Navy, Marines Oppose Historic Nomination for Trestles Beach

Part of the would-be "Trestles Historic District" encompasses a portion of the beach used by Camp Pendleton

By Monica Garske
|  Saturday, Feb 9, 2013  |  Updated 9:27 AM PDT
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Trestles Surf Spot

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Trestles Surf Spot

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The Department of the Navy and the U.S. Marine Corps have declared their stance against listing North County’s Trestle Beach on the National Historic Registry.

A representative for the Marine Corps Installations West presented the objection at a hearing Friday before the State Historical Resources Commission.

The representative cited a potential disruption of military readiness and “unacceptable risks to military training” as the reasons for objecting to the historic designation of the beach area.

According to Camp Pendleton officials, the Marine Corps has used the waters and beach areas within the boundaries of the proposed Trestles Historic District for military training and exercises since 1942.

The surf and beach spot provides the only amphibious access to much of the base’s training areas, and Marines argue that this continued access is crucial to Camp Pendleton’s mission, base officials said.

The proposed Trestles Historic District includes the stretch of beach and famous surfing points along San Onofre State Beach, Trestles Beach and the Marine Corps Base at Camp Pendleton.

Proponents, including preservationists and surfers, say the beach meets all the criteria for listing on the National Historic Registry. Surfers believe this stretch of beach has been significant to the development of the quintessential California sport.

However, Camp Pendleton officials say the Department of the Navy and Marine Corps have thoroughly reviewed the Trestles Historic District nomination and believe it does not meet eligibility criteria.

The Navy and Marine Corps say they will continue to support the shared use and accessibility of Trestles Beach, regardless of what happens.

As for the final decision on the historic designation, that’s up to the Keeper of the National Registry.

At this point, preliminary approval has been given for the Trestles Historic District. The final decision from federal officials is expected sometime later this year.

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