Grant to help restore historic Princess Street Coastal Access Trail
by DAVE SCHWAB
Published - 05/29/19 - 09:32 AM | 2025 views | 0 0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A $38,860 seed grant has been awarded to the Environmental Center of San Diego by the California Coastal Conservancy to restore the historic Princess Street Coastal Access Trail in La Jolla.

When finished, the rehabilitated Princess Trail, to be open between sunrise and sunset, will provide public access to a stretch of the shoreline now isolated by development. The planned trail will descend 50 feet from the public street at the bluff top to the beach below and State Marine Reserve and La Jolla Underwater Park. 

The CCC is a state agency established in 1976 to enhance coastal resources and access. The ECOSD is a volunteer-run non-profit preserving and protecting the natural environment through education, advocacy and action. 

ECOSD board member and project lead Pam Heatherington said conservancy grant funds will support the first phase of the Princess trail-restoration project. That is to include pre-construction assessment and preparation of the site, as well as a master plan design for the trail. 

 “We are thrilled to have the support of the CCC,” said Heatherington. “We will work with urgency to honor the decades-long efforts of local coastal-access advocates that has yielded this important victory for the public.”

Heatherington said SB&O, Inc., a San Diego multi-disciplined firm founded in 1967, which specializes in urban and land planning, civil engineering and land surveying, staked out the trail initially last October to mark the trail footprint.

“The Urban Corp will go in next to brush cut to six inches, which will allow SB&O to come back in and do a topographical survey,” she said. “Rana Creek Design will then do the design once the topographical survey is completed.”

The CCC grant is only for the project’s first phase. “Once we have a design for the trail, we will start fund raising and grant writing for its completion,” said Heatherington adding ECOSD will partner with the San Diego Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation for preservation and oversight of the access trail.

Later phases for the trail-restoration project are to include fundraising, construction, completion, and a Native American blessing of the trail before it is opened.

The Environmental Center, in partnership with the San Diego Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation will maintain and monitor the trail and landscaping upon completion.

The trail has been the subject of a 40-year long effort by the La Jolla community and CCC to protect and restore the trail that had been used since the early 1900’s as a path to the beach by fishermen, skin divers and surfers. 

“After years of effort by the La Jolla community and the California Coastal Commission, I look forward to seeing people using the trail again," said coastal-access advocate Anthony Ciani.

The trail project is endorsed by numerous community organizations including the San Diego Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation, La Jolla Park & Beaches, WindanSea Surf Club and the San Diego Dive Club.

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