Throughout Rep. Eshoo’s tenure in Congress she has consistently fought for expanding and protecting local conservation projects.
Cotoni-Coast Dairies National Monument
On January 12, 2017, President Obama designated the Cotoni-Coast Dairies lands in Santa Cruz County as part of the California Coastal National Monument. The President’s designation will permanently protect the Cotoni-Coast Dairies lands which are located eight miles north of the City of Santa Cruz on the scenic Pacific Coast Highway. The property stretches from Highway 1 up into the Santa Cruz Mountains and is home to picturesque coastal terraces; 500 acres of redwood forest; six watersheds; and four known Native American archeological sites, with many others likely undiscovered. The name Cotoni-Coast Dairies honors the indigenous people who historically inhabited the land as well as its more recent history as a dairy.
Congresswoman Eshoo introduced legislation (H.R. 908) on February 12, 2015, to designate the Coast Dairies lands as a National Monument. She later joined with her House and Senate colleagues in a statewide effort (H.R. 3565) to expand the existing California Coastal National Monument to include several new parcels along the coast. Senators Boxer (D-CA) and Feinstein (D-CA), and Representatives Jared Huffman (D-CA) and Lois Capps (D-CA) worked together on the legislation which enjoyed the strong support of the California Democratic Congressional Delegation and the Department of Interior. When Republicans blocked the legislation, Eshoo called on the President to use his authority under the Antiquities Act of 1906 to designate the land. In addition to Cotoni-Coast Dairies, the President’s proclamation added properties in Humboldt, San Luis Obispo, and Orange Counties to the existing California Coastal National Monument.
After the dairy that operated on the Cotoni-Coast Dairies land folded in the 1950s, private development of luxury homes and a nuclear power plant were proposed. After decades of such pressures, the Coast Dairies Ranch was acquired in 1998 by the Save the Redwoods League with funding from several local organizations and foundations, including the David and Lucille Packard Foundation. On April 14, 2014, the property was officially donated to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) but it remains closed to the public. The National Monument designation ensures that this land is permanently protected, allows for enhanced conservation attention to the land, and ensures future safe public access to this national treasure.
The California Coastal National Monument was originally established by President Clinton in 2000, to protect the picturesque offshore rocks and pinnacles along the 1,100-mile California Coast. President Obama’s proclamation prevents commercial logging and mining on the newly protected lands and requires BLM to develop a management plan in consultation with the local community that will allow safe public access to the property.
Supporters of the monument include Governor Jerry Brown, The Trust for Public Land, The Nature Conservancy, Conservation Lands Foundation, California Wildlife Foundation, Sempervirens Fund, Save the Redwoods League, Land Trust of Santa Cruz County, The Amah Mutsun Tribal Band, and Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST).
Pigeon Point Lighthouse
Pigeon Point Lighthouse has been a landmark of the Coastside since it first began aiding seafarers in 1872. It is still one of the tallest lighthouses in the country and it’s one of only five lighthouses to appear in the National Register of Historic Places. While there is much more work to be done to complete preservation, Rep. Eshoo is proud to have secured $250,000 in the House-passed 2011 Department of the Interior Federal funding bill to help with the renovation of this historic lighthouse. Although the Senate did not pass the final bill, Rep. Eshoo has continued to fight for funding and has written several letters in support of local grant applications. Click here to read a letter of support Rep. Eshoo sent to the California State Coastal Conservancy.
Moffett Field Bay Trail
Rep. Eshoo is proud to have worked on the Moffett Field Bay Trail expansion. Many stakeholders, including NASA Ames, local developers, and the Department of Justice, came together to find the appropriate path forward. A successful agreement was reached, and today pedestrians and bicyclists are able to enjoy the beauty of the Bay and nature along the new trail segment behind Moffett Federal Airfield. Click here to read more about the 500-mile recreational corridor extending around the shoreline of San Francisco Bay.
San Francisquito Creek
This Army Corps of Engineers project will provide flood protection, ecosystem restoration, and recreational enhancement for the cities of Palo Alto, East Palo Alto, Menlo Park, and portions of San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties. Each year, Rep. Eshoo has fought for funding for this project because it will provide flood protection to thousands of residents and enhance the ecosystem for native steelhead trout and other important Bay Area species. Click here to read Rep. Eshoo’s recent letter to the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works advocating on behalf of San Francisquito Creek.
Rep. Eshoo was successful in securing federal funding to purchase Bair Island and add it to the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge. Working with the Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST), Citizens to Complete the Refuge, and thousands of constituents, 1,600 acres of critical wetlands were permanently preserved for future generations. This action sustains a critical habitat for 123 species of birds, 13 species of mammals, and 63 species of fish. With only 15% of San Francisco Bay wetlands remaining, Rep. Eshoo is committed to protecting the remainder of the region’s natural environment.
In the years following the initial purchase, Rep. Eshoo has fought hard to obtain additional federal funding and support for the restoration of this important habitat, with restoration being underway for several years. In 2008, Rep. Eshoo helped facilitate the first “beneficial re-use” of dredge material from the Port of Redwood City. This material was deposited onto Inner Bair Island as part of the tidal wetland restoration and Rep. Eshoo worked to ensure successful future collaborative efforts.
As a strong conservation advocate, Rep. Eshoo continues to work with the Fish and Wildlife Service, the Army Corps of Engineers, Save the Bay, local governments and community groups to see that this important restoration project is completed.
South San Francisco Bay Wetlands
Rep. Eshoo led her California House colleagues in securing $8 million for the purchase of thousands of acres of precious San Francisco Bay wetlands from Cargill, Inc. With federal seed money and support, the state and federal government, along with four prominent California foundations (the Hewlett, Packard, Moore, and Goldman Foundations), were able to acquire approximately 15,000 acres of southern San Francisco Bay lands for inclusion in the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge. Under the leadership of the California Department of Fish and Game, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the California Coastal Conservancy, the process of returning these salt ponds to suitable tidal habitat is underway.
In the years following this initial purchase, Rep. Eshoo has helped secure millions of dollars in federal funding to enable the Army Corps of Engineers to initiate a study of the South Bay Shoreline. This work will help protect against flooding and foster the overall restoration effort.
Rancho Corral de Tierra – Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA)
After nearly five years of work, Congress passed the Rancho Corral de Tierra Golden Gate National Recreation Area Boundary Adjustment Act, and the bill became law on December 20, 2005. The bill expands the GGNRA boundary to include over 4,000 acres from Rancho Corral de Tierra near El Granada and 300 acres around Devil’s Slide.
Rep. Eshoo was a key cosponsor of the bill from its initial introduction in 2001 when she testified in support of it before the Senate Subcommittee on National Parks and spoke in favor of the bill in the House in December. The Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST) negotiated the acquisition of this property from willing sellers. In Fiscal Year 2010, Rep. Eshoo secured and Congress approved $5 million from the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund for Rancho Corral de Tierra. Rep. Eshoo has supported and secured $11 million in Appropriations over the last several years to help complete this transfer of one of the largest undeveloped pieces of land on the Peninsula
Sand Hill Bluff
Rep. Eshoo secured $2 million in federal funding through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for the acquisition of Sand Hill Bluff near Davenport in Santa Cruz County. This picturesque 154-acre property, suggestive of the Cliffs of Dover, is a 5,000 year-old archeological site. It will be managed by California State Parks, with a portion reserved for agriculture, and the lands will never be opened to development.