Friday, October 31, 2014

Two Years Ago, Five Intrepid Surfers...

...took a ride south of town to Martin's Beach to go surfing. Not an extraordinary thing, except for the fact that the road to Martin's Beach had been closed off to the public and it was unclear whether or not they would be welcomed in their attempt to access and recreate at this local beach.

Not to be deterred, they read up on their rights to access the beach and decided to exercise them.

At 10am on Sunday, October 21, Jonathan Bremer, Kyle Foley, Austin Murison, David Pringle, and Tyler Schmid were ticketed for trespassing at Martin's Beach. This set off an effort to defend their actions and seek a determination from a county judge that these gents were, in fact, not trespassing.

On February 7, 2013, the county judge dismissed the charges based on insufficient evidence to support the allegations of trespassing. (original story here) From that date forward to present time, this decision has allowed the public to visit Martin's Beach without being charged with trespassing.

Thank you, Jonathan, Kyle, Austin, David, and Tyler for blazing the trail down to the beach for the rest of us while we await for a permanent access solution! 

Friday, October 10, 2014

Taking a Moment

WOW!  What an amazing past week this has been for the campaign to Open Martin's Beach, with a victory in the courts and a victory at the state capitol.  Although the campaign is far from over, it's important to take a moment to reflect on how far this effort has come, how many people have contributed their time, stories, energy, and/or funds to support open access, and the movement that has been energized.

Here are a few videos and photos to enjoy of folks taking this moment to enjoy how far we've come.

John Green/Bay Area News Group - CLICK FOR GALLERY

Photoshopped courtesy of Wallace J Nichols

Video: Cycling Brothers a Little Too Stoked that Judge Opened Local Beach

NBC Video Clip - Return to Martins Beach

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

SB 968 - SIGNED!

Tuesday afternoon, on the last day for the Governor to take action on bills, Governor Jerry Brown put pen to paper and inked him name on SB 968, a bill authored by Senator Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo), which outlined a timeline and process for the State Lands Commission to acquire public access to Martin's Beach.  The bill directs the Commission to enter into negotiations for a period of one year, and if at the end of that year negotiations have not been fruitful, State Lands may opt to use other mechanisms to acquire and facilitate access. 

The bill was fortunate to enjoy bipartisan support in the Senate and Assembly, but even into the final hours its was unclear whether the Governor would sign the bill or not.

Needless to day, we at the Surfrider Foundation are elated that the Governor chose to sign SB 968, and we greatly appreciate that the bill has been given the opportunity to go into effect.  We could not have achieved this action without the leadership of Senator Jerry Hill, co-authors Asm. Mark Stone and Asm. Kevin Mullin, and Speaker Toni Atkins, nor could this have been accomplished without the support of many, including Platinum Advisors; supporting organizations Environment California, California Coastal Protection Network, Sierra Club, Ocean Conservancy, WILDCOAST, Black Surfers Collective, The City Project, Committee for Green Foothills, Save the Waves, Azul, West Marin Environmental Action Committee; outstanding individuals such as former U.S. Rep Pete McCloskey, Rob Caughlan, Warner Chabot, Mark Massara, Christine Craft; our Surfrider Foundation team; and all of you who took the time to write and call your legislators and the Governor to ask for their support.  THANK YOU!!!

We will look forward to engaging with the State Lands Commission in a public process to permanently restore public access to Martin’s Beach.

Supporters can act now by signing the petition to the State Lands Commission supporting this process.