Local beach to reopen at sunrise, Monday, May 11

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Photo by Andrew Ficke

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Office on Tuesday approved a progressive plan to reopen beaches in Seal Beach on Monday, May 11.

The plan consists of a four-phased approach with restrictions being gradually lifted as it is safe to do so.

Newsom’s team reviewed the detailed written plan submitted by the Seal Beach City Council and staff members and gave their full support. To read the reopening plan in its entirety, visit www.sealbeachca.gov.

“We are grateful for the governor’s support in reopening our beaches,” said Seal Beach Mayor and District Four Councilwoman Schelly Sustarsic. “We understand how important it is for people to enjoy our beautiful coastline, and this plan will ensure that people have access to the sand and water for active uses while still remaining safe.”

Phase One of the city’s beach reopening plan includes limited beach hours on Monday through Thursday during daylight hours for active, non-gathering, uses only, also known as a “Beach in Motion.” Phase Two includes the beach opening on weekdays and weekends during daylight hours, and still only for active, non-gathering uses. Phase Three includes beach opening on weekdays and weekends from dawn until 10 p.m., and only for active, non-gathering uses. Phase Four includes the return to normal beach hours for active and passive uses.

The initial Beach in Motion – Phase One reopening will occur at sunrise on Monday, May 11, 2020. The beach will be open until sunset for active recreation only. The beach will remain closed on Thursdays at sundown and will reopen on Mondays at sunrise. This first phase will be in effect until Phase Two can be implemented.

The Seal Beach Police Department and Marine Safety Department staff will be present to enforce the times and requirements of the beach reopening plan. Those who violate the order can be cited with a misdemeanor, fined up to $1,000, and/or arrested for violations of Seal Beach Municipal Code § 3.25.030 B – CIVIL DEFENSE AND DISASTER – Prohibitions. Restrictions on beach activities are in place to encourage and maintain social distancing, protect all members of the Seal Beach community, protect all city staff and to help stop the spread of infection.

Phase One Allowed Uses: Active, Non-Gathering Uses Only

  • Social distancing requirements will remain in place.
  • Beaches and ocean are open to active, non-gathering recreation only (walking, running, swimming, surfing, paddle boarding, skim-boarding, kayaking, fishing, kiteboarding etc.) where the participant keeps moving along the beach or in the ocean.
  • Parking with a vessel trailer/rack in boat launch lots only (Sunset Aquatic Park).

Phase One PROHIBITED ACTIVITIES

  • No gatherings of any kind, games, loitering, sunbathing, or other passive activities.
  • No beach towels, blankets, easy-ups, tents, umbrellas, etc. will be allowed.
  • No sitting or lying on the beach.
  • No setting up chairs and staying in place.
  • No picnics, coolers, or tables.

This is an adaptive re-opening plan and each phase will be enacted as warranted and on a trial basis. The city will advance to the next phase only if the city manager and chief of police believe the activities can be managed to comply with the then-current directives regarding social distancing and large gatherings. If it is determined that any phase is attracting or encouraging large gatherings or creating an environment whereby social distancing cannot be maintained, the city will reassess and consider reverting to a previous phase that corresponds with the current public health guidelines or closing the beach until compliance can be attained.

If at any time the beach is recognized as a public health hazard, or if required by applicable state or County public health orders, the city manager, as the director of Emergency Services, may rescind the beach reopening order and the beach will be closed until further notice.