Santa Monica Sniffs Around at Dog Beach Idea

Sand castle
Future dog houses on Santa Monica beach?

Will Santa Monica’s sand castles turn into dog houses? Will dogs kick sand in the faces of 98-pound weaklings on Santa Monica’s beaches? Or will the dogs end up in the pound? Those are some of the questions Santa Monica residents may be asking, after the Santa Monica City Council voted yesterday to come up with a pilot program for designating a dog beach, and to present the program to state officials in Sacramento.

In dog-crazy Santa Monica, some locals, including the folks at Unleash the Beach, have been pushing the dog beach idea for years. However, you’re likely to find just as many people who think it’s a bad move, primarily for sanitary reasons. This is one issue where “step in it” is used literally rather than figuratively.

Additionally, the legal thicket involved in creating a beach for dogs in Santa Monica is one that most dogs wouldn’t even want to enter. In addition to trying to convince the folks in Sacramento, dog beach advocates must overcome opposition from, er, well-heeled groups such as Heal the Bay, whose members are concerned about those who would poison the atmosphere (again, literally not figuratively). And if the Coastal Commission wants to get involved? Just ask Venice homeowners or The Edge how accommodating the Commissioners are.

So, I would caution Santa Monica dog beach advocates: don’t hold your dog breath just yet, as this may take a while.

4 Replies to “Santa Monica Sniffs Around at Dog Beach Idea”

  1. Whatever the dogs deposit on the sand is probably no worse than what’s in the water, especially after a rainfall. As a Santa Monica resident, I’m not clamoring for this (I don’t have a dog), but as long as the area is marked off well and people pick up the solid waste, I don’t mind.

  2. I used to live in Belmont Shore, the only dog beach in the county. It looked like people and dogs were having a lot of fun, but it was pretty common for people to not pick up after their dogs. Unlike a park, where you can see where dog droppings are, they get buried in the sand. It also washes directly out to the ocean and it not good for water quality (although Belmont Shore was always an A). Something a lot of people wouldn’t think about is the extra trash this adds to the water. I saw a lot of discarded tennis balls and poop bags both left on the beach and washed up by the tide.

  3. Ha! I would agree with you Evan that us humans probably trash the beaches and oceans far more than what a dog is capable of doing. I don’t really mind when dog owners bring their dog to the beach as long as the dog isn’t going to chase you down or trample all over your stuff.

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