Project Accomplished – San Pedro Creek

On August 12, 2001 Mike Vasey, President of the Pacifica Land Trust, signed the final contract for the purchase of a 1.1-acre parcel of beachfront property along Linda Mar Beach. The property represented half of a 2.2 acre parcel owned by Mr. Robert Mahoney that stretched from the mouth of San Pedro Creek north to the Taco Bell. The acquisition of the land was made possible through the help of Scott Holmes of the City of Pacifica, the cooperation of Mr. Mahoney, and the generous support of Prentice Williams and Nadine Hitchcock of the Coastal Conservancy who contributed the purchase price of $1.1 million dollars. 

Eventually, the city was able to acquire all of the Mahoney beach acreage. The dilapidated buildings on the property were removed and the San Pedro Creek mouth and adjacent beach were restored to their native states. The property is now permanently protected from any form of development and became part of Pacifica State Beach. This acquisition also insured that the multi-million dollar flood control project upstream will remain viable because a constriction at the mouth would have jeopardized its function. So far, the flood control project and creek mouth enhancement have performed flawlessly.

The wetland area constructed at the mouth of the creek encourages Steelhead migration and provides habitat for birds and aquatic animals such as the California red-legged frog. It is noteworthy that San Pedro Creek supports one of the last remaining Steelhead fisheries along the San Mateo Coast; protection of this precious resource is vital to protecting fisheries along the California Coast.

The addition of the Mahoney property to the Pacifica State Beach by the Pacifica Land Trust represented a desperately needed expansion of the beach. In recent years Pacifica State Beach, also known as Linda Mar Beach, has become increasingly popular. People from all over San Mateo and San Francisco counties and from as far away as Santa Rosa and Sacramento are showing up on sunny weekends to take advantage of one of the best and safest beaches along the Central Coast. As a consequence, the carrying capacity of the beach at times is nearly exhausted. Space is at a premium and the Snowy Plover habitat in the north dunes is coming under increasing pressure. It will also protect the mid-region of the beach from future development, eliminate the need for future sea-walls to prevent flooding of existing homes and protect the mouth of San Pedro Creek and the Steelhead fishery.

San Pedro Creek at Pacifica State Beach. Photographs by Stephen Johnson.

Restored Beach 2004