For Immediate Release: 5/24/2023
California State Parks Provides Public Access at Seacliff State Beach for Memorial Day Weekend
Gabe McKenna, Public Safety Superintendent II
Aptos, Calif.—California State Parks and Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks today announced beachfront day-use access at Seacliff State Beach for Memorial Day holiday weekend. Starting May 27th, visitors will once again be able to drive down and park in the beach-level parking areas.
Since Jan. 5, 2023, due to extensive storm damage, beach-level access has been restricted to pedestrians-only and picnic areas have been closed. However, following extensive repairs, ramadas and picnic tables will be available for use and all parking areas will be reopened. The visitor center and park store will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Camping opportunities will not be available this year.
“After this year’s devastating storms, we are so excited to welcome back families and friends as they enjoy barbeques, celebrations, gatherings and fun times at Seacliff State Beach,” State Parks Santa Cruz District Superintendent Chris Spohrer said. “Seacliff is a special place not only for locals, but also for visitors who have been coming here for generations to enjoy cooler temperatures and make memories.”
Seacliff is open daily from 8 a.m. until one hour after sunset. Parking is $10 and supports park operations.
Memorial Day Weekend will mark the first time that all day-use amenities have been available at Seacliff since winter storms caused catastrophic damage to the state beach in January. The storm damage compromised large sections of the seawall, destroyed the campground, and damaged the pier beyond repair. California State Parks staff, contractors and volunteers have worked diligently to clean up debris, remove the damaged pier and repair the promenade to increase access at Seacliff. However, more work still needs to be completed. Some areas remain unsafe and are behind fencing. Visitors are asked to not enter closed areas.
California State Parks has started work with Moffatt & Nichol, an engineering and consulting firm, to develop a Sea Level Rise Vulnerability Assessment and Adaptation Alternatives Study. This study will analyze the park in the context of climate change and sea level rise and evaluate options and opportunities moving forward. As part of this study, there will be a robust public outreach throughout the planning process to engage the community, stakeholders, and visitors over the next year. More information on this process will be released once it is available.
“We are so thankful for very hard work accomplished by State Parks and Granite Construction that has made this reopening possible,” said Bonny Hawley, executive director of Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks, a local nonprofit operating partner of State Parks. “Working in partnership with State Parks and the community, we look forward to creating a new vision for Seacliff State Beach that will serve generations to come and be a model for coastal parks in our time of climate change and sea level rise.”
Through Friends’ unique position as co-management partners with California State Parks, Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks has established the Seacliff State Beach Recovery Fund -ThatsMyPark.org/SeacliffRecoveryFund. The fund provides short-term support, followed by investments in long-term recovery work to ensure public access and environmental protection at Seacliff State Beach. To date, the fund has raised $76,000 from 167 donors across the country.
About Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks
Established in 1976, Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks (Friends) is a vital partner with California State Parks, creatively working to ensure our cherished local parks and beaches are thriving and available to all. Friends’ innovative and collaborative community partnership provides support and investment for education, equity and inclusion, conservation, facilities improvements, historic preservation and cultural events. Friends currently operates a robust online ParkStore offering nature- and history-themed merchandise for sale to benefit local parks and beaches. Friends also operates ParkStores at Natural Bridges, New Brighton, Santa Cruz Mission, Seacliff and Wilder Ranch. Learn more at www.ThatsMyPark.org or via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest.
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California State Parks provides for the health, inspiration and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the state’s extraordinary biological diversity, protecting its most valued natural and cultural resources, and creating opportunities for high quality outdoor recreation.