Legal Director, Surfrider Foundation
Photo: Surfider

Photo: Surfider

The Inertia

Today, the Surfrider Foundation scored a huge victory in our protracted legal battle against billionaire and venture capitalist, Vinod Khosla, to restore beach access at Martin’s Beach in San Mateo, California. Surfrider was triumphant in this decision made by San Mateo County Superior Court Judge Barbara J. Mallach. She ruled Khosla will be required to seek a permit from the California Coastal Commission for the gates, signage and other access-blocking development at Martin’s Beach and begin a public process to consider the changes to the property and beach access.

This is an important decision which strengthens state beach access law and the public’s beach access rights under the California Coastal Act. It holds that beach access cannot be unilaterally truncated by private property owners or developers along the coast. It further rules that Khosla is hereby ordered to cease preventing the public from accessing and using the water, beach and coast at Martins Beach.

Victories like this wouldn’t be possible without the support of our activist network around the country, and most importantly our San Mateo Chapter, and Surfrider’s attorneys Joe Cotchett and Eric Buescher of Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy and Mark Massara.

But the battle could be far from over. Litigation could go on for years. Stand with Surfrider right now to urge state decision makers to unlock the gate.

Every voice matters. No matter where you live – in California or not – your voice will make a difference. Just like Austin, pictured above, whose simple act of trying to access Martin’s Beach – resulted in an arrest. His arrest put Surfrider’s campaign into high gear.

This is just one of hundreds of battles Surfrider’s activist network is working on along our coastlines. Stand now with our coastal defenders so all can enjoy our oceans, waves and beaches and add your voice.

No matter where you live, you can support access at Martin’s Beach here at


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