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Public Beaches

August 21, 1988

How lucky we are to live in California!

I had an unbelievable experience in New Jersey while touring the Eastern United States with a friend.

In that state communities have the Atlantic Ocean fenced off to the public. They have gates spaced about 100 yards apart where they charge admission to use the beaches. The town we stayed in charged $5.50 for every adult. Children under 12 were admitted free if they were accompanied by an adult.

I stood in amazement while watching a family consisting of a man, his wife, two teen-agers, and two small children pay $22 for the privilege of using the beach for one day.

They were also given a plastic bag in which to put their trash. Generous!

All I could think about were the poor people who never would be able to afford to use the beaches and ocean which should be free to everyone.

How do they get by with that when people living in private communities in California have to provide access for the public through their property to the ocean?

The attendant at one of the gates told us $5.50 was cheap compared to what most towns charged--$7 per adult.

If we had rules like that in California, we would have millions of dollars in revenue and very light weekend traffic to our beautiful beaches.

I hope we never become that selfish.


Newport Beach

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