HWC- Signs on to Protect the Tomales Dunes
At the request of the West Marin Camaign to Protect Tomales Dunes, the HWC upon review and cosideration agreed with thier position and signed on the the below printed letter. Feb 24, 2010… For more information contact:
Environmental Action Committee of West Marin Campaign to Protect Tomales Dunes P.O.Box 884 Inverness, CA 94937: Contact Person: Catherine Caufield at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their website: http://www.eacmarin.org/campaigns/tomales_dunes.php
February 15, 2010
Peter Douglas, Executive Director
California Coastal Commission
45 Fremont Street #2000
San Francisco, CA 94105-2219
Re: Lawson’s Landing Coastal Permit, 137 Marine View Drive, Dillon Beach, Marin County, CA
Dear Mr. Douglas,
The undersigned organizations would like to remind you of the biological importance of Tomales Dunes, and urge you to ensure that all developments at Lawson’s Landing are consistent with the California Coastal Act.
Tomales Dunes is a complex of several distinct habitats that comprise the largest unprotected dune system in central California: mature mobile dunes, central dune scrub, dune prairie, and dune wetlands. It has the richest collection of seasonal wetlands in central California, ranging from freshwater ponds, to marshes, to wet meadows–known collectively as “dune slacks.” The recent commitment by USFWS and the State Coastal Conservancy of $1.5 million to protect these wetlands is an indication of their national significance.
A rain-fed underground spring has created a dynamic and unique “Grand Canyon of the Sands” which is recut and reshaped in wet winters, the only such dune canyon in central California. Tomales Dunes is also one of only four sites in the entire country with gegenwalle, residual sand ridges that show the progression of dune-wetland margins, as mobile dunes migrate downwind and new dunes slacks are formed.
This extraordinary site supports at least nine listed and special-status species, as well as other rare and unusual species of Marin County. It provides crucial roosting and foraging habitat for the dozens of species of shorebirds and other wetland birds that depend on Tomales Bay during winter and migration. And it is one of only eight sites in North America where Pacific Golden-Plovers (Pluvialias fulva) have been known to overwinter. Though the aggressive alien, European beachgrass (Ammophila arenaria) is encroaching, Tomales Dunes is one of the few dune systems in California that still has a vital population of native dune grasses, including a recently discovered and still-undescribed native grass.
Lawson’s Landing is also a great location for public camping and day-use, which should be open to the public, not reserved for a few fortunate leaseholders. Recreation and sensitive coastal resources can co-exist at Tomales Dunes as long as the protections mandated by the Coastal Act are enforced. Recreational use must be at a level that is compatible with a healthy ecosystem. All wetlands and other environmentally sensitive habitat areas must be identified and protected with appropriate buffers. In addition, the damage caused by past decades of unpermitted use must be repaired by implementation of a long-term management plan that will restore and protect the site’s sensitive coastal resources, including mobile dunes, dune wetlands, and coastal dune scrub, and deal with the problem of invasive species.
Tomales Dunes is one of California’s coastal treasures. Please protect it!
Bill Thorington, President
Humboldt Watershed Council
P.O. Box 1301, Eureka, CA 95502