Photo by Chris @ Off the Edge Photography
The trail that has used to access Lighthouse Beach for 80+ years is currently blocked off. Though originally dedicated as an easement expressly for public access to Lighthouse Beach, the county vacated [eliminated] it in 1960. Although this trail has been in use since then, the property owners constructed a fence in early January 2022, making the beach inaccessible to the public.
Surfrider members and members of the public have used a specific pathway to get to Lighthouse Beach not only for surfing and other recreation, but also as stewards of the beach and community. Surfrider’s Coos Bay Chapter has hosted multiple beach cleanups at Lighthouse Beach, including an extensive months-long cleanup when a large dock and millions of bits of foam from it washed up on Lighthouse Beach. Additionally, Coos Bay Surfrider has conducted our Blue Water Task Force water quality testing program at Lighthouse Beach for nearly 20 years. Surfrider used this very path for these cleanup and testing activities.
The Coos Bay Chapter has been investigating this issue for 9+ years. In February 2022, they hired a legal team to work on this campaign. Surfrider’s legal team is currently investigating the historical public use and access at Lighthouse Beach and exploring all appropriate solutions. Further, chapter representatives have asked the county to resolve access to Lighthouse Beach by whatever means possible. Commissioner John Sweet is currently investigating a possible access route through an alternative property.
How can you help?
- We are in need of volunteers to help raise local awareness of this issue. Please email our volunteer coordinator Annie Pollard at email@example.com to find out about volunteer needs or to be added to the Friends of Lighthouse Beach volunteer email group.
- Our investigatory team needs your input! If you have not done so, please fill out this survey about your use of the Lighthouse Beach trail.
- We are also in need of funds to support our legal team and outreach efforts. You can donate directly here. You can also check out the Friends of Lighthouse Beach Online Store. We currently have “Free Lighthouse Beach” stickers available, and more items will be added soon. Proceeds benefit the Lighthouse Beach campaign.
- Positive letters of encouragement can be directed to our county commissioners. It is important for them to know that access to this beach is important to a large and diverse group of beach goers.
Donations to this campaign will support Surfrider’s work to restore access to Lighthouse Beach, including helping to fund attorneys' fees incurred by retaining outside expert counsel. (Any excess funds will be used for stewardship at Lighthouse Beach.)
Help us restore access to Lighthouse Beach by making a donation today! Donations can be mailed to Coos Bay Surfrider. PO Box 682, Coos Bay, OR 97420 or made online: