City of Dana Point Signs Settlement Agreement To Allow Public Access At Strands Beach

April 04 2016

San Clemente, CA. April 2, 2016 – After a six-year legal battle with the Surfrider Foundation and the California Coastal Commission, the City of Dana Point finally signs a Settlement Agreement to lift the restrictive beach access hours and gated access-ways at Dana Point Strands Beach. The Settlement Agreement has been signed by the City, but will have to be approved by the Coastal Commission at the April meeting before it is signed by Jack Ainsworth, Acting Executive Director of the Coastal Commission.

“This Settlement Agreement marks a significant victory for the public as beachgoers in South Orange County.  We are glad to see the fruit of six years of labor, as Surfrider has fought to keep this access open and the City accountable. We will support this Settlement Agreement for signature at the April Coastal Commission hearing and, if passed, consider it a victory for our long-fought battle for beach access at Dana Point Strands Beach," said Angela Howe, Surfrider’s Legal Director.

Rick Erkeneff, Chairman of the Surfrider Foundation South Orange County Chapter adds, “It's great to put this issue to bed once and for all, and the public gets what it deserves – access to the beautiful Strands beach.”

The City of Dana Point will dismiss all litigation with the Surfrider Foundation and the California Coastal Commission, both cases have been on-going since 2010. In addition, the City agrees to $300,000 worth of mitigation to settle the years of Coastal Act violations that this beach access issue has implicated. 

Learn more about the terms of the Settlement Agreement as well as the history of this beach access case battle here.


The Surfrider Foundation is a non-profit grassroots organization dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of our world’s oceans, waves and beaches through a powerful activist network. Founded in 1984 by a handful of visionary surfers in Malibu, California, the Surfrider Foundation now maintains over 250,000 supporters, activists and members worldwide. Learn more at