volunteers carry the “walkers” gear from campsite to campsite, allowing participants to enjoy their hike without as much effort as a backpack. Most trips involve camping and some are true “backpacks”. Specific Family Walks are geared towards the hiking abilities and activity needs of children ages six and over. You can check out the 2013 Coastwalk schedule on Coastwalk’s web site beginning February 1st, 2013 by clicking here!
Coastwalk Wrapping Up 400 Miles of Coastal Trail Signage
Coastwalk is wrapping up a Coastal Conservancy grant that funded the installation of signage on 400 miles of Coastal Trail. This project, which will soon be complete, was about a lot more than just installing the official Coastal Trail insignia onto signposts beside the trail. Coastwalk worked with almost one hundred local governments, land trusts and State agencies to locate the alignment of local Coastal Trail segments and then photograph, GPS and map them. This work was crucial to establish local support for the Coastal Trail and agreement about its location. Coastwalk also produced planning documents for each of these trail segments and managed planning approvals through local jurisdictions as well as the Coastal Commission.
This program has facilitated State and local government having consistent information about trail alignments and location of signage. It is also setting the groundwork for a stewardship program to be developed in the future. The local jurisdiction contacts that Coastwalk made during this program will form the foundation for the new Coastal Trail collaborative network of Trail owners and stakeholders that will be initiated in 2013.
Sonoma County Coastal Cleanup Day a Big Success
Coastwalk coordinates Coastal Cleanup Day in Sonoma County that is a part of the statewide CCD managed by the Coastal Commission. This year’s cleanup was a great success with over 700 volunteers taking to Sonoma County Beaches and Waterways to clean them of debris.
“Thanks to funding from the Sonoma County Water Agency, Coastwalk was able to recruit many new volunteers this year” said Una Glass, Executive Director of Coastwalk California.
Aside from doing a good deed, participants had great fun after the cleanup at a barbeque and celebration donated by Whole Foods Market. REI provided prizes for a raffle and for a contest that evaluated who found the most interesting piece of trash.
Coastwalk Presents at Trail and Greenways Conference
The 2012 Trails and Greenways Conference was held in Los Angeles and was as always very informative and a great place for networking. Coastwalk had a booth in a prominent place at the entrance to the main conference room and was able to talk with Trail professionals and stakeholders from all over the state about progress on the California Coastal Trail. Coastwalk held an early morning workshop that was hosted jointly with Coastwalk’s Technical Assistance Consultants from the National Park Service. The session met in small groups and discussed ideas for a Coastal Trail “Association” and how jurisdictions could benefit from participating in an organization that supports the Coastal Trail. Lots of ideas were put forward which are being incorporated into the new CCT Association project that is being funded starting in 2013 by Coastwalk’s new Coastal Conservancy grant.
Coastwalk Participates in Legislative Briefing
Coastwalk Executive Director, Una Glass, participated in a Legislative briefing at the Capitol in Sacramento. She was included on a panel with Annie Notthoff (NRDC), Susan Jordan (Coastal Protection Network), and Mary Shallenberger (Chair of the Coastal Commission).
“I was tremendously grateful to be invited to participate on this panel hosted by the Sierra Club”, said Glass. “My co-panelists are the “rock stars” of coastal protection and I am incredibly honored to be in the same room as them!” .
The panel focused on the 40 year history of coastal protection in California, current issues, and the future of coastal protection. Glass focused her remarks on public access and the history/future of the California Coastal Trail. This panel was a great opportunity to bring new legislative staffers up to speed on the importance of the CCT and its crucial role in public access to the coast.
Coastal Commission Receptions
Coastwalk co-sponsored two Receptions for the California Coastal Commission over this past year; a reception held at the Osher Center in Marin County in May, and an end of year celebration held at the St Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco in December. Sponsoring these receptions provides a great opportunity to catch up with Commissioners and highlight the importance of the California Coastal Trail to public access and coastal protection.
The December event was also a celebration of the 40th Anniversary of Proposition 20, the California Coastal Initiative. Coastwalk Board Member, Mark Massara introduced a brief program where Coastal Commission Executive Director spoke of the mission of the Coastal Commission and the forty years of coastal protection that began with the passage for Proposition 20 in 1972.
Just the Highlights …
The stories above represent just a few of Coastwalk California’s activities in 2012. We are busy on so many fronts including leading day hikes, answering phone calls from the public about potential family activities and places to stay along the Coastal Trail, talking with regional planning agencies about trail improvements and so much more. Please consider a gift to sustain Coastwalk in its crucial work of completing the California Coastal Trail and preserving our coastline!Donate Now