MoJo Coastwalk: Bringing the California Coastal Trail Back to Life

Written by on March 21, 2016 in Editor's Choice, Other News

This May, Morgan Visalli (Mo) and Jocelyn Enevoldsen (Jo) will begin a 1,200 mile journey along the coast of California to raise awareness of the California Coastal Trail. They’re calling it the MoJo Coastwalk.

These circles mark paths along the California Coastal Trail. Photo courtesy of MoJo Coastwalk.

These circles mark paths along the California Coastal Trail. Photo courtesy of MoJo Coastwalk.

If you live on or have ever visited the beautiful coast of California, you may have seen little blue signs marking the path of the California Coastal Trail (CCT). This trail has been in the works since a 1972 proposition mandated that a public walking path connect the Oregon border to the border of Mexico. The idea is to have the entire trail within sight of Pacific Ocean. Unfortunately, numerous complications have prevented the path from being completed and it currently exists as dozens of separate segments covering less than half of California’s coast. Mo & Jo are embarking upon this journey in an effort to get those fragments connected.

By hiking this 1,200 mile journey, they hope to reignite the passion that once surrounded this project. MST recently spoke with Morgan and Jocelyn to learn more about the hike (and the hikers!), their goals, and the trail itself.

Morgan and Jocelyn are both California Sea Grant State Fellows with Master’s degrees in Coastal Marine Resource Management from the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management at University of California, Santa Barbara. Morgan is a Resource Protection Specialist at the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary and Jocelyn’s fellowship is with the Wetlands Recovery Project at the California Coastal Conservancy.

Suffice it to say that both are seriously invested in the wellness of California’s coast. As soon as their fellowships come to an end, they’ll start hiking at the border of Oregon and continue for the next 96 days (if all goes as planned), all the way to the border of Mexico.

The biggest goal of the MoJo Coastwalk is to revitalize the effort to get the trail completed. By increasing public awareness of the trail’s existence and the many challenges facing its completion, Morgan and Jocelyn hope to inspire the public to get involved and motivate funders to want to join the existing segments.

Big Sur, California. Photo courtesy of MoJo Coastwalk.

Big Sur, California. Photo courtesy of MoJo Coastwalk.

Mo & Jo note that one of the biggest challenges facing the completion of the CCT is funding. Right now, there is no designated funding source for completing the trail. The trail also spans 15 counties, which makes effective collaboration a daunting task. It’s not always easy to get cooperation from the governing bodies in each of these counties.

And, aside from these issues, there are problems with the coast itself. Some of it is private property and big portions belong to the military. These are areas where the trail will be forced to divert from the coast and go around.

Regardless, Morgan and Jocelyn believe that this trail is something everyone along the California coast can work on together. With enough support, it can get done.

If you want to help, the best thing to do is follow along and spread the word! If you’re out here and want to get involved, consider joining the team for a day hike or beach cleanup along the way. Check out their itinerary here.

Keep an eye out for updates — there are definitely going to be more ways to help as the journey begins! Check out their website, Facebook page, or Instagram account for the latest news (and great photos)!

Learn more about the trails here.

Morgan (left) and Jocelyn (right) hiking along the California coast. Photo courtesy of MoJo Coastwalk.

Morgan (left) and Jocelyn (right) hiking along the California coast. Photo courtesy of MoJo Coastwalk.

Copyright © 2016 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.

About the Author

About the Author: Emily Tripp is the Publisher and Editor of She holds marine science and biology degrees from the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and a Master of Advanced Studies degree in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. When she's not writing about marine science, she's probably running around outside or playing with her dog. .


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