Surfrider’s Park Protection work focuses on keeping our State Parks undeveloped, accessible, and ensuring both public and environmental safety is maintained. Staying true to Surfrider’s mission statement, our efforts focus on State Beaches. Seven of the top ten most popular parks are located along the coast. Coastal park units encompass half of the total coastal land in California open to the public. A major tenet of the Surfrider Foundation is to promote the right of low-impact and open access to the world's waves and beaches for all people; and functioning State Parks ensure that right.
Parks are often seen as the “path of least resistance” (whether it’s development or during budget cuts). State budget cuts are causing parks to 'fall behind in the system' with a backlog of maintenance potentially causing environmental damage to surrounding areas and watersheds (i.e. washed out hiking trails, leaking sewage systems, etc). Parks also suffer from a public safety perspective since beachgoers are under-protected due to a decrease in lifeguards; and Rangers also report more petty crime and vandalism with Staff reduction. Surfrider will continue to work with partner organizations to ensure our Parks are protected from development and budget cuts.