Our Malibu Beaches


Business, Digital, Editorial, Mobile

Jenny Good morrning americaThe Our Malibu Beaches smartphone app changed the game on one of California’s most important public space issues.

For years, homeowners along the coast in Malibu have used their wealth and influences to curtail and discourage access to the 20 miles of public beaches that front private property along the Malibu coast. Waging a full palette of legal and illegal dirty tricks, the homeowners and their lawyers have made it really difficult for anyone to use these public beaches.

BACreative first had the idea to team with artist and writer Jenny Price, who’s worked on coastal access and public space issues for decades. We leveraged Escape Apps’ mobile framework and designed a Kickstarter and media campaign that had worldwide resonance.

And we had far-reaching impact.

  • Today, users have downloaded Our Malibu Beaches over 60,000 times.
  • Though there are no official numbers, by all accounts, usage of these beautiful public spaces is way up.
  • In mid-2014, the California Legislature voted to give the Calif. Coastal Commission a much stronger ability to monitor and enforce open access laws – a change the Coastal Commission says that would not have happened without this project.
  • Finally, users have written thousands of emails to public officials helping motivate stakeholders to action on the public’s behalf.

Update: Our Malibu Beaches launched in Spanish as Nuestras Playas De Malibu on July 18, 2014.

Just a bit of the press:

The New York Times: In Battle Over Malibu Beaches, an App Unlocks Access

The Verge: David Geffen’s beach is yours: crash Malibu’s secret oceanside hotspots with your iPhone

The LA Times: Beach app has city buzzing

Yahoo!: Malibu homeowners foiled by an app to ‘free the beach’