04/19/2010 05:12 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Save Trestles, Safe Trestles, Surf Trestles

An Open Design Competition to Create Low-Impact Access To Trestles

Access to Trestles, one of North America's most celebrated waves, is under threat due to safety and environmental concerns. Currently, over 100,000 people each year follow informal trails through wetlands and over active train tracks to gain access to the surf breaks at Trestles. These impromptu man-made paths present a safety hazard with passing trains and threaten the fragile ecosystem of Trestles.

In response, a coalition of concerned groups organized by the volunteer non-profit organization Architecture for Humanity, are launching "Safe Trestles," an open-to-all, two-stage design competition to create a safe pathway to serve surfers, the local coastal community and day visitors to San Onofre State Beach. This coalition is looking for cohesive designs that eliminate the danger of crossing active train tracks, help to restore wetlands that have been damaged by the present path, preserve and improve vistas, and offer education about the history of the site and the beach marsh environment. The new path should ensure continued access to the resources by all members of our community and adhere to Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards.

While placing no limitations on the originality or imagination of design ideas, we are looking for tangible low-impact solutions that can actually be built at a future date. Ideally, the winning entry will be sensitive to the remote and undisturbed nature of the area--providing safe access without compromising the pristine environment and views of this rare example of natural Southern California coast.

Entry is $20 and there are two categories; Pro for teams of professionals designers/environmental scientists/landscape architect and Amateur for the rest of us. The competition jury currently includes pro surfers, local community members, world renowned architect Bjarke Ingels, Urban planner and recent Colbert Report interviewee Mitchell Joachim and co-founder of the Omidyar Network and avid surfer Pam Omidyar.

5 stage one finalists will be awarded $2K to revise designs and the overall winner will be awarded a design contract to develop their solution. All proceeds will be divided between Surfrider Foundation, San Onofre Foundation and Architecture for Humanity.

Launch: Feb. 17 | Registration Due: March 17 | Submission Due: April 17