The Ocean Beach and Point Loma Peninsula Was Once an Island

by on March 5, 2015 · 2 comments

in Environment, Ocean Beach

Sunset Cliffs park flowers02 Ma015Sunset Cliffs Natural Park Advisory Committee Gets the Low-Down at March 2nd Meeting – Meanwhile Native Plants in Park Near Full Flower

By Lois Lane

No OB Rag reader doubts that we live in the most beautiful place in the world. Almost springtime is one of the most beautiful times of year, and within the next two weeks the native plants in Sunset Cliffs Natural Park will be in full flower.

Surely you know where it is, but if not …drive to the end of Sunset Cliffs Blvd, and turn in the driveway at the top of Ladera Street. The native plants are all south of the parking lot (this parking lot must be one of the ugliest in San Diego, so ignore this aspect).

Sunset Cliffs Park flowers Mar015Native plants were a hot topic at the Advisory Committee meeting on March 2nd, as the native plant demonstration garden at the foot of Adair St. is still waiting for its right-of-entry permit from the city.

The 25 people in attendance found the feature of the evening to be spectacular – the special presentation on the Unique Paleontology and Geology of Sunset Cliffs – Dr. Tom Deméré, Curator of Paleontology, San Diego Natural History Museum. Introduced by Vice-Chair, Barbara Keiller, some of the things we learned are:

  • The peninsula forming Ocean Beach/Point Loma was separate 120,000 years ago; it was an island.
  • The shells you find embedded in the cliffs are actually fossils from the Cretaceous period.
  • The holes in the pebbles and cobblestones were actually made by boring clams (meaning they bore into the rock, not that they were boring in themselves, although they might have been).

You get the idea – there is a lot going on in this area that some of us don’t know much about. He answered many questions about erosion, always a hot topic.

After that glimpse of the past, the business meeting was fairly uneventful. The public official in attendance was Officer David Surwilo, who attends all of these meetings to provide a direct police interface with the public.

There was more discussion of crosswalks, as the previous month the Council had sent a letter to the city cautioning against crosswalks which do not lead to safe passage. This conflicts with the recommendation from the Peninsula Community Planning Board, which has sent the city requesting cross walks on Sunset Cliffs Blvd along the linear portion of the Park.  Chairperson Ann Swanson gaveled the meeting closed promptly at 8:30.

The SCNP Advisory Committee provides community input to the Parks & Rec Department, City of San Diego. All meeting and committees are open to the public and noticed IAW the Brown Act Membership and meeting information are available on the Park and Rec web-site

And the native plants are happy as clams with the recent rain. Try to work in a visit to them if you can.

Sunset Cliffs park flowers03 Ma015

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

OB Mercy March 5, 2015 at 3:57 pm

Dr. Demere was in charge of the lab when I was volunteering there as an archaeologist seeking employment after moving here from LA 7 yrs ago. He was kind and made me feel very welcome. If I wasn’t recuperating from knee surgery I would have been there.


South Park March 5, 2015 at 6:24 pm

I wish I had attended Dr. Demere’s presentation! Love this part of the coastline. Wonderful photos. The wildflowers and native shrubs have been glorious in previous years, and they are looking great even in this fourth year of drought.


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