Research Library

05 October 2022

How To Fix Americans’ Diminishing Access to the Coasts: A Report by Hispanic Access and Center for American Progress


Publishers: Hispanic Access Foundation
Author: Hispanic Access Foundation
Topics: Antiquities Act, Climate Change
Geographic Focus: Texas

Rate this item
(0 votes)

U.S. coasts provide a multitude of benefits to the American public. They offer leisure in the form of recreational activities and relaxation; they improve overall health and act as cooling centers; and they create economic opportunities ranging from renewable energy to fishing to tourism.

Ecosystems such as salt marshes and mangroves also improve climate resilience by providing protection from storm surge and increasing flood resilience. Proximity to the ocean has even been found to improve people’s mental and spiritual well-being. 

Everyone should have an equal opportunity to use and enjoy the country’s coasts and beaches, regardless of race, ethnicity, residency, or socioeconomic status. In fact, equitable coastal access is a fundamental right guaranteed by the incorporation of the public trust doctrine into U.S. federal law. This doctrine, upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2000, establishes that a “public beach is held for the use of the general public and not solely for use by the residents of the municipality.”

Yet the responsibility for implementing equitable public access policies falls to individual states. And according to a new data analysis from the Center for American Progress and the Hispanic Access Foundation, only 10 percent of the U.S. coast and Great Lakes is covered by strong legal protection laws to ensure equitable public access.

This is also available in Spanish.

Last modified on 06 October 2022

About Us

Hispanic Access Foundation connects Latinos and others with partners and opportunities to improve lives and create an equitable society.

Phone: (202) 640-4342

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


EEO Policy

TWITTER FEED

From Buffer

"We urge the Council to advise @WHCEQ to protect public lands like #CastnerRange. Protecting access to nature for I… https://t.co/LAM1VSa2GM

Our team joined Rep-elect Gabe Vasquez to celebrate his success as a newly elected congressman for NM. In the past,… https://t.co/b6AlQFeDBT

RT @ResourcesLF: "Access to nature is a powerful lens through which to enact biodiversity, climate, and equity gains, through a variety of…
Follow Hispanic Access Foundation on Twitter

FEATURED VIDEO