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Sand and sunshine

June 13, 2003

Laguna Beach's image as well as its seven miles of coastline is

shaped by 24 beaches, most of them accessible to the public. But a

word of caution.

"Beach-goers can go out and have a beautiful day at any of our

beaches, as long as they know their limits and stay within them,"

said Marine Safety Director Mark Klosterman.

Flags are used at all city beaches to signal the safety level. Red

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signifies very dangerous conditions, for experienced ocean swimmers

only. Yellow is hazardous, still best challenged only by the

experienced.

"Green means somewhat safe, but we always urge caution,"

Klosterman said. "It is hard for people to believe that we do 50,000

preventions a year, but Laguna has become a year-round resort

destination."

Leashed dogs are allowed on the beaches before 8 a.m. and after 6

p.m., June 1-Sept 16 and during all public hours from Sept. 17 to May

31.

There is no curfew for adults on city-maintained beaches.

Laguna's beaches start at the northern city limits behind the

gates of Irvine Cove and Emerald Bay, inaccessible to the public,

except by water or invitation.

Crescent Bay Park is the first public beach, nestled between Two

Rock Point and Twin Point. Equipped with showers.

Shaw's Cove, formerly known as Santa Ana Cove, comes next. It is

used for diving classes, including night dives. Spear fishing is

allowed, to the consternation of local swimmers.

Fisherman's Cove is a tad further south. Divers Cove, Picnic Beach

and Rockpile are zoned "no-take."

"Laguna Beach is a marine protected area from city limit to city

limit, which allows fishing. " Klosterman said. "A no-take area means

no shells, no creatures, no plants, no fish."

Barbecues are allowed on the bluff above Picnic Beach, which is at

the foot of Myrtle Street. One shower.

The rocks that gave Rockpile its name are the remnants of a pier

that ran below the gazebo in Heisler Park to Bird Rock. A 1939

hurricane destroyed it.

Rockpile is one of the three city beaches designated for all-day

surfing.

Main Beach is Laguna's "Window to the Sea," bought by the city to

prevent the construction of high rise hotels. A Boardwalk separates

the beach from Main Beach Park, where alcohol is permitted with

meals. Volleyball and basketball courts are attractions. Sleepy

Hollow Beach, with access between Thalia and Legion streets, is an

expansive stretch of sand, perfect for swimming and surfing. Long ago

known as Cheney's Point

Thalia and Oaks/Brooks Street Beaches are known as Laguna's best

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