By Dave Schwab
La Jollans Debbie Beacham and Melinda Merryweather have been busy on a “walkabout.”
But it’s La Jolla’s beaches they’ve been wandering, not the outback.
Both members of La Jolla Town Council’s Parks and Beaches Committee, the two longtime La Jolla women have been surveying the community’s nearly 100 beach access points from Tourmaline Street to Box Canyon in La Jolla Farms, photographing them and documenting their condition.
The pair’s efforts have uncovered some surprising results: Such as some spots are in total disrepair, while a few no longer even exist.
“The community had to know what was left of these access points because some, like Princess Street, are actually gone,” said Beacham. “Others have changed over the years with cliffs sliding.”
Beacham said the public should be aware of beach access. “It should be on everybody’s radar,” she said.
Merryweather agreed, noting chronicling the beach entryways is a function that needs to be done and updated regularly.
“I helped do beach access for our community plan many years ago,” she noted. “They need to be checked on to make sure they still exist and what shape they are in, so we can report back to the city if something needs to be done to them.”
Merryweather said she and Beacham have been hopping in a car and “driving around like little mothers,” surveying paths to the beach and noting if they’re obstructed by anything like a tree or a house that’s been put in their way.
Beacham and Merryweather recently clued the La Jolla Parks and Beaches Committee in on the progress of their walkabout.
Committee member Bill Robbins asked whether it's known whether the access points are designated or not, noting “that’s a big problem, not knowing where to go for records to find out if they’re dedicated or not.”
Beacham said they’re about halfway through their survey. She said the idea is merely to record the paths and evaluate their condition, not alter them in any way.
“We’re just documenting what’s already there, not changing things or adding new access,” she said, adding she’s also photographing the points and putting all the information into a binder which can be made available for reference and use by local community groups.
La Jolla beach access points can be located on the Community Plan and Local Coastal Program Land Use Plan at
- Go to Natural Resources and Open Space, then to appendix G.