coastal access in california

Research Project | 2016

Coastal Access in California

The California coast is reaching a tipping point of becoming out of reach for many Californians. Our research and policy report “Access for All: A New Generation’s Challenges on the California Coast” includes new results from a statewide voter poll and a series of Southern California beach surveys, as well as a new analysis of economic barriers to access to the coast. The analysis probes why 62 percent of California voters told a recent poll that coastal access is a problem, and even more said limited affordable options for parking and overnight accommodations and limited public transportation are problems in the parts of the California coast nearest to them.

Click on the “Access for All” button below to see the interactive online version of our report “Access for All: A New Generation’s Challenges on the California Coast.”

Access for All

Download our report and supplement

“Access for All: A New Generation’s Challenges on the California Coast,” 25 January 2017. (PDF)

UCLA coastal access report Southern California supplement, 25 January 2017. (PDF)

Press releases

Press release on the report “Access for All: A New Generation’s Challenges on the California Coast,” 25 January 2017. (PDF)

Press release and data graphics from our statewide Field Poll, 17 November 2016. (PDF)


coastal access in california

Summary Statistics from our Southern California Beach Intercept Surveys, 25 January 2017. (PDF)

Statistical Tabulations from a Survey of Registered Voters about California’s Coast and Beaches, October 2016. (PDF)

Other References

Public Workshop: Lower Cost Visitor Serving Accommodations,” California Coastal Commission, 26 October 2016. (PDF)

Public Access Program: Status Report of Vertical Accessways Acquired by California Coastal Commission Actions,” California Coastal Commission, 16 September 2016. (PDF)

Improving State’s Approach to Park User Fees,” Legislative Analyst’s Office, January 2017. (PDF)

“Free the Beach! Public Access, Equal Justice, and the California Coast,” Robert García and Erica Flores Baltodano, Stanford Journal of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, November 2005. (PDF)


“Who’s visiting South Bay beaches, who isn’t and why?” Lauren Williams and Megan Barnes, The Daily Breeze, 6 February 2017.

“Gentrifying the coast: High costs block beach access for poor, poll finds,” Crystal Niebla and George White, VoiceWaves Long Beach, 6 February 2017. 

“When beach trip is out of budget: Visiting the coast has become too expensive for the average family. A bill aims to lower costs.” Dan Weikel, Los Angeles Times, 5 February 2017. (PDF)

“Some people can’t afford to go to the beach, and lawmakers want to change that,” Lauren Williams, Orange County Register, 3 February 2017. Also in the Pasadena Star-News, The Daily Breeze, San Bernardino County Sun, and The Mercury News

“Proposed legislation calls for more affordable overnight accommodations along the California coast,” Dan Weikel, Los Angeles Times, 1 February 2017

“California Beaches Are Classist, Racist and Inaccessible,” teleSUR, 1 February 2017.

“Panel Calls for Removal of Economic Barriers to Beaches,” George White, New America Media, 30 January 2017.

‘Bãi biển California của người nghèo hay người giàu?’ Đằng Giao, Người Việt, 30 January 2017.

“Study: Coastal Access Is About More Than Locked Gates,” Chris Clarke, KCET, 26 January 2017.

“Getting to the beach often comes down to one thing for people: Money,” Dan Weikel, Los Angeles Times, 25 January 2017.

“A new generation of barriers to California’s public coast,” David Colgan, UCLA IoES News, 25 January 2017.