Coastal land

The exchange of coastal land is expected to improve recreation options in Half Moon Bay. 

Nonprofit Peninsula Open Space Trust has transferred a significant portion of open space in Half Moon Bay to another nonprofit it says is better suited to manage the land and the hiking trails on it in perpetuity.   

POST recently announced the transfer of 212 parcels totaling 88 acres of Wavecrest open space, located just south of Poplar Beach, to the Coastside Land Trust. 

“There’s a whole ecosystem of conservation groups and we all play our different roles,” said Marti Tedesco, POST’s chief marketing officer. “Our primary role is to raise money to purchase land, but we’re not really set up to manage and steward properties long term so our business model has us transferring property to [nonprofits and government agencies] to support trail design, maintenance and ongoing public access.”

Wavecrest open space was established in 2008 when POST protected an initial 200 acres of wetlands being eyed for residential development, according to a press release. Since then, CLT has managed the lands, creating and maintaining trails for hiking and coastal access.

Earlier this year, the CLT announced plans to extend the Wavecrest Trail, connecting the California Coastal Trail to Redondo Beach and extending it another 2 miles along the coastal bluffs.

“Similar to Pillar Point further north, CLT and POST have been protecting and managing individual properties over the years in order to formalize and improve a connected network of recreational trails that are safe for people while also protecting open space on our coastal blufftops,” Jo Chamberlain, executive director of CLT, said in the release. “This is an exciting project that will continue to play out in the years ahead and we are working now to raise the funds needed to care for this fragile place in perpetuity.”

Tedesco added that technically the public has been trespassing on the Wavecrest open space, which has long been popular with dog walkers and sports teams as well as hikers.

“The good news is the public is used to going out there, but the trails are not always the safest or best for the habitat so by preserving it with the Coastside Land Trust they can make sure the trails are in the right spot to mitigate coastal erosion, to be safer for the public and wildlife.” 

Each nonprofit is contributing about $230,000 to the transfer, Tedesco said. That number was determined by taking the cumulative value of the land being transferred minus private contributions to the transaction and then POST and CLT split the remaining amount. 

“This is a very typical coastal story of a place that’s had a lot of different lives and this is the beginning of a new chapter and new life for the Wavecrest area that will continue to unfold in the years ahead.”

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