Picnic for beach access

Mike McVay invites anyone interested to join him for a picnic at a public beach starting at noon on Sunday, Aug. 19.

Mike McVay invites anyone interested to join him for a picnic at a public beach starting at noon on Sunday, Aug. 19.

The point of this gathering is for local residents to learn about the issue of public beach access on Whidbey Island, he said.

The picnic will be held at the end of Marissa Lane Road, just off Wilkinson Road in the Sandy Point neighborhood near Langley. The site was chosen because the 20-foot-wide county road has a long history of encroachment by neighboring property owners who would rather the public stay away, he said – even though the land is publicly owned.

McVay is a member of Island Citizens for Public Beach Access, a group concerned about private encroachment on public land. Their goal is to get the county to address the issue of private landowners who try to block people’s rightful access to the waterfront.

Island County is currently in the process of inventorying its beach access points.

Sunday’s event also will serve to inform neighbors that Marissa Lane is a public access point, McVay said, aimed at alerting county officials and local politicians that beach access is something people care about.

“Some private owners have gotten by for so long, they think they own the property,” McVay said. “But with public property, even if 100 years has passed, the public still owns the land.”

For information about the group, email info@icf
pba.org or visit icfpba.org.

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