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Coastal access for all… even in Dana Point

June 16 2011 | Policy, Victories, Coastal development, Chapters, Beaches, Campaigns, Activism, Surfing,

Imaging walking down to the beach in California and seeing the sign to the left.

The sign states that the beach now has banker's hours, 8am - 5pm seven months out of the year.

The beach has bankers hours?

This means if you want to go for a run on the beach before work or head out for a dawn patrol surf session... you can't.

You can't because the beach isn't open yet.

No more sunset walks... the beach closes an hour before sunset today.

Starbucks has longer hours than this.

Does anyone else think this is completely unacceptable?

Surfrider believes that our coastlines should be open and accessible by the public. We believe in access for all... not just some.

These two surfers came from Seal Beach to Dana Point this morning and met a "beach not open until 8am" sign... they also met a TV crew. The cameras were there because this particular development, The Strand in Dana Point, was unlawfully locking the public's access to the beach. These signs and the locked gate next to the sign is illegal.

The Strand in Dana Point has done all it can to "sell" the beach to the highest bidders. In this case the beach is for sale, via an oceanfront lot, for between six and twelve million dollars. If The Strand was allowed to lock the public out of beach access they would set a precedent for the rest of the state.

The California Coastal Commission has ruled this is illegal. The California Coastal Commission agrees that the coast is all of ours, it's not to be locked up behind a gate for a privileged few.

Surfrider Foundation views beach access as a universal right. Surfrider Foundation works to secure universal, low-impact beach access for all people. Surfrider Foundation’s members live, work, visit, and recreate on and near the world’s beaches, and are impacted by beach access limitations. Our policy on beach access is here.

The last photo below is of local Rick Erkeneff.

Rick as lived in Dana Point since the 70s. He's walked these beaches and surfed these waves for the last few decades and today... he can't... until the banks open at 8am.

This morning he shared his passionate, personal story to the news crews this morning.

He shared that the beach that has belonged to the public forever has recently been snagged away from them by a developer.

We're pleased the California Coastal Commission set the record straight on this issue. We look forward to these locked gates coming down.

Learn  more about this campaign here.

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