Our California Coast


Read a great in-depth LA Times piece on the history of Hollister Ranch beach access.

Since I wrote this post, some really good news:  U.S. Supreme Court declines hearing the Martins Beach case, so the earlier ruling stands.

And the Coastal Commission has asked the state to explore all options to improve public access at Hollister Ranch. Check out this quote from the LA Times article:  Coastal Commissioner Mark Vargas said “Just fundamentally, we should never give up the fight for more public access, particularly for this piece of the coastline where so much is off-limits to the public.”

Original Post:

It’s our coast in California. When we take a walk along the beach we know the only thing to stop us from going further is the tide. It’s a fabulous feeling.

I remember trying to get to the beach in Connecticut years ago. It was strange. It was as if the coast didn’t exist. There would be a postage stamp sized public beach occasionally. Rarely. I remember looking at a map just to reassure myself that I wasn’t crazy, there was coastline in Connecticut. It was just all owned and declared to be private property with No Trespassing signs.

Thanks to the Coastal Act this isn’t our way in California. The coast belongs to all of us. We will always have people fighting for public access to our beaches, and making sure we get it. We will have people exercising our right to public access. When people buy property that has beach public access and try to change that – even though they knew what they were getting into – our Coastal Commission will let them know they can take a hike. Wealth doesn’t beat us down or take away our coastline. It’s a fabulous feeling.

Until it isn’t. We’ve had some problems at the Coastal Commission. And we’ve had some issues not go our way. And now, just up the road from me, the beautiful coastline of the Hollister Ranch property is not going to be accessible. No wait. It will be accessible from the water. That will go well.

I’m about to retire. One of the things I thought I would do when I retired, is walk the California coast and see all our lovely coastline and exercise my right to public access. It could get interesting. I will post updates.

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