By: MARY CATHERINE O’CONNOR – Outside Online
On October 21, 2012, five surfers jumped a closed gate and walked to Martin’s Beach, a storied stretch of Pacific in the Northern California’s San Mateo County. Their aim was to perform an act of surfing disobedience that could get them arrested. It did.
This week the surfer’s website The Inertia and Surfrider Foundation released a short film, “Martin’s 5: Battle for the Beach,” that explains why these surfers – Jonathan Bremer, Kyle Foley, Tyler Schmidt, Austin Murison and David Pringle – risked misdemeanor convictions. They, along with surf access and ocean advocacy organization Surfrider Foundation, claim that access to Martin’s Beach is granted to individuals through California’s Coastal Commission, which formed 40 years ago and passed the California Coastal Act in 1976. The Act was designed both to conserve marine resources along the Pacific, from Oregon to Mexico, and to maximize opportunities for the public to access and recreate on California beaches.