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Free the Beach!

Report CoverThe City Project has spearheaded a strategic campaign to preserve public access to the beach and to prevent destruction of the beach. The California beach is the latest front in the struggle for equal justice. Wealthy beachfront enclaves like Malibu along California’s coast have sought to cut off the right of the people to reach the beach.

Our campaign is analyzed in Robert García and Erica Flores Baltodano
Free the Beach! Public Access Equal Justice,
and the California Coast
, 2 Stanford Journal of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties 142

We have published two Photograph Reports by Nicolas García to accompany Free the Beach! extensively documenting the damage to the bulldozed beach, and the illegal signs and all-terrain vehicles at the beach. The Reports are astonishing in their depiction of Malibu residents’ disrespect for the public’s access to the beach. Each report can be ordered in hard copy or downloaded in electronic format clicking on the links below.


Free the Beach! Public Access, Equal Justice, and the California Coast.  Photograph Report: Bulldozing the Beach, By Nicolas Garcia. This report extensively documents the damage done to Broad Beach in Malibu.


the Beach Public Access, Equal Justice, and the California Coast. Photograph
Report: “No Trespassing” signs and All-Terrain Vehicles
, by Nicolas Garcia. This Report documents the illegal signs and all-terrain vehicles used to deter and harass the public at Broad Beach.

Our Policy Brief on public access, equal justice, and the beach explores the need for equal access to California’s coast.

Here are our recommendations for maximizing access to the beach while ensuring the fair treatment of people of all colors, cultures, and incomes.

Awakening from the Dream: Civil Rights under Siege and the New Struggle for Equal Justice

Awakening from the DreamThe new book Awakening from the Dream: Civil Rights under Siege and the New Struggle for Equal Justice exposes the Supreme Court’s methodical dismantling of federal laws that advance inclusion, equal membership, political participation,and economic mobility in our diverse national community. The ongoing Federalism Revolution has crippled Congress’s legislative powers and made it difficult for individuals to bring suit to enforce their civil rights. Activists, law professors, public interest lawyers, and students discuss some of the people who have been deprived of justice by this rollback, making vivid the impact of the increasingly right-wing federal judiciary. The book is edited by Prof. Denise C. Morgan, Prof. Rachel D. Godsil, and Attorney Joy Moses.

The book includes coverage of The City Project’s efforts to keep public beaches free for all as part of the Urban Park Movement. The book is available at



The Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO): Improving Coastal Access And Development Mitigation

Report CoverThe Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) has issued a report for improving coastal access and development mitigation (237 KB, PDF)including recommendations to:

  • Support legislation requiring the State Coastal Conservancy to accept responsibility for maintenance of and liability for public accessways until a long-term third-party is identified so that the Coastal Commission can require the permitee to develop the accessway upon completion of the permitted development.
  • Require the permittee to fund future mitigation development when an offer to dedicate is a permit condition (this shifts the costs of opening and maintaining an offer to dedicate).
  • Increase existing development permit fees to fund ongoing operation costs associated with easements.
  • Support legislation requiring that construction of accessways be started within one year of acceptance of an offer to dedicate, and completed within three years.