I just heard something that upset me. The parks department is planning on starting to charge for parking at the few free beaches in Sonoma County. If you're familiar with the area, you know that there are very few places where people can enjoy the coast free of charge, and they're trying to take those away! The funds gathered wouldn't even necessarily stay local to help our coast, but could be put into the states general fund.
This is a bad idea. Above the fact that its just plain wrong to put a paywall up in front of every piece of our natural environment, it will cause congestion and danger on rt. 1 as people park along the side of the road or in ecologically sensitive areas to avoid paying.
For some great background on the issue, check out this op-ed from the Surfrider Foundation: HERE
This proposal is currently being reviewed, so now is the moment to fight back against it! If you want to show your support, email email@example.com and tell him we want to keep our beaches free. Feel free to use the sample email below:
I'm writing to express my concern over the proposal by the parks department to install pay stations at currently free beaches along Sonoma County Hwy 1. Given the already current lack of free public space along the coast, I think this policy is misguided to say the least. In addition to the issue of access, I believe that this proposal will cause congestion and danger alongside the highway was people attempt to avoid the pay stations, as well as endangering vulnerable ecosystems as people will create their own paths to the beach for the same reason. The board of supervisors voted unanimously against this proposal for good reason. Please respect the decision of the local leaders and reject this new fee on our coasts.