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


From Buffer

2023 is a year for making dreams come true. For Alexa Martin del Campo, the MANO Project elevated her to the next l…

RT @maitearcedc: “I am an Afro-Cuban scholar, educator and advocate. My work, like a drop of water in the sea, can be acted upon locally an…

RT @SARWINTERS: As Marine combat veteran and current academic scholar, David Riera knows the importance of having access to nature to heal,…
Follow Hispanic Access Foundation on Twitter