Coastal Access

The coasts belong to us all, but not everyone has equal access. Through a variety of projects, we are studying Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) issues with coastal access, in California and elsewhere.

Coastal Access Equity

The coast belongs to all of us and is held in trust by the state for the public to use and enjoy. But our ability to do so is predicated on our ability to access itand not everyone has the same amount of access. Understanding coastal access and its availability will become increasingly important as California and other coastal societies face ever-growing pressures from climate change and coastal development. In an ongoing series of collaborations with GIS researchers, geomorphologists, and coastal policy wonks, we are analyzing the distribution of coastal access points, different demographic groups of Californians, and projections of environmental change to measure inequities in "access to access," to understand the implications of climate change for environmental justice, and to generate management-relevant policy recommendations to address these issues. Coastal development and climate change combined with shifting populations and management priorities will continue to shape the landscape of coastal access in California and elsewhere, making this a compelling topic for further inquiry.

With colleagues from the Center for Ocean Solutions, we published the first set of results in the Stanford Environmental Law Journal in a special issue focused on the California Coastal Act. This paper quantifies disparities in access to the coast among different demographic groups of Californians.

  • Reineman, Wedding, Hartge, McEvry, & Reiblich. 2016. “Coastal Access Equity and the Implementation of the California Coastal Act.” Stanford Environmental Law Journal 36: 89-108. (view article)

With collaborator Kiki Patsch in CSUCI's Environmental Science & Resource Management Program, we are currently building on these results to provide more management relevant insights as well as to include impacts from sea level rise. Kiki and I recently presented these results:

  • Reineman DR & Patsch K. 2019. “Coastal access equity and environmental change.” Impact Zones and Liminal Spaces Conference (San Diego State University), April 28.

Our student Zach Adkins presented some of additional results stemming from his capstone research at CSUCI's annual research conference:

  • Adkins, Z., K.B. Patsch, and D.R. Reineman. 2019. Quantifying the accessibility of California’s coastline. Poster Presentation, 11th Annual SAGE Student Research Conference, CSU Channel Islands, Camarillo, CA. (view poster)

Access to public places was restricted due to the pandemic.

How was the surfing community affected by covid lockdowns?