September 21 2015

San Clemente, September 21, 2015 – On September 17, 2015, the San Diego Superior Court ruled in accordance with what the Surfrider Foundation and the California Coastal Commission have been arguing for five years. The Court ruled that the City of Dana Point did not have the authority to erect gates and limit public beach hours at the popular Strands Beach in Dana Point, and that the California Coastal Commission does have authority over the City of Dana Point to protect beach access here.

“For five years the Surfrider Foundation has been fighting the City of Dana Point’s unlawful and bogus nuisance ordinance designed to limit public access at Strands Beach,” stated Surfrider Foundation CEO Dr. Chad Nelsen. “The community and the public should feel vindicated by this ruling.”

After a four day trial last month, Judge Randa Trapp of the San Diego Superior Court found that there was “simply no rational basis” for the City Council to declare a nuisance at Strands Beach and cut off public access stating that the City’s actions were based on “nothing more than speculation, conjecture and fear mongering.”

Now, with the City four losses for the city in court, the Surfrider Foundation expects that the City can finally drop the litigation and open the Strands Beach for full and fair public access.

“We look forward to the gates being removed and the public finally getting all the access which was a requirement for development to be approved,” said Rick Erkeneff, Chairman of the Surfrider’s South Orange County Chapter.

Surfrider Foundation celebrates this victory with the Coastal Commission. The ruling will protect the public’s right to beach access, and preclude Dana Point and other jurisdictions from arbitrarily curtailing that right in the future.

About Surfrider Foundation

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. For more information on the Surfrider Foundation, visit