Environmental Justice and Protection of the Public Trust

The challenge of protecting and expanding shoreline access is on-going, from the projected loss of beaches due to sea level rise, to widespread gentrification in the coastal zone. Dr. Lester brings significant experience working with public access and recreation issues in California to the question of how we can assure equitable coastal access for all citizens. His current research is exploring how the public tideland trust doctrine may help us realize the vision of coastal access for all. 

Capitola Beach

The story of Hollister Ranch, along the north coast of Santa Barbara County, captures the challenge of balancing public and private rights along the shoreline, as well as the importance of considering the broader environmental and cultural heritages that frame the private property holdings on the ranch. Check out this short film on Vimeo from the Carsey-Woods Center, featuring Dr. Lester and others from the Santa Barbara community. More information about Hollister Ranch public access issues is also available at the Coastal Commission website.


Beyond the Gates