Scripps Institution of Oceanography and UC San Diego leaders gathered with friends and supporters on June 2, 2015, for a ribbon-cutting and dedication ceremony for the newly expanded Scripps Coastal Meander Trail.
The new 380-foot public path, on the northern portion of the Scripps campus in La Jolla, along with existing trails to the south known collectively as the Scripps Coastal Meander, are the latest addition to the California Coastal Trail, a network of public trails along the state’s 1,200-mile coastline.
During the ceremony, held at the trail entrance overlooking views of the Ellen Browning Scripps Memorial Pier, La Jolla Shores, and La Jolla Cove, UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep Khosla spoke about the importance, as a public research university, of sharing the campus’s resources, knowledge, and discoveries with community members. Scripps Director Margaret Leinen called the trail a source of inspiration and underscored Scripps’s connections with the surrounding public community in a relationship that goes back more than 100 years. Joan Cardellino of the California State Coastal Conservancy stressed the importance of partnerships with state institutions in forging successes that enhace the California Coastal Trail.
The trail features a sensitively designed pathway and boardwalk traversing a coastal terrace 150 to 200 feet above the beach, re-vegetated with drought-tolerant native plant species.
Construction of the trail was funded by a $350,000 grant from the California Coastal Conservancy and $262,000 in additional funding from Scripps Oceanography, with the goal of expanding public access and enjoyment of coastal view trails at Scripps. The new trail extends the Coastal Meander northward to a spot that will eventually connect to a second scenic overlook with public parking for visitors.
The trail was designed and built with diligent attention to avoid impacts on environmental and cultural resources, respecting the steep terrain and natural beauty of this site. In addition to offering beautiful ocean, beach, and whitewater vistas, portions of the Scripps Coastal Meander serve as a showcase for habitat restoration and storm water pollution prevention efforts to protect the beach and coastal waters of the La Jolla Ecological Preserve, a state-designated Area of Special Biological Significance.
With new signage and mapping marking the Scripps Coastal Meander as a new strand in the California Coastal Trail, this project is a testament to the partnership and shared values between the California Coastal Conservancy and Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego.
— Mario C. Aguilera and Ken Hall