Harbor contains five beaches: Capistrano Beach, Yacht Club Beach, Marsh Beach, MavericksBeach, Inner Harbor Beach, and Beach House Beach.Pillar Point Harbor comprises an inner harbor and outer harbor. The inner harbor berths 180commercial fishing vessels and approximately 200 recreational boats, and is encompassedwithin the much larger outer harbor area. The harbor area houses commercial venturesincluding several restaurants, hotels, shops, a fertilizer plant, three commercial fish buyers,sport fishing concessions, a yacht club, two kayak rental companies, a recreational vehicle park, and an Air Force facility situated on the bluff overlooking the Outer Harbor. Outside of the Outer Harbor area but within the project study area are conference facilities, residentialareas, and additional commercial ventures as well as a pump station for the Sewer AuthorityMid-coastsideThe project area is also within the boundaries of the James V. Fitzgerald Marine ReserveCritical Coastal Area (CCA) Pilot Project. The marine reserve is a designated Area of SpecialBiological Significance and the CCA pilot project, jointly administered by the State Water Resources Control Board and the California Coastal Commission, is to foster collaborationamong local stakeholders and government agencies to better coordinate resources and focusefforts on coastal watersheds in critical need of protection from polluted runoff. The CCAwill develop an action plan to reduce non-point source pollution by 2010 and intends tocoordinate closely with this project to identify and remediate sources of fecal contaminationin Pillar Point Harbor.
NEED FOR PROJECT
The public health impact of the impaired waters may impact commercial ventures, harbor activities, tourism, recreation, ecological habitat, and sources of drinking water for municipalutilities in the watershed. The harbor area has approximately 100,000 visitors annually and isheavily used recreationally by boating enthusiasts, kayakers, windsurfers, campers, hikers,dog walkers, bird watchers, swimmers, waders, families, clam diggers, surfers, and thousandsof spectators for the world famous Mavericks big wave surf break.Pillar Point Harbor water quality chronically is so poor that the State Water ResourcesControl Board recently listed the location as impaired by coliform bacteria on the 303(d) listsubmitted to the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Capistrano Beach haselevated levels of fecal indicator bacteria, such as E. coli and Enterococcus on over 95% of sampling events in wet and dry conditions. This beach has been ranked for several years bythe Heal the Bay's Report Card as a “Beach Bummer,” meaning that it is in the top ten most polluted beaches in California in dry weather conditions. In 2005/2006, Capistrano Beachranked sixth on the “Beach Bummer” list. It was the worst ranked beach in NorthernCalifornia and is a Clean Beaches Task Force Priority Beach with regard to fecal pollution.Capistrano Beach is permanently posted by the San Mateo County Environmental HealthDepartment as a potential health hazard.In 2005 and 2006, San Mateo County Department of Environmental Health repeatedly posted beaches in the Harbor as potential health hazards. Capistrano Beach was posted mostfrequently, approximately 50 weeks in each year. Marsh Beach was posted over 20 weeks in
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