Sunday, January 18, 2009


Up to this point, the Music Outreach Program has based a lot of its work around Surfrider's national Save Trestles Campaign. When conducting outreach at shows, we educated every music fan that we spoke with about this campaign.

"Save Trestles" is a campaign to save California's San Onofre State Park, 6 miles of beaches, a Native American burial ground, a nature conservancy, 9 endangered species, a state campground serving low income residents, biking/jogging paths, and a famous surf spot (Trestles) from the construction of a private 16-mile, $9/trip toll road, and a housing development.

Surfrider has been working on this campaign for 10+ years, in partnership with the Sierra Club, CA State Parks Foundation, Natural Resources Defense Council, Endangered Habitats League, Sea and Sage Audubon Society, Defenders of Wildlife, WildCoast and countless others.

For more information about the campaign, click here.

Or check out this fantastic video, produced by Huell Howser.

In addition to educating music fans about the campaign, and how this would set a precedent for allowing development in our state parks, nationwide, we asked music fans to sign a petition to save Trestles.

By February of 2008 we had collected 26 pages of signatures, representing concerned music fans hailing from California, Washington, DC, South Carolina, New Jersey, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Texas, North Carolina, Nevada, Hawaii, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, and even St Croix in the US Virgin Islands.

On February 6, 2008 the California Coastal Commission held what turned out to be a historic public hearing in San Diego, to determine if the proposed development for the park was in keeping with California state law.

Since a member of the Washington, DC Chapter could not be present at the hearing, we contacted the California Coastal Commission staff, and learned how to submit our petition signatures, and a coverletter declaring our opposition to the development, for the hearing record. Then, we partnered with Dana Flach, a member of Surfrider's San Diego Chapter, who was kind enough to present our petition signatures to the commissioners, in person, at the hearing.

You can see Dana make her statement, here:

Since the hearing was streaming live on the internet, I was able to watch Dana make her speech from my apartment in Washington, DC. Thanks again, Dana!

You can see more footage from the historic hearing, here:

Check out this LA Times article, for more details about the day.

After the California Coastal Commission rejected the development proposal, 8-2, that day, the developers appealed to the US Secretary of Commerce. The US Secretary of Commerce agreed to hold a public hearing, to give the public the opportunity to voice their concerns to the Secretary of Commerce. That hearing took place on September 22, 2008 at San Diego's Del Mar Fairgrounds.

I happened to be in San Diego at the time of the US Secretary of Commerce hearing, and was able to represent the Washington, DC Chapter in person. It was soooooo exciting! I was joined by several members of the Washington, DC Chapter, who have recently relocated to San Diego - Darryl, Peggy, and Jonathan.

In advance of the hearing, I submitted my formal request to make a public statement during the hearing, and was very excited when I was assigned a speaking number - #318. Unfortunately, when the hearing ended at 8:30pm, there were still about 80 people ahead of me, who also didn't get a chance to speak. Ah well! As you can see from the slideshow below, at least I was present all day, and did a lot of sign waving:)

Surfrider - and all of the music fans who signed our petition, plus all of the artists, management, venue staff, and our friends at Walther Productions who made this all possible - received some great news on December 18, 2008, when the Department of Commerce announced that it would uphold the California Coastal Commission's decision!

The proposed development project is FINALLY, OFFICIALLY ILLEGAL under California state and federal law! Woooohoooooooooo!!!!!!

Thanks again to everyone who made the Music Outreach Program's contribution to this historic victory, possible.

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