News Release: Coast is personally important to 90% of all Californians; 70% wish they could go more often

New research commissioned by the California State Coastal Conservancy has found that 89.3% of all Californian adults agree that the coast is personally important to them, and 68.9% wish they could visit more often.

“This research shows us that Californians love the coast, regardless of where they live, how often they visit or who they are.” said Sam Schuchat, Executive Officer of the State Coastal Conservancy. “Over 20 million Californian adults go to the beach at least once a year.  Even though 30% of Californians haven’t been within the last year, the overwhelming majority of us still feel a personal connection to coast.  It also showed that over 94% of Californians agree that people of all backgrounds are welcome at the coast – the coast truly is for everyone.”

The study was a live-interviewer telephone survey conducted by Probolsky Research designed to give the Conservancy a detailed understanding of Californians’ relationships to the coast and the barriers that prevent more people from visiting.

“Our survey found that most people don’t get to the coast as often as they would like because they are too busy.” continued Schuchat. “Over 60% of respondents said that lack of time was a barrier to them visiting the coast more often. Traffic and transportation issues were the next most frequently stated barriers; 25% of people surveyed said it stopped them from visiting.  10% said financial concerns were the reason they didn’t go to the coast, and just over 5% said parking was too difficult or expensive.  Cost, however, is the top reason that people do not stay overnight at the coast with over 45% of respondents saying overnight accommodations are inconvenient or unaffordable.

“This new research reaffirms the importance of the coast to Californians, but also gives us new insight into some of the reasons people aren’t able to use our beaches and shorelines as much as they want to.  Historically, we have focused on solving problems in the last 100 feet of a trip to the coast – accessways, parking, shoreline restoration – this survey indicates that to get more Californians to our beaches, we also need to work towards making it quicker, easier and more convenient to get to and from the coast.  And we can do more to ensure Californians are familiar with the full breadth of coastal resources throughout the state and how to access them.  None of these issues exist in isolation, however, and we will continue our work to develop low cost accommodation, expand accessways and keep California’s coast safe, clean and healthy.”

The full research presentation can be found here

A fact sheet on the findings can be found here

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