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Californians love the coast — but Central Coast residents love it the most

On a sunny February day at Avila Beach, Dave Fimbres plays in the sand with his children Avila, 5, center, and Rome, 3, right, all of San Luis Obispo.
On a sunny February day at Avila Beach, Dave Fimbres plays in the sand with his children Avila, 5, center, and Rome, 3, right, all of San Luis Obispo. ldickinson@thetribunenews.com

Californians love the coast, but Central Coast residents love it more than anyone else, a new survey says.

The survey, which was commissioned by the California State Coastal Conservancy, found that 68.9 percent of 1,200 adults surveyed wish they could “visit the California coast more often.” And about 90 percent said the coast is “personally important to them.”

That’s all well and good, but who actually makes it to the beach? Turns out, it’s us.

Close to half of Central Coast respondents — 42.9 percent — said they have visited the coast within the past week, well above the North and South coasts, where about 27 percent of respondents said they go weekly.

Overall, more than 70 percent of adults said they visited the coast within the past year, as anyone who’s tried to go to Pismo on a Saturday knows to be true (we see you, Fresno and Bakersfield friends).

And more than three-quarters (75.6 percent) of the participants said they felt a strong connection to the coast even when they weren’t visiting it.

The conservancy commissioned the research in order to understand Californians’ relationships to the coast, as well as to identify barriers that keep more people from visiting. The group said it will use the research to continue to keep California’s beaches accessible, safe and clean for everyone.

Gabby Ferreira: 805-781-7858, @Its_GabbyF

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