I was quite elated to read the news that the San Marcos Foothills property was purchased for preservation. As someone who has worked to preserve open space for nearly 30 years, this is quite an accomplishment made possible by our generous community! I have learned that you can address the planning commission, Board of Supervisors, and California Coastal Commission to delay a project, but the only way to stop development is to buy the land.

The San Marcos Foothill acquisition is another feather in the cap for our region as it follows other victories such as The Wilcox Property, Ellwood Mesa, Dangermond Preserve (Cojo/Bixby Ranch), Las Varas Ranch, and Arroyo Hondo, among others.

Some might say we are “tapped out”. I say we are energized!

A short drive north on the 101 takes you into the Gaviota Coast. This stretch of land from Ellwood to Point Sal is a patchwork of zoning and ownership. In 1998, this land was deemed worth of inclusion in the National Park Service as a National Seashore. Little has changed since then. So prepare yourselves emotionally and fiscally for making the next triumph in preservation of the land we know and love a reality.

Mark Morey chairs the Santa Barbara Chapter of Surfrider.


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