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Coastside Protection Program
The Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District's Coastside Protection Program became a reality on September 7, 2004, when the Certificate of Completion of Annexation extended the District's boundary to the Pacific Ocean from the City of Pacifica to the Santa Cruz County line. The District spent more than 7 years developing the Program in collaboration with coastside residents and agricultural community.
The San Mateo coast, with its forested rural backdrop and rolling ranch and agricultural land, has a history dating back to the Ohlone Indians, the region's first settlers. Today the coastside is threatened by inappropriate development and sprawl. In response to overwhelming concern by San Mateo County residents, the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District has partnered with coastsiders to share the important responsibility of protecting coastal land. The program is projected to protect approximately 11,800 acres of the coastside as open space and agricultural land over 15 years beginning in 2004.
The program will:
Preserve the rural heritage and scenic beauty of the San Mateo coast by extending the boundaries of the District to protect watersheds and habitat for sensitive species and guard against traffic congestion and sprawl.
Open coastland previously closed to the public for the community to enjoy. More people, including hikers, mountain bikers, and equestrians, will be able to experience firsthand the beauty of the coastside through linked trails and environmental educational and recreational programs.
Preserve the coastside's precious agricultural land by creating partnerships with local farmers - or agricultural trusts - which would financially support farmers so that they can continue farming while guaranteeing the community that the land will remain undeveloped.
Create democratic representation and accountability. Extension of the District to the coast will ensure that Coastsiders are represented by an elected official. The Coastside Protection Program also calls for the District to hold open Board meetings and a series of coastal area workshops where residents' viewpoints will inform significant planning and decision-making related to the coastside.
Bring much-needed services to the coastside. These services include 24-hour, radio-dispatched rangers and staff trained in law enforcement, first-aid, and wildland fire suppression. For example, District rangers helped the California Department of Forestry and the Half Moon Bay Fire Department to suppress a fire that spread through about 30 acres along Higgins-Purisima Road near Half Moon Bay.
For more information about the services that would be provided by the District under the Coastside Protection Program, please review the Service Plan.