Save the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve


Posted by on Wed, March 9, 2011

Please Sign The Petition

The Coastal Commission hearing is this Friday!

Please help protect the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve. The Dardenelle Trail is a beautiful 1/4 mile trail located within the FMR.

The San Mateo County Parks Department plans to double the existing trail width near wetland vegetation. The trail is mostly 3-4 feet wide and the County proposed width is 8 feet.

Petition Link:


"The Fitzgerald Marine Reserve, one of the richest, most biodiverse environments in California." — FMR Master Plan

Sabrina Brennan

Hello Sabrina,

I have been casually following along on some of the discussion/opinions you and others have shared regarding this trail project.  Thank you for raising awareness.

Would you (or someone else) please be so kind as to post here in a comment links to the opinions of the other agencies (i.e. GGNRA, etc.) listed within the petition text?

I’d like to make an informed decision, but I’ve admittedly dropped the ball until now.  Thanks for any help,


Hello Keith,

This is a San Mateo County project.  San Mateo County Parks currently manages the FMR.  The project plan came from the County and was approved by the County Planning Commission. 

The state is providing most of the bond money (about $750,000) for the project and the Coastal Conservancy is considering providing the additional $250,000 need at a meeting on March 17th in Oakland.  This meeting is open to the public.  The project will cost over a million dollars.

I don’t have time today to write more however you are welcome to phone me.  415-816-6111

Were up to 98 signatures in less than 48 hours!!!  Go team.

In less than 72 hours were up to 136 signatures.  Keep up the good work!

Over 200 signatures were collected in just over 72 hours.  Thank!

On March 11, 2011 the Coastal Commission voted to find that substantial issue exists with respect to Appeal A-2-SMC-11-010.

This is a win for the environment, the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve, trail lovers, visitors, and Coastside residents.

The Dardenelle Trail petition was delivered to the Coastal Commission during the appeal hearing in Santa Cruz. 

The petition helped show the Commissioners that people care about preserving the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve for future generations.  Over 200 signatures were gathered in 72 hours. 

I appreciate everyones support!

Thank you,

Nice job Sabrina. The Coastal Commission did the right thing.

Comment 8
Mon, March 14, 2011 12:41pm
Carl May
All my comments

Yep, Brennan certainly beat the odds and the political fixes at this hearing. With all that was lined up against her, including the Commission’s staff report, she deserves great credit for the decision finding substantial issue in her appeal.

As we all should know, this isn’t the end of it. Bad ideas never die when someone stands to profit from them. Especially when degrading our surroundings and lowering our quality of life can be pooh-poohed away by those standing to gain financially.

The next step will be the quarter-million $ grant being sought from the Coastal Conservancy to pay for part of this boondoggle. The Conservancy’s staff report is full of misrepresentations and omissions and entirely lacking as far as the facts go that make this trail development scam unnecessary.

Beyond replacing the current good blufftop coastal trail with a much poorer route for coastal access and imposing an inappropriate developed surface over a superior natural one for a trail, I always wonder where true fiscal conservatives are in debates like this one. When an entirely adequate facility for some purpose already exists, in this case the California Coastal Trail, why spend government money on a new, less suitable one? And considering that it is state bond money that would be wasted, doesn’t anyone consider the contribution of already unbearable debt service to unsustainable, broke California’s budget woes?

I’ve lost track of the axiom number, if there ever was one, but how about the generality that supposes: “The amount of harm done by artificial impositions on previously undeveloped places is directly proportional to the amount of money spent on the development.”

I hope a few people will look up the origin and founding rationale for the California Coastal Trail (CCT), brush up on the contents of Chesbro’s SB 908—now part of state law, compare this segment of the CCT to footpaths already part of the CCT in undeveloped stretches elsewhere, read the staff report supporting this grant for its misrepresentations and irrelevant padding, and head off to the Coastal Conservancy meeting on the 17th to try to kill any foolish spending of our tax-supported grant money for coastal access on this scam.

The item has been removed from the Coastal Conservancy agenda as of today. 

The Coastal Conservancy has decided to wait to make a decision on funding for now.  It’s possible that the Coastal Commission will require modifications to avoid impacts to ESHA (Environmentally Sensitive Habitat Areas).  If the trail width is reduced the cost could be reduced as well.

The guiding principle for the Reserve from the adopted FMR Master Plan:

“The fundamental concept underlying the Master Plan is that protection of the outstanding natural resources of the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve will require a new approach to management of ecological systems and visitors in future years, and that the best way to accomplish this goal is to emphasize the sensitivity of the resource, to enhance the educational value of the Reserve, to manage visitation, and to limit use of the Reserve as a recreation destination.”