Trust for Public Land Launches $30 Million Campaign to Protect Deer Creek Beach and Jump Start Public Access
Privately owned, Deer Creek Beach includes 2.2 miles of California Coastline, beach access and 1,250 acres of coastal mountains with critical biodiversity and wildlife habitat. Once completed, it will be the largest ever inholding addition to the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.
Los Angeles, CA – Trust for Public Land [TPL] with funding support from the National Park Foundation, and along with local elected leaders, announced today an effort to permanently protect Deer Creek Beach, which includes over 2 miles of pristine California coastline and 1,250 acres of undeveloped mountainside, which will become part of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area (SMMNRA).
“This privately owned property has been a top conservation priority for decades. What Deer Creek Beach represents not only for coastal conservation, regional biodiversity, but outdoor recreation and an increase in outdoor equity for Southern California is immense. For TPL to lead in safeguarding the largest expansion of the Santa Monica Mountains and protect over 2 miles of Southern California beachfront is a truly an honor and is a once-in-a-lifetime conservation opportunity,” said Guillermo Rodriguez, California state director and vice president-Pacific region for Trust for Public Land. “Thank you to the National Park Foundation for joining efforts to raise funds to jump start public access and a huge thank you to California Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin for leading the charge in the State Legislature to secure the $10 million in state funds and Senators Stern and Limon for their support to protect this incredible landscape. Without them this would not have been possible.”
Long eyed by developers and conservationists and the subject of significant litigation over the past 25 years, Deer Creek Beach, known formerly as the legendary Mansdorf property, has signified one of the rarest and largest conservation opportunities on the Southern California coastline in a generation. TPL was able to secure an exclusive agreement to purchase the property and is on track to close, hold and eventually convey the property to the National Park Service.
The property stretches over 2 miles of coastline and beachfront and 1,250 acres of coastal hillsides just west of Malibu, east of Oxnard and adjacent to Point Mugu State Park. Once completed, these 1,250 acres will be the largest ever inholding contributed to the expansion of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area and will be managed by the National Park Service.
Protecting this incredible property is made possible by a $10 million public investment, spearheaded by California State Assembly Member Jacqui Irwin and championed by Senators Henry Stern and Monique Limon. With their leadership and support we are closer to protecting this landscape.
“Our community highly values the thousands of acres of protected open space and wildlife habitat within the local mountains. As a frequent user of the beautiful trials within the Santa Monica Mountains, I was pleased to be able to champion the drive to secure $10 million in state funding to assist in making this purchase possible. The Deer Creek parcel represents the largest unprotected property along the coast and the 1250 acres will provide significant additional recreation opportunities as well as wildlife habitat protection,” said Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin. “Thank you to Trust for Public Land for working to protect this property.”
By borrowing funds, TPL purchased the property and entered into an agreement with the National Park Service to work together over the next two years. During this time, TPL will work to raise additional funds to eventually convey ownership of Deer Creek Beach to the National Park Service as part of a new addition to the SMMNRA, the country’s largest urban National Recreation Area, for stewardship and recreational use for future generations. The National Park Foundation, the official philanthropic partner of the National Park Service, is also a pivotal partner in raising private funds for management costs of the property until NPS can acquire and provide public access to the property in perpetuity. The protection of this property was made possible by a generous operating grant of $529,000 from the National Park Foundation.
“Great partnerships are the hallmark of successful conservation,” said Will Shafroth, president and CEO of the National Park Foundation. “The Foundation is grateful to partner with Trust for Public Land and the National Park Service to help ensure that the stunning vistas of this coastal landscape will be protected and made accessible to all.”
Perched above Highway 1, from the bluffs of Deer Creek Canyon, the property gives stunning views of Los Angeles and Ventura Counties, with the Islands of Anacapa, Santa Cruz and Catalina emerging beyond the Pacific Ocean. During winter migration months, gray and humpback whales can be seen making their journey south, while dolphins, sea lions and other marine life are teeming on this undisturbed 2-mile stretch of coastline. But not only does Deer Creek Beach provide unspoiled coastal habitat, but the mountains and bluffs serve as critical sanctuary for the local mountain lion, along with deer, coyote, and a myriad of coastal birds.
Beyond the sweeping vistas and biological diversity being protected, Deer Creek Beach also contains an important segment of the proposed Coastal Slope Trail (CST), a 70-mile recreational trail network stretching from Topanga State Park to Point Mugu State Park. Once completed, the Coastal Slope Trail will give backpackers and hikers more than 30 miles of California coastal hiking trails with unfettered, breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean and coastal mountains.
Besides substantive public and philanthropic resources that have helped jumpstart this campaign to protect Deer Creek, regional business leaders like Yardi Systems have joined in, with a significant gift toward acquisition of the property.
“Since the company’s beginnings in Santa Barbara in 1984, we have always been an integral part of the communities in which we operate. We believe it is vitally important to contribute to the health and well-being of those communities,” said Arnie Brier, Senior Vice President of Yardi Systems. “That is why Yardi is very proud to contribute to Trust for Public Land’s decades-long effort to protect this recreational and regional treasure that is near to our hearts on the California coast.”
Deer Creek’s protection marks the 24th project successfully closed by TPL in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, protecting a total of 6,149 acres for future generations.
About Trust for Public Land
Trust for Public Land (TPL) is a national nonprofit that works to connect everyone to the benefits and joys of the outdoors. As a leader in equitable access to the outdoors, TPL works with communities to create parks and protect public land where they are needed most. Since 1972, TPL has protected more than 3 million acres of public land, created more than 5,000 parks, trails, schoolyards, and iconic outdoor places, raised $84 billion in public funding for parks and public lands, and connected more than 9 million people to the outdoors. To learn more, visit tpl.org.