With beaches reopened for limited activities, it’s important to remember that many communities in LA have never enjoyed the same kind of access that others take for granted. Inadequate public transportation, cost-prohibitive and restrictive parking, a dearth of low-cost accommodations, insidious cultural narratives and rampant localism are just a few of the things that have kept many of LA’s best beaches the exclusive playgrounds of the well-to-do.
Our One Watershed program is a beach access initiative that seeks to empower youth and deepen our understanding of who the beach really belongs to. Thanks to a grant from the CA Coastal Conservancy, last year SFLA and our partners at LAPD Cadets, Aqua Surf School and the Make Yourself Foundation brought over 300 kids from historically marginalized communities in LA to their coast for surfing lessons, lunch, beach play and conversations in community watershed conservation.
While our 2020 season is temporarily suspended due to COVID-19 we are continuing our work to address the historic inequities that have prevented so many Angelenos from cultivating a relationship with their local ocean, waves and beaches.
To see these incredible kids in action check out the video below by our friends at BYLAND – it’s worth every minute.