Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Unleash the Beach News


One Small Action for a Dog Beach

The new State Parks commissioners wrapped up their ten city tour in Los Angeles on Oct. 17, 2013. Everywhere they went they wanted feedback from the public. I believe they are looking for ten projects to promote.It was a difficult meeting for most people to get to --downtown on a Thursday afternoon.BUT.....There is something easy that most dog beach advocates can do!

Please write to the Parks Forward Commission at info@parksforward.com.

They are accepting and encouraging public comment until November 4.

Sample letter: This is just a suggestion - you can copy and paste, edit or write your own* (best).  Please ask your friends to also send a note.  The more the better. Send to info@ParksForward.com

I am a member of Unleash the Beach, and I am writing to you on behalf of a large part of the California population from all walks of life who are underserved by the State Parks system. This is the 41% of us who have companion dogs and are largely not allowed to take them to the state parks. In particular I am writing about the beach in LA County - 75 miles of state beach with no dog beach.

The City of Santa Monica, the state's good partner in operating the Santa Monica Beach, has requested, by large community demand, that the state allow for a designated, well marked part of the beach for a pilot dog beach.  The City would be liable and cover all costs.

This  reasonable and modest proposal is well supported by Senator Lieu, the Santa Monica City Council, the Los Angeles Times, and the Santa Monica Daily Press, as well as other institutions such as SPCALA, The Pet Show, the Southern California Veterinary Medical Association, and many many others.


(your name)  - (please jot a reply to us and let us know you are participating.)

There are some criteria they are looking for:

-A population that is underserved in order to promotemore use of the parks.
-They are looking for a sense of what the community wants. 
 -They like the fact that park use promotes public healthby having people spend time outdoors and exercising.
 -They can be reminded that we are only asking for aproperly designated area on the beach.
 -The fact that they are looking to enhance partnerships: and the Santa Monica City operating agreement with the state has been a good one with one exception: why won’t the state listen to their very modest and very popular proposal for a pilot dog beach?
 -Supported by Senator Lieu, the Santa Monica City Council, the Los Angeles Times, and the Santa Monica Daily Press, as well as other institutions such as SPCALA, The Pet Show, the Southern California Veterinary Medical Association, and many many others.

At the PARKS FORWARD meeting

Unleash the Beach had five representatives there on the 17th. A field rep from Senator Lieu's office, Lauren Pizer-Mains, who read a letter from the Senator attended. She read, among other things, " Off-leash dog beaches are beneficial and provide recreation, socialization and community engagement for both animal and owner.....Parks Forward has a tremendous opportunity to improve partnerships between state and local stakeholders and enhance our treasured state parks for the enjoyment of all Californians."

Judith Meisner for Santa Monica politely reminded the commission that Santa Monica has a great relationship with State Parks in caring for the beach and many projects, except for the one project of a pilot dog beach...

Tish Bunk, a marine biologist  spoke about the benefits of the dog beach as did Alfredo and Georja.

(the only other group there who had several advocates were a group of "naturalists" who were promoting nudity on some beaches!)


Monday, October 7, 2013


Stand Up For a Dog Beach
OCT. 8, 2013

Dear Dog Beach Advocates,

 We have been waiting for news from Senator Ted Lieu’s office.   Senator Lieu has met with the new Director of State Parks, General Jackson, regarding a dog beach in Santa Monica.  The director responded with a few questions regarding the beach. Senator Lieu consulted with us, waited for official response from the City of Santa Monica.

I am happy to report that the City of Santa Monica has written two great letters to General Jackson, expressing public political will for a dog beach, and how the City will take financial responsibility for it.  Senator Lieu has just included these, along with his own strong follow-up letter.  We are hopeful that this will lead to a breakthrough in getting started on the long-awaited pilot program.

In the meantime...

There is an action we can take to support this process.  Secretary of Natural Resources, John Laird has created a new commission called Parks Forward. It is conducting public workshops throughout the state and taking feedback from the public. Soon it will convene in Los Angeles.

Here are three of the questions on the agenda, (along with possible dog beach advocate answers--you may come up with some of your own too...)

-- What can State Parks do to better support and manage effective operating partnerships?
( The City of Santa Monica has an operating agreement with the state and has requested to establish a pilot dog beach and been refused so far. The City is willing to pick up all financial and other responsibility.State parks need to listen more closely to the requests of its partners and honor them.)

 --How would you characterize those groups currently using the state parks in your region, and those groups of potential park visitors that are underserved and under - represented today by your state parks?
 (Volley ball players, picnickers, sun-bathers, skate boarders, bikers, swimmers and others use the public beach, but the 41% of the public who recreate with their dogs are shut out of the state beaches for 75 miles in LA County.)

--What types of parks or park services, facilities, programs, and activities are required to meet the needs of both existing and future visitors?
 (We want to establish an environmentally friendly and user friendly zone on the beach where we can recreate with our dogs.  We are willing to accept limited times, especially in the pilot program to show it can be responsibly run-- as are over 50 other dog beaches in CA.)

To see the complete agenda, please go to

Dog beach advocacy fits perfectly into these categories.
Let's make them hear our message!
We are looking for dog beach advocates to come to the meeting on Oct. 17.  I believe people can only speak for 2 or 3 minutes.  So it may take many voices to politely tell why we want the dog beach. Even if you don't want to say anything, a big showing will also speak to them....we will all wear red and I have some Unleash the Beach badges we can all wear.

If you know you are coming I will send some last minute instructions. But if you happen to get free at the last minute feel free to come anyway.

The Parks Forward meeting  Los Angeles takes place the afternoon of Thursday, October 17.
Radisson USC,
3540 S. Figeuroa
Los Angeles, Ca 90007
Schedule is from 3-7pm.

If you can’t make it at 3, but can get there before 5, I believe our topics will start after the break at 5.  There is $10 hotel parking or you can park at a meter on the street
It is walking distance from the USC metro stop.

Please RSVP at georja@unleashthebeach.org if you can come.

Hope to see you soon.

Woofs and howls
Georja Umano
  Friends and Supporters of Unleash the Beach:
Animal Defenders International
In Defense of Animals
The Pelican Network
Best Friends
Los Angeles Times
Santa Monica Daily Press
Asst. Attorney General Doug Knoll
Warren Eckstein's 'The Pet Show'
Animal Wellness Center
Center Sinai Animal Hospital
Healthy Spot
To Wag For
Bark Williams
Animal Kingdom
The Omelette Parlor
Rick's Tavern
The Talking Stick Cafe
212 Pier Cafe
Witzend Club
The Golding Gallery

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Thank you for supporting Unleash the Beach, the grass-roots effort to establish an off-leash dog zone on Santa Monica Beach. We send these updates to members and interested parties who have opted in at our website and/or via email to info@unleashthebeach.org.

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