On multiple fronts, EHL and its coalition partners stepped up efforts to save San Onofre State Beach and its popular campground from the proposed extension of the Foothill toll road in southern Orange and northern San Diego Counties.

Although the toll road agency is expected to certify an EIR for an alignment which cruelly bisects San Onofre State Beach, expert comments were submitted on its legal deficiecies. For example, impacts to the endangered Pacific pocket mouse, cougars, and public recreation were all sidestepped.

The toll road agency’s claim that no viable alternatives exist was debunked through engineering studies. Indeed, the claim of extensive displacement of structures if Interstate 5 were widened turned out to be wildly exaggerated, showing that the option of improving existing infrastructure never got a fair hearing. EHL took a lead role in coordinating these studies.

With the support of our coalition, the Cities of Oceanside, Aliso Viejo, and Laguna Beach passed resolutions or wrote letters opposing a route through San Onofre State Beach. A group of 120 businesspeople also weighed in. Efforts were also made to educate Governor Schwarzenegger via meetings with top Administration officials and a full page newspaper ad placed by the Sierra Club in the Sacramento Bee.

EHL's partners include the California State Parks Foundation, Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club, Surfrider Foundation, Sea and Sage Audubon, Audubon California, Laguna Greenbelt, Inc., and Defenders of Wildlife.