River Watch Litigation Protects North Coast Wetland

Protection for Wetlands

River Watch achieved substantial protection for a northcoast wetland, agreeing with Rouse Properties Inc. on a comprehensive set of steps to ensure maintenance of approximately 15 acres adjoining the Bayshore Mall in Eureka. River Watch filed litigation in 2012 alleging failure by the owners of the Mall to comply with its obligations under a California Coastal Act permit. Under a settlement agreement entered into on October 11th, River Watch and the Mall agreed the Mall will:

1. Work with the City of Eureka to perform joint maintenance of vegetation in so-called Restoration Areas “A” and “B,” subject to and consistent with the continuing regulation and oversight by the California Coastal Commission;

2. Repair all existing fences abutting portions of Restoration Areas “A” and “B” as soon as practicable upon the discovery of a breach;

3. Use its best efforts to perform the activities set forth in the 1989 “Guidelines for Wetland Maintenance” detailing protections Restoration Areas “A” and “B”;

4. Cooperate with the City of Eureka to address the unfortunate long-term misuse of Restoration Areas “A” and “B” as homeless encampments; and

5. Provide 10 years of funding to the local Eureka nonprofit “New Directions,” supporting its work to both implement the restoration and maintenance efforts under the 1989 “Guidelines” and to promote its efforts to address respectfully the homeless population impacting the wetlands.

River Watch counsel David Weinsoff observed that “River Watch’s citizen suit in this matter addresses the need for vigilant enforcement of the important mandate established under Proposition 20 and the California Coastal Act to preserve and protect our threatened coastal resources.”

For additional information on the River Watch settlement and the organization’s coastal protection program, contact
us@ncriverwatch.org or
California River Watch
290 S. Main St. #817
Sebastopol CA 95436