Nonprofit discusses plans to protect beaches

CARLSBAD — The nonprofit group Friends of Cardiff and Carlsbad State Beaches, or FCCSB, is closer than ever to taking its star project from conception to construction to completion.
Plans for Pelican Point, a multi-purpose area dreamed up for the South Carlsbad State Park’s north end, are ready to go. Materials have been ordered and eager volunteers have signed up to help, but the group must now wait for a weekend of perfect weather before they start.
Construction is expected to begin this weekend if the weather cooperates, board member Denis Kessler said at the group’s monthly board meeting Feb. 25. It has already been delayed by two weeks due to the recent winter storms.
“We’re replacing the surf concession and making it a multi-use area,” said Brian Ketterer, the north district superintendent for California State Parks. His team has worked closely with the FCCSB to make the proposed project a reality.
One of the FCCSB board’s newest members, landscape architect William Morrison, has been an integral part in getting the plans completed. His final design for Pelican Point includes a platform and native landscape that could serve as a backdrop for outdoor education, weddings and other special events.
The FCCSB is expecting to use the revenue generated by Pelican Point in fulfilling the group’s mission to “assist and support California State Parks in protecting and preserving San Elijo and Carlsbad beaches,” Kevin Dyerly, newly instated board president, said.
Funding for the Pelican Point project has come from a variety of sources. Materials and labor have been generously donated, while money recovered from drug dealers in Carlsbad has also been put into the project, Ketterer said. The FCCSB has personally contributed using fundraisers like Christmas in July and by cashing in recyclables from the campgrounds, board member Bill Mahoney said.
Aside from the large-scale Pelican Point project, the FCCSB will also support this year’s Beach Fest, helping the next generation of Carlsbad residents “really become stewards of our coastlines,” Ketterer said. They are sponsoring the third annual grassroots beach cleanup that is expected to draw its largest crowd yet, Mahoney said.
Annual FCCSB members and other community residents are encouraged to get involved and donate their time where possible to the preservation efforts. As the FCCSB continues to grow, they will highlight opportunities where people can donate their time and energy to help the area.
“That’s where people can put their heart into it,” said Carlsbad resident Dennis Conlon, who encouraged the group to reach out to nearby neighborhoods for help.
For more information on how to get involved with the FCCSB, e-mail FriendsofCardiffCarlsbad@yahoo.com.

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