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Surfers rally for Trestles, San Onofre historical status

January 5, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
The surf at Trestles draws people from around the world, and the Surfrider Foundation would like to see a 3-mile stretch of coastline, including lower Trestles, upper Trestles and several other strands at San Onofre State Beach placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

"San Onofre and Trestles played very important role in the history of surfing, modern surfing," said Matt McClain with the Surfrider Foundation. "We've had people enjoying the sport going back to the 1930s. The surf breaks down there are probably some of the best in the world."

Camp Pendleton owns the land, and the Navy leases it to the state. So far, Camp Pendleton officials say they do not have an official position. They are weighing the pros and cons of having the area placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Orange County Board of Supervisors is against the historical designation. Chair John Moorlach says not only could it interfere with the Marines' training, but he says Trestles is no more important to surf history than other places like Huntington Beach.

"The property was never really a surf spot until it was open to the public in 1971," said Moorlach. "We don't believe that Trestles is deserving of a national registry inclusion."

But that's not so to Kevin Naughton, who grew up surfing at Trestles.

"This place is the last little gem on the coast that we have here in Southern California," he said.

He hopes the area gets added protection that could come if it's recognized as a national treasure. People will get a chance to say how they feel about the idea when the California Historical Resources Commission meets next week.