Smartphone app gives public access to Malibu's illegal "private" beaches

For decades, the unimaginably wealthy residents of Malibu's oceanfront mansions have been using sneaky tricks to prevent the public from accessing the beautiful beaches in the area. But, as reported in USA Today, "The California Coastal Commission, a powerful state environmental agency, says the law allows everyone to frolic in the waves and the damp sand below the point of the highest tide."

That doesn't stop the rich and famous from doing everything they can to obstruct access to this 27-mile strip of pristine beaches. Below, a few examples of their illegal handiwork.

Things could get tougher for these folks when a new iPhone app comes out this summer. "Our Malibu Beaches" was created by Jenny Price, a writer, artist, and environmental historian who advocates for open access to public beaches that have been barred by the residents of Malibu.

Here's the Kickstarter pitch:

Every beach in Malibu has huge sections open to the public. And a lot of them are as deserted as they are beautiful – even on the hottest summer beach days.

The app's called Our Malibu Beaches. And it's filled with info you can't get anywhere else – not on Yelp, Trip Advisor, or anywhere.

Our app shows you exactly where each public access point is. It helps you park. It even walks you down each beach – house-by-house – to find the best spot for your towel on the dry sand.

This app is over a year in the making. And it's awesome.

Now, we want everyone to have it. EVERYONE.

And that's where you, the Kickstarter community, come in. If our campaign is successful, Escape Apps will do two things:

1. Make the app free for everyone to download all summer long.

2. Work our butts off to get an Android version out this summer.

Opening this Summer: The Malibu Beaches!