Big Wave Agriculture
Would Big Wave have a significant environmental impact on agriculture by converting prime farmland to non-agricultural use?
County maps and zoning may not designate these parcels as prime farmland, and indeed until Big Wave began farming it in 2003, the land was left to grow wild for as long as anybody around here can remember, including a whole series of historical aerial photos. The agricultural value of the land was considered important enough to invest in intensive farming practices since 2003, importing many truckloads of soil (to raise the center front low area in the southern parcel), not just disking but deep plowing the soil, cutting back riparian willows, and plowing up wetlands to destroy any native species, creatures or habitat.
The DEIR concludes that the proposed development would not completely preclude future agriculture since the project includes offsite Big Wave Farming and a 5-acre onsite plant nursery. The offsite farmland proposed to be leased is already in agricultural production and does not depend on Big Wave to continue in production. There will be no effect on the offsite farmland whether Big Wave is developed or not. The onsite plant nursery is temporary and located on the 100-ft wetland buffer that is to be restored to its natural state.
Indeed, one of the Big Wave Project Objectives, “to provide space for gardens to grow organic food for consumption”, is made impossible by the overdevelopment of the site.