More Rain for San Mateo Creek, and Trestles

17 02 2017

At 3:00 pm today, the City of San Clemente surf report from the pier reported sustained winds of 45 from the southeast.  That’s enough to grow waves locally.  Below is a screenshot from’s T-Street webcam; and it is only beginning to build.

The weather reports were predicting rain that would be the heaviest in the last 10 to 20 years (kind of a typical weather forecaster’s vague speak).  At any rate, below is a screenshot from Weather Underground showing the radar imagery for what is headed this way.

Lots of rain headed toward the headwaters of San Mateo Creek, our favorite Southern California pristine watershed that flows out to the Pacific at Uppers.  The bottom has already changed this season, with more to come.  It should set up some great waves by the time the summer south swells show up later this year.

In the meantime, maybe California is finally limping out of its long drought.

The El Nino winter last year fizzled out with no real rain, even though all the experts predicted heavy precipitation.  It may be that if you look at the last several El Nino events, the heavy rain doesn’t actually show up until the first rainy season after the sea surface temperatures return to an ENSO-neutral condition.

Regardless, it’s great to see the San Mateo flowing with life again.  Rain, rain, don’t go away.

San Mateo Creek Conservancy

23 02 2010
“Old Field” Cleanup Site is On South Side of the Trail

Tim Elsner figured it out — It’s the San Mateo Creek Conservancy!

They’re the ones doing all the habitat restoration along the trail between I5 and the beach.   The eucalyptus trees near the freeway were deemed to be non-native and were cut down.  The homeless camps at the bottom of the slope have been cleaned out.  All the old castor bean plants and wild anise have been replaced with new native shrubs.

The plan was laid out by the Conservancy.  I’m guessing they probably got some funding through the California Coastal Conservancy, though I don’t know that for a fact. The work is being contracted by the environmental arm of the California Park Service.   The replacement plants are being grown by Tree of Life nursery, one of the first native plant nurseries.  They’re just up the Ortega in San Juan Capistrano.

If you want a more detailed description of the work, check out the restoration plan at:


Having been involved in wetlands restoration, I know how much these grass roots (excuse the pun) efforts are really labors of  love.  They depend on the personal dedication of those individuals who work many times quietly in the background saving our limited pristine areas and restoring them.   Well done San Mateo Creek Conservancy! 

Without getting political, whether you are a conservative Boy Scout or a “flaming environmentalist,” you can appreciate the natural outdoors and the value they bring to our lives.  As surfers, we depend on nature to bring us what we appreciate most — surf.   So, we can probably all embrace the current restoration efforts just up the trail from our favorite break.  Cheers to the natives (plants that is)!