Thursday, May 26, 2016

McGuire Helps Nab $1 Million for PalCo Marsh Trail

Posted By on Thu, May 26, 2016 at 1:19 PM

Mike McGuire
  • Mike McGuire
North Coast State Sen. Mike McGuire announced this morning that he's helped secure $1 million in state funding for the Eureka Waterfront Trail, which will transform the PalCo Marsh from its current blighted state into a waterfront nature trail.

The funding will help fund the construction of 3.75 miles of new trail, which will consist of an 8- to 10-foot-wide paved path and interpretive signs, as well as bridges and a boardwalk to mitigate impacts to sensitive wetlands. Some of the funding will also go toward razing the old concrete lumber kilns that the city has deemed a massive liability.

And, in a press release announcing the funding, McGuire also makes clear that he's continuing to work to help find long-term solutions to find help for people like those recently evicted from encampments in the PalCo Marsh. Specifically, McGuire is pushing to get a $2 billion bond passed through the Legislature to help fund permanent supportive housing for the homeless throughout the state.

See the full press release from McGuire's office below.

After months of meetings, $1 million secured for PALCO Marsh transformation

Sacramento, CA – Today, the State Coastal Conservancy authorized $1 million to construct the Eureka Waterfront Trail, which will increase public access to the city’s beautiful bay front and marshes, connecting residents from natural coastal eco-systems to historic Old Town Eureka.

For months, Senator McGuire has been engaged with City of Eureka residents on PALCO Marsh. In March, Senator McGuire brought the involved state agencies together in Eureka to help move this project forward. Senator McGuire invited representatives from the Coastal Commission, the Coastal Conservancy, the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board, and the state’s Housing and Community Development department to the City of Eureka to collaborate on the project.

“We promised the residents of Eureka that the State would be an active partner in PALCO Marsh and we believe this $1 million investment will help solidify the long term transformation of the Marsh,” Senator Mike McGuire said. “Dozens of folks were involved to help move this investment forward and we are grateful for the collaboration of the Eureka City Council and staff, Coastal Commission representatives along with the hard working team from the Coastal Conservancy.”

These funds will construct 3.75 miles of new trail, which will consist of 8 to 10 foot wide paved sections with gravel shoulders. The trail system will open up a significant portion of the Marsh for public access in perpetuity.

In addition to the paved surface, the new trail will include a boardwalk section to avoid impacts to wetlands and seven bridges. The project also includes installation of trailheads, interpretive signs, parking and lighting. When the proposed project is complete, the Eureka Waterfront Trail will be 6.3 miles in length.

The Conservancy funds will also be used to demolish the blighted structures at PALCO that have become a public nuisance.

“While this is a significant investment for public access along the Bay, we know the State must also partner on the issue of homelessness,” Senator McGuire said. “We’re championing a $2 billion initiative which would provide cities like Eureka with desperately needed homeless services funds to expand needed shelter space, housing and programs.”

The bipartisan and first-of-its kind “No Place like Home” initiative will assist local communities in preventing and addressing homelessness by issuing a $2 billion bond to construct permanent supportive housing for chronically homeless persons with mental illness.

This unprecedented policy framework is crafted with the understanding that fighting modern homelessness – with long-term solutions, not short-term band-aids – requires a localized approach sustained by a strategic statewide commitment.

Recently supported by Governor Brown, the “No Place Like Home” initiative will move through the legislature over the next few months.

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Thadeus Greenson

Thadeus Greenson is the news editor of the North Coast Journal.

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