Today's Tomorrow at Surfer's Beach

Country Almanac—July 27, 1971

The old Coast Highway referenced a July 27, 1971 Country Almanac article was moved inland subsequently and has entirely disappeared due to the bluff erosion.  The existing Highway 1 with rip-rap protection at Surfer's Beach will continue to become problematic, and will need to be moved inland in the not too distant future.

The prescience of the Committee for Green Foothills letter regarding the dramatic accelerated erosion south of the breakwater and continuous silting in of the harbor — trapping sand supply to the beaches to the South is ironic, given the present day situation.

The proposed Marina project mentioned in the article was scaled back considerably, and the Coastal Commission conditioned the permit for the Harbor to require half of the berths be reserved for commercial fishermen.  The “New England Fishing Village” plans of Deane and Deane were greatly scaled back.  The development plans for their 8,000 acres surrounding HMB, Moss Beach, and Montara, have not materialized, thanks to Committee for Green Foothills and other environmental groups opposing various projects, and ultimately POST acquiring nearly every acre to protect as open space.  

There’s a bit in here about how the Harbor District was dissolved by a countywide vote (Committee for Green Foothills was very involved in that effort), and then subsequently revived from the ashes by the Harbor District’s attorney, Jim Dennis.

But - some of the lessons “learned” — especially those dealing with natural processes — have to be “learned” over and over again.  

Note from Committee for Green Foothills: 

CGF’s letter calling for an EIR and public hearings on the first phase of the proposed marina at Pillar Point Harbor was ignored by the SMC Planning Commission. 

Note that the breakwater extension, constructed only six years before this article, was already causing extensive damage along the shore.  The Coast Highway did disappear, we have another article that shows Ken Lajoie and some folks on a CGF field trip looking at the crumbling old Highway One just south of Coronado Street, and what we have now is significantly inland.

Tidelands Grant 

Read the 1960 state tidelands grant for the San Mateo County Harbor District


Half Moon Bay tries to unload Surfer's Beach


Historian Barbara Healy Stickel on Pillar Point

 

Barbara Healy Stickel is a retired commercial fisherman and a maritime
historian. As part of her undergraduate history studies, she interned with
the National Park Service and compiled the following reports:

COASTAL EXPLORATION, SHIPPING & SHIPWRECKS

Pillar Point—Coastal Exploration by Barbara Healy Stickel →

SAN MATEO COUNTY FISHING HISTORY

History of Fishing at Pillar Point by Barbara Healy Stickel →

 

Barbara Healy Stickel fishing for red rockfish off Point Sal, CA—around 1994

Barbara Healy Stickel fishing for red rockfish off Point Sal, CA—around 1994


Pietro Parravano requested dissolution of the Harbor District.

In 1992, Pietro Parravano, President of the Half Moon Bay Fisherman's Marketing Association, mailed a letter to LAFCo requesting dissolution of the San Mateo County Harbor District.

In 1998, SMC Harbor Commissioner Don Shearer, who served with Pietro Parravano as Vice President of the HMB Fisherman's Marketing Association, pleaded guilty for embezzlement. It was reported in the San Francisco Chronicle that President Parravano gave Don Shearer the stack of blank checks Shearer used for embezzling money from the HMB Fisherman's Marketing Association and the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations.

In 2012, Pietro Parravano's attempt at grant fraud from Bay Area Air Quality Management District was reported in the Half Moon Bay Review. A whistle-blower triggered an investigation by the Air Quality District and the $83,000. Carl Moyer Air Quality Grant from the state was rescinded.


The Army Corps of Engineers built a small prototype of the Pillar Point Harbor breakwater in Vicksburg, Mississippi.