San Clemente, CA (August 25, 2011) – In response to the City of Dana Point’s announcement regarding their notice to appeal Superior Court Judge Lewis’ decision to require maximized public access at Strands Beach, the Surfrider Foundation issued the following statement:

“By appealing the San Diego Superior Court’s decision compelling them to maintain unrestricted public access to Strands Beach, the City of Dana Point is sending a clear signal that it values placating the interests of private developers over the interests of the local community. Despite rulings by the California Coastal Commission and Judge Joan Lewis, the City of Dana Point has chosen to pursue further litigation, at a cost of tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars, at a point in time when other cities throughout California and the nation are doing everything they can to save money. The Surfrider Foundation calls upon the City of Dana Point to withdraw its Notice of Appeal, comply with Judge Lewis’ ruling, and allow free and unimpeded public beach access to Dana Strands beach.”

Since 2008, the Surfrider Foundation has fought Strands Developer Headlands Reserve LLC’s for open public access to the beach via the Mid and Central Accessways at Strands Beach. In June of 2010, McDermott Will & Emery LLP on behalf of the Surfrider Foundation filed a lawsuit against the City of Dana Point, challenging its unlawful restriction on beach access at Strands Beach by erecting gates and signage at two access points to the public at Strand Vista Park. This action arose from the City’s enforcement of illegal restrictions on beach access through the passage of an Urgency Ordinance on March 22, 2010, and its willful disregard of the May 13, 2010 unanimous decision by the Coastal Commission to open up beach access. In June 2011, Judge Lewis ruled in favor of open beach access at Strands, and cited that Dana Point’s severe restrictions are unlawful.

About Surfrider Foundation
The Surfrider Foundation is a non-profit grassroots organization dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of our world’s oceans, waves and beaches through a powerful activist network. Founded in 1984 by a handful of visionary surfers in Malibu, California, the Surfrider Foundation now maintains over 60,000 members and 100 chapters worldwide. For more information on the Surfrider Foundation, visit www.surfrider.org.