Campaign Launched to Preserve Lighthouse Beach Access
Oregon Shores has worked to preserve access to our public beaches throughout our 50-year history. Access was frequently threatened decades ago, and recent events demonstrate that it isn’t guaranteed now without a battle. Our Beach Bill assures public access along the shoreline, but access to the shoreline requires either public ownership of land adjacent to the shore (such as state parks), or maintenance of dedicated rights-of-way.
Access is now threatened to Lighthouse Beach, a popular and well-loved stretch of shoreline near Charleston in Coos County. We stand with our colleagues in the Surfrider Foundation in working to restore the public’s long-standing access, which has now been blocked. We ask all those concerned with public access to help by contributing to the legal effort that Surfrider is heading up.
Members of the public have used a footpath off Lighthouse Way to reach this special beach for generations, but current landowners have now fenced it off. Surfrider members, Oregon Shores members (including two of our board members!) and members of the public need this pathway (the only viable means of getting to the beach here) to reach the shore not only for surfing and other recreation, but also as stewards of the beach and community. Surfrider’s Coos Bay Chapter has hosted multiple beach cleanups at Lighthouse Beach, including an extensive months-long cleanup when a large dock and millions of bits of foam from it washed up on Lighthouse Beach. Additionally, Coos Bay Surfrider has conducted the Blue Water Task Force water quality testing program at Lighthouse Beach for nearly 20 years, using this very path for these cleanup and testing activities. CoastWatch mile adopters need access to keep watch over this stretch of shoreline.
Surfrider’s legal team is currently investigating the historical public use and access at Lighthouse Beach and exploring all appropriate solutions. We are in constant communication wit them, and they need our support to continue this work. Donations to this campaign will support the effort to restore access to Lighthouse Beach, including helping to fund attorneys' fees incurred by retaining outside expert counsel. Any excess funds will be used for stewardship at Lighthouse Beach.
To contribute or to learn more, go to https://oregonshores.org/lighthouse-beach-legal-fund.