The preservation project "California Coastal Trail" in collaboration with the California Coastal Commission, a State Agency, and our broadcast partner at KCET / PBS Socal, started as a small survey of videos along the 3 most southern counties along the coastline. After the first season in 2014 it became quickly clear that this project came with the amazing opportunity to meet many people in the field working relentlessly on saving and protecting what many of us consider the most beautiful and best protected 1200-mile coastline on the planet. It's certainly the most visited stretch along any ocean and of significant value to both the state's economy and the people living and visiting within the coastal zone. Little did we know that the first few trips along the ocean towards the Mexican boarder and especially up north towards San Luis Obispo would introduce us to the people who truly get the stuff done, sometimes quietly and matter of factly, sometimes with a big bullhorn that was heard all the way to Sacramento and Washington, DC -- yet always with great expertise and incredible determination.
Supported by annual Whale Tale Grants from the California Coastal Commission we were able to make our way north towards the Oregon border. By 2019 we had accumulated more than 60 short films, visited all 15 counties and our teams were exposed to incredibly moving stories and events that all of us have carried in our hearts since then. In 2019 we were fortunate enough to give the story one more spin and gather enough material for a 60-minute special called "California Coast: Within Sight, Scent and Sound of the Ocean," broadcast across the nation on PBS stations and eventually winning an Emmy Award for Independent Programming that we could share with our partners at the California Coastal Commission.
Below the KCET Press release for season 1 (of 5) for “CALIFORNIA COASTAL TRAIL:”
This program aims To Educate The Public About The Trail’s Usability And The Southern California Coastline As A Travel Destination
Burbank, Calif. – May 4, 2015 – KCET, the nation’s largest independent public television station, presents CALIFORNIA COASTAL TRAIL at kcet.org/coastaltrail, a robust digital field guide which aims to raise awareness about the California Coastal Trail; its past, its present, and future through a series of videos, online guides, and historical narratives. The online series will explore the trail, which got its start in a 1972-approved ballot measure, that will be some 1,200 miles long and always be within sight, sound, or smell of the ocean along the state's coast between the Mexican and Oregon borders.
Over the course of 18 weeks, CALIFORNIA COASTAL TRAIL will provide a comprehensive look at the trails, beaches, coasts, restoration efforts and travel destinations of San Diego County, Orange County, Los Angeles County, Ventura County, Santa Barbara County and San Luis Obispo County. Partially funded by The California Coastal Conservancy, CALIFORNIA COASTAL TRAIL will roll out content on an almost daily basis now through Labor Day.
"It's exciting to be sharing California's southern coast with our audience, which includes both the casual vacationer and California history buffs. I hope the project will be a great resource for planning and inspiring trips to one of California's greatest assets for years to come," said Zach Behrens, Director of News, Region and State. "We were pleased to work with Rigler Creative on the series of videos to bring the stories of the coast to life."
California Coastal Trail Fact Sheet:
The California Coastal Trail (CCT) is a network of public trails for walkers, bikers, equestrians, wheelchair riders and others along the California coastline. It is currently more than half complete. Coastwalk California is a volunteer organization that advocates for completion of the Trail. It is the only state-wide non-profit that is actively engaged in the long-term, collaborative effort to complete the California Coastal Trail. The project is a joint undertaking of the Coastal Conservancy, in cooperation with the Coastal Commission, State Parks, Coastwalk, and numerous community groups and non-profits.
Upon completion, the trail will be 1,200 miles long spanning from Oregon to Mexico. The trail is currently about halfway complete, and expenses are predicted to reach $668,350,000 when finished. "The California Coastal Trail will not be one single pathway that connects the entire coastline. It will consist of different, and approximately parallel trails that accommodate the needs of varying visitors. Some portions of the trail will be for beach walkers, and other sections will be for bicyclists and equestrians.
The Coastal Initiative stating that “A hiking, bicycle, and equestrian trails system shall be established along or near the coast” and that “ideally the trails system should be continuous and located near the shoreline” was passed in 1972 with 55% popular vote. Policy makers and coastal managers have envisioned a continuous coastal trail in California for generations. Governor Davis and the White House Millennium Trail Council designated the California Coastal Trail as California’s Millennium Legacy Trail in 1999. Due to its new recognition, federal agencies began to aid in the development of the trail. In 2001, state legislation approved the completion of the trail, which led to its designation as a state trail. In 2001, the State Coastal Conservancy was directed to provide the specifications needed to complete the coastal trail and their report came out in 2003. Activity on the project since 2003 is listed in the "What's New" section on the California Coastal Trail website.