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Officials are preparing for several months of visitors flocking to Malibu, many of whom are drawn by the beaches. Scott Steepleton/Surfside News
Scott Steepleton, Editor
8:29 am PDT April 24, 2021

The state won’t be fully “reopened” until at least mid June, but already authorities are preparing for late spring activities that look more like 2019 than last year.

Starting in just a few weeks, the Los Angeles County Department of Beaches and Harbors will up its staffing for parking, maintenance and trash cleanup from one end of Malibu to the other.

At the same time, the California Highway Patrol will continue its Street Racing Task Force. City officials urge residents needing to report incidents of street racing to call (323) 259-3200.

In a little more than a month, Memorial Day weekend — honoring those who died while serving in the U.S. military — will bring the usual crowds to local beaches, and city officials are implementing measures to protect public safety.

According to Mayor Mikke Pierson, this includes coordinating with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Beaches and Harbors, California State Parks, the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority and CHP “to prepare for holiday crowds.”

In 2020, the public was looking to blow off steam pent up from just two months of the coronavirus crackdown. But with parking on Pacific Coast Highway banned and the parking lots at all county-run beaches limited, Malibu had a relatively uneventful Memorial Day weekend.

With large swaths of the population having received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and some the single-dose version, the appetite to get out and play may be even greater than in 2020. Parking restrictions have been lifted as well.

Plans are in place to deal with whatever crowds materialize this time around.

“The city regularly funds a Sheriff’s Department Beach Team from Memorial Day to Labor Day to assist with enforcement on the beaches," said the mayor in a statement responding a Surfside News inquiry. "The MRCA plans to double patrols in its parks from Memorial Day to Labor Day. State Parks will have seven-day coverage and will also be monitoring and addressing litter.”

For Memorial Day weekend, City Manager Reva Feldman requested additional patrols by the Sheriff’s Department and the Sheriff’s Volunteers on Patrol, and paid for additional CHP officers for Malibu.

“Although the city does not control access to the state and county beaches in Malibu, the city wants to reassure the Malibu community that it is working with its partner agencies on messaging to the public about the importance of following all L.A. County Department of Public Health guidelines of physical distancing, use of facemasks and other COVID-19 safety protocols,” Pierson said.

With all the people heading to local beaches and trails — knowing they have to use PCH and canyon roads to get there, the mayor reminds everyone “to be mindful of respecting the community’s peace, safety and environment.”

This includes;

  • Properly disposing of trash

  • Not engaging in dangerous or excessively loud driving behavior on PCH and canyon roads

  • Watching for pedestrians crossing PCH to the beaches; cyclists; and drivers pulling in and out of beach parking.

Despite a large swath of the population receiving a COVID-19 vaccine, Mayor Pierson reminds everyone that the city still requires facemasks to be worn in public.

But don't forget the sunscreen.