Surfrider Foundation's Beach and Waterway Access initiative promotes the right of low-impact, free and open access to the world's waves and beaches for all people.
Beaches are one of the most popular public resources. Because individuals need access to beaches in order to enjoy them, beach access is probably the most important indicator in determining the number of people who can enjoy beaches and oceans.
Many coastal states, including Florida, have an insufficient number of public beach access points, with some states averaging less than one access point for every ten miles of shoreline. Access to the beach is threatened every day. From locked gates to restricted hours, from exclusive developments to economic barriers, these threats all limit access to our public beaches. We believe that beaches should be accessible to everyone. Surfrider Miami is determined to keep our beaches and waterways accessible for all to enjoy.
To help combat this problem, the Surfrider Foundation Miami Chapter works with local decision-making bodies to evaluate each beach and waterway access issue that arises. We also pursue litigation to ensure full and fair access to all beaches, for all people. In instances of existing public coastal access, we believe that the access must be retained or that new and increased opportunities should be provided—especially to those beaches or areas that offer recreational activities. Being able to access the places we love is something we take very seriously. We protect and preserve access to these places so that we can enjoy them.
In nearly every state, some portion of the beach is public land, which means that all members of the public have the right to use that portion of the beach. Because much of the land between where people can park and where they can enjoy the beach is privately owned, their ability to enjoy beaches often depends on the quality and availability of access between roads and parking lots and the beach. It is simply not equitable for only some people to have access to the ocean and beaches, which are public resources. The public’s right of access to waterways is often based on the Public Trust Doctrine, and is further reflected in international, regional, and state laws and Constitutions.
The right of beach access is constantly being challenged by private property owners, developers and even sea level rise. The Surfrider Foundation has developed a Policy on Beach Access, which addresses our stance on the many aspects of the issue of beach access.
Miami Beach Kiteboarding (Miami Beach, 2018)
Protect Beach Access - Oppose SB804 /HB631 "Possession of Real Property (2018)
Restore Miami Beach Parking (Miami Beach, 2016)
VICTORY: Defend Access to the Miami Marine Stadium Lagoon (Virginia Key, 2018)
VICTORY: Rock the Beach Protest (Bal Harbor, 2008)
What can you do?
Surfrider has won 459 coastal victories since 2006 and we're engaged in more than 100 campaigns across the US.
Surfrider Miami is leading the fight for access to coastal areas locally.
The Bad News: Our coasts are continually threatened. We must fight daily to ensure clean water, stop new offshore oil drilling, protect special coastal places and fight the impacts of climate change. And Surfrider is only able to protect 56% of our coastline!
Right now, it costs the Surfrider Foundation $1115 to protect one mile of our coasts annually. To protect 100% of our coasts, we must double our resources.
You can help our volunteer-led network get closer to 100% and make sure Surfrider's grassroots activists have the support, tools, expertise, and resources they need to protect every single mile of our beloved coasts!
Please contact us to report beach and waterway access issues:
- Spencer Ash, Surfrider Miami Vice Chairman (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Holly Parker, Florida Regional Manager (email@example.com)
- Angela Howe, Surfrider Foundation HQ Legal Director (firstname.lastname@example.org)