It is very hard to imagine that a City Council that just supported a marine fisheries act that seeks to protect the ecology of our coastline would lend their support to opening the last remaining naturally protected part of Laguna’s coastline. But the council never ceases to amaze me in both their wisdom and lack of.
I grew up back in the days when one could exercise the right to fish freely along the Laguna coast. Rockledge was one of our “secret spots” we gave many of the rock croppings nicknames and knew the ins and outs of navigating the delicate tide pools. We would access Rockledge from Victoria beach heading as far north as the tide and surf conditions permitted. As with many locals raised in this town, I am very familiar with this “secret” coastline of Laguna. There are many reason to not open beach access to Rockledge, here are two points that should suffice.
The Rockledge area is the last pristine piece of coastline in Laguna. It is naturally protected from the droves of people that smash through the tide pools year round. Case in point, while the City and the Montage did a nice job providing public access to Treasure Island, the tide pools have suffered tremendously and are only but a shadow of what they once were. This is a result of making a somewhat inaccessible place accessible.
The actual area of the coastline does not include much sand at all and virtually none when the tides are high and the surf is moderate to big. In actuality when the surf conditions are strong, yellow to red flag, the Rockledge coast gets shut off as the tide and the waves smash against the base of the cliffs; it is very easy to get trapped in the rocks. Does the city want to pay the cost of a lifeguard tower?
Bill Marlow, Laguna Beach