Beach Access, Ocean Protection
August 10 2011

California Dreaming.  Parks of the Sea and Land…

by Stefanie Sekich-Quinn

People come to California for many reasons.  One of the main attractions to our state is its natural beauty—on both land and in the water.  According to a recent study, California receives nearly $52 billion dollars a year in “leisure and hospitality.”   Much of that leisure and hospitality takes place along the coastline and in areas with access to Parks.   

Unfortunately, California’s state park system took a major hit when the Governor’s budget proposed closing nearly 25% of parks in order to “close the budget gap.”  Surfrider recently wrote a blog with an update on the closure process.  Go to our California page to view that post. 

Speaking of parks…newly established Marine Protected Areas (aka ‘underwater parks’) will benefit from post-implementation monitoring efforts over the next three years.  The Ocean Protection Council (OPC) recently granted $4 million dollars to several institutions to begin a baseline study that will give us a snapshot of current ocean health and uses, and a yardstick for future changes.   Surfrider also created a blog post about these monitoring efforts.  Read more about how researchers will survey the beaches, shores, kelp beds and deep waters off the coast at our California page.

Photo:  Colleen Wisniewski