The Surfrider Foundation announced today that it is formally opposing Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's recent proposal to close 48 California State Parks, including several popular State Beach Parks. The Governor also plans on cutting the number of lifeguards at beaches throughout the state.

The Governor's cuts to the State Beach and Park system were offered Thursday as part of a larger proposal to find a solution to the state's financial crisis. According to information provided by the California State Parks office, San Luis Obispo County will be hit particularly hard, with Montana de Oro, Morro Strand and William Randolph Hearst State Beaches all slated for closure. State beaches that will see reductions in lifeguard staffing include Bolsa Chica, Huntington, San Onofre, Carlsbad, Cardiff and nearly a dozen others.

The Surfrider Foundation maintains that the proposed closures and staffing reductions would profoundly impact the lives of Californians throughout the state.

"California State Parks and Beaches are one of the few affordable recreational resources available to the public," says Surfrider Foundation spokesman, Matt McClain. "If you look at the cost of taking the average family out for a day at the beach, verses going to a theme park or even to the movies, you quickly begin to understand how valuable these resources are, especially to middle and low income families."

The Surfrider Foundation is also opposed to the proposed staffing reductions for state lifeguards.

"The California State Lifeguards are among the best trained lifesaving professionals in the world, and have made over 200,000 rescues since 1967," says McClain. "The staffing reductions proposed by the Governor represent a significant risk to the health and safety of the beach-going public."

The Surfrider Foundation will be sending a formal letter to Governor Schwarzenegger asking him to reconsider the proposed closures and staffing reductions.

For more information, go to the Surfrider Foundation website.