The Orange County Register (“After a 15-year battle, Trestles surf spot is saved,” November 11, 2016) was among several newspapers covering the announcement of a settlement agreement between the Transportation Corridor Agency and environmental groups.

“This agreement reflects this new thinking on their part that they want to look at these other options,” said Dan Silver, executive director of the Endangered Habitats League. 

In addition to wiping out the plans struck in 2006 and ’13, the deal announced Thursday pays about $7 million in legal fees to environmental groups. Also, the TCA agreed to create a $28 million conservation fund that will help restore the San Mateo Creek and its watershed, which could lead to the restoration of the southern steelhead trout population. An oversight committee will be part of the habitat restoration projects. 

Projects that could be funded through the settlement include land acquisitions, restoration or removal of exotic vegetation and cleaning up the water. 

Environmental groups may partner with other agencies to add money to the fund.

“The San Mateo Creek is a very special watershed,” Silver said. “It’s the only remaining undammed watershed in this part of California.”