Petition for Chicken waterway

10/17/2013

A group of West Marin residents calling themselves the Chicken Ranch Advocacy Bunch have created an online petition, which has been signed by dozens of people, asking the county parks department and supervisors to use funds from a voter-approved sales tax to implement a restoration plan for a highly accessible waterway at the popular Chicken Ranch Beach in Inverness. Channel B, which bisects the beach, has long been plagued by high fecal coliform levels in the aftermath of storms. “Water from Channel B frequently spills onto Chicken Ranch Beach and children have been observed playing in it,” the petition says. Although there are warning signs, people often lounge near them, the petition continued. In April, the Tomales Bay Watershed Council asked the county to implement a restoration plan it developed over the past eight years in coordination with the county. But there is a dispute about how much it will cost; the council told the Light last summer that it estimated the total cost, including CEQA requirements, at roughly $600,000. Over half of that could be paid for with funds already allocated by the California Coastal Conservancy (though those funds would not be available after another year or two). But Linda Dahl, the head of the parks department, said in July that the county estimates a higher cost, closer to $700,000—not including environmental review—and added that there was simply no money available at the moment.