Noyo Headlands Working Group

California Coastal Commission Meeting: A Community Success

The California Coastal Commission met in Fort Bragg this month, and the future of the Georgia Pacific Mill site was the sole item on the agenda for Friday July 15th! 

The community was enthusiastically present, arriving early to host a "welcome" rally, and staying to pack the public comment period after the agenda item. 

Of the 16 comments, a staggering 14 were speaking in favor of comprehensive cleanup and community led development. There was even a song performed! 

You can watch the recording of the meeting here

​Use the information below to email our coastal commissioners and say thank you for engaging with this crucial issue! 

CA Coastal Commissioners


With the exception of the brilliant work and persistence of the City of Fort Bragg in building the Coastal Trail (Fort Bragg's biggest tourist attraction), coastal residents and visitors would have no access to the Ocean in Fort Bragg. As it is the gate to most of the headlands is still chained. 

Talking Points

1. Fort Bragg’s structurally unsound and toxic collection of mill ponds need to be cleaned up before they contaminate the ocean and all sea life for miles around.  

2. Sea Level Rise will destroy the beach berm and undermine the dilapidated dam that contains the toxic millponds. The berm is “just a big pile of junk and debris.” The Department of Dam Safety has warned about the dam for years. The Coastal Commission should list these as sites “Of Concern.” The UC Berkeley Toxic Tides project offers an excellent approach. Read When the Berm Blows by Bill Lemos.

3. We should daylight the creeks to flow into a natural estuary. Environmental restoration in tandem with wise community development will sequester carbon.

4. Georgia-Pacific cannot be allowed to skate away from their clean up responsibilities and leave the poisons to contaminate the Noyo Headlands and then spread the toxins far into to sea?

5. The CCC’s should take a position on Mendocino Railway’s use of eminent domain to take control of the entire Headlands? We in Fort Bragg oppose this.The local train is an excursion train and not a public utility (used for transport of freight and people, which would exempt them from laws that require public hearings, environmental regulation and permitting.
6. What confidence can our community have that Mendocino Railway will be good stewards of the land? What about permits?

7. Carbon sequestration is an important part of any plan for the Noyo Headlands. 

8. Mendocino Railway uses 4 acres for their operations. They could not possibly need over 360 acres for their railway operations.  They really want it for real estate development and dollar extraction from our coastal community.

9. The Mendocino Railway land grab flies in the face of Environmental Justice.    

10. Our community has spoken clearly that we want daylighted creeks and wildlife corridors. Mendocino Railway would make this impossible with their tracks going out to Glass Beach. Why is Mendocino Railway talking about a trash-burning operation on the Headlands? ​

Twenty Years A Delay Game

The saga of the mill site is not new.

Click through this legal timeline for a better understanding of how the story has progressed.