Beach Memories

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IMG_2623My earliest memories of the beach are camping in remote areas of Baja, down where there was no running water or paved roads (or even unleaded gas for our cars). We pitched tents or slept under the stars, needing only ice for the coolers from the local villages. The pilgrimage to these beaches south of the border happened virtually every year when I was in elementary school. The more adventurous of my friends got stung by stingrays and jellyfish, and I remember the wonder of the waves breaking with the glow of bioluminescence at night.

Unfortunately, a lot has changed since then. Most people, myself included, wouldn’t feel as comfortable driving down and camping in those areas. And the sea has changed dramatically, too. The Pacific Ocean is currently home to gyres of trash—hundreds of millions of tons—largely plastic and tiny plastic particles to the point that plastic far outnumbers plankton. Runoff from land causes additional, unseen pollutants. According to locally-based One World One Ocean, 90 percent of the “big” fish are gone. While the ocean makes up 71 percent of the planet, less than 2 percent is protected.

Luckily, it’s not all bad news. Many amazing organizations are working to protect and restore the sea, as you’ll discover in this issue’s look under the sea and our second Crystal Cove series article, “Ocean Education,” which brings to life the efforts of Crystal Cove Alliance to study the 1,100 acres of marine protected area off the park’s coast and to help the next generation become stewards.

Protecting our ocean starts with a love for it. And in this issue, we celebrate the coast—from stand-up paddleboarding and surfing to beach getaways and all that lies beneath the surface. Here’s to many happy returns!


Micaela Myers, Group Editor

shutterstock_1366506775 Things I Learned in This Issue 

Here are a few of the many things I discovered as we put together this issue:

1. Charlie Chaplin, Judy Garland, and Ozzie and Harriet Nelson are just a few of the celebrities who have called Laguna Beach home.

2. As First Thursdays Art Walk celebrates its 15th anniversary, it’s full-steam ahead with new sponsors and double the membership since January of last year.

3. You can enjoy a ceiling of surfboards and more unique design touches at Pacific Edge Hotel’s revamped beach bungalows, each designed by a different local lifestyle brand.

4. Right here in town, you’ll find nearly 30 hotels, more than a dozen spas and approximately 100 eateries.

5. Kelp can grow up to 2 feet a day, and luckily for local sea life, kelp forests are back in business off our coasts.

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