FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
August 6, 2020
ASSEMBLY BILL (AB) 1426 MOVES FORWARD ON PATH TO PERMANENTLY PROTECT SAN ONOFRE STATE BEACH
Assemblymember Tasha Boerner Horvath’s bill protects San Onofre State Beach from road construction threatening the natural, cultural and historical resources of the parkland
SACRAMENTO — On Wednesday, Assembly Bill (AB) 1426, authored by Assemblymember Tasha Boerner Horvath (D-Encinitas), has successfully passed the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee. Sponsored by California State Parks Foundation and the Save San Onofre Coalition, the bill permanently protects San Onofre State Beach (SOSB) from any future road-building. As one of California’s top five-most visited state parks, SOSB protects the last remaining undeveloped watershed in Southern California, is home to the world-famous Trestles Beach that was immortalized in the Beach Boys Surfin’ USA, and houses ten federally-threatened or endangered species.
“Assemblymember Boerner Horvath’s legislation is one of the most important conservation bills of the year. It provides permanent protection for San Onofre State Beach and key wildlife areas. This assures the public will have access to affordable campsites at the state park and can continue enjoying this beautiful coastal landscape,” said Rachel Norton, Executive Director of California State Parks Foundation.
For more than 15 years, California State Parks Foundation has collaborated with key conservation and environmental partners in the Save San Onofre Coalition to protect San Onofre State Beach from proposed threats. After years of advocacy, lobbying at the state and federal levels, organizing and mobilizing grassroots supporters and organizations, and engaging in litigation to protect the park, in late 2016, California State Parks Foundation and its allies in the Save San Onofre Coalition negotiated a key settlement that ended the toll road threat to the park. AB 1426 codifies protection for the state park and nearby watershed lands from future road construction.
“For years now, the Coalition’s efforts have successfully prevented damage to this last-of-its-kind coastal watershed habitat while ensuring access for more than 2.5 million annual visitors to enjoy this iconic beach and upland areas.” said Assemblymember Boerner Horvath. “AB 1426 makes certain the settlement agreement is implemented as intended and protects one of the five most visited parks in the whole system for future generations of campers, birders, hikers, fishermen, and surfers.”
AB 1426 will be heard next in the Senate Appropriations Committee.