NOW SELLING! Sea Glass and Jewelry in our ETSY Store Shop our other sea glass products Sea Glass Photo Gallery

Fort Bragg Glass Beach

by David (editor)
(Bow WA)

Use this map to leave MacKerricher Park and find lots of sea glass to take home.

Use this map to leave MacKerricher Park and find lots of sea glass to take home.

Use this map to leave MacKerricher Park and find lots of sea glass to take home.
Fort Bragg Glass Beach Nov 2012

Fort Bragg Glass Beach, California Sea Glass

Have you heard about Fort Bragg Glass Beach? Where is it? Can anyone collect sea glass there? Is there still beach glass at Fort Bragg?

FORT BRAGG glass beach

What is Fort Bragg, Anyway?

Fort Bragg is a city on the coast of Mendocino County, California. It is north of San Francisco along the Pacific Coast Highway, which runs from near Tijuana, Mexico all the way up the coast of California. - Check out Fort Bragg hotels recommended by travelers.

Fort Bragg was a fort for many years stemming from way back in the history of California. Now it's well known to many folks because the people in that town were so ecologically brown.

Well, you know what I mean, they weren't green, eco-conscious, environmentally aware.

They dumped their trash over the bluffs right onto the beach; a lot of it for many years.

Now, however, we like them a lot.

Fort Bragg Glass Beach
Fort Bragg Glass Beach July 2, 2009
Photo courtesy of thorson_family

What Happened at Fort Bragg Beach Dumps?

The land was owned by the Union Lumber Company, and locals called it "The Dumps."

In 1967, green city leaders closed the area dumps and various cleanup programs were brought on through the years to fix the damage.

More eco-friendly methods of disposing their trash were adopted.

What happened at "The Dumps"?

For over 30 years, the pounding waves washed the trash up and down, back and forth, until it was worn down to nothing...except for the glass.

What was left of the discarded glass became small, smooth, colored pieces of "sea glass" that coat the beach today.

Well, there still is an amazing amount left, as we have personally seen on our trips to Fort Bragg.

Many of you have commented on Fort Bragg Glass Beach and sent in photos. It was also featured in a popular CNN article.

A few years ago, the main site was taken over by the California States Park Department as part of MacKerricher State Park (CA).

There were rumors that sea glass could no longer be taken away from the Park beaches.

On our first
two trips to Glass Beach, Fort Bragg in 2009, we didn't see any signs prohibiting taking sea glass on any trails in MacKerricher Park. We took a select few pieces, perhaps a couple of handfuls.

On our third trip in 2013, there was a warning sign posted by the Park. This time, however, we took the path to the south, which skirts the private property fence and takes you off of MacKerricher Park property.

Not only could we take some of the glass without feeling guilty, there was so much more of it than on the Park beaches.

Glass Beach Fort Bragg
A typical bent-over view of glass shards at Glass Beach, Fort Bragg, July 5, 2009
Photo courtesy of soupstance

Legal or Illegal or ... What ?

But is it illegal to take the glass? Or is it highly discouraged by the Parks Department?

Well, a while ago, on our Northern California list of beaches, we had added this blurb:

"Fort Bragg, CA - Sea Glass Beach - (We previously posted that this beach now prohibited collecting sea glass. However, the only "official" State Park information we can find was a second-hand statement that it is "discouraged." One of our contributors also reported this information and we asked her to see if she could get a copy of exactly what IS the story. We are waiting for more definitive information, as we don't want to mislead anyone.) Also, there are beaches in the vicinity, that are really good and clearly open to collecting.."
Fort Bragg Hotels
Check out recommended Fort Bragg hotels.

A lot of information has come in as a result of that initial statement.

In fact read all the following notes we have received from others.  They are listed with the newest comments first.

If YOU have up-to-date information and/or would like to comment, please scroll down and enter the info.

The comments below show the latest comment first.

To get the most out of reading this very informative material, start from the bottom (first comment) and read up the page.

Below is the discussion (comments) about Fort Bragg.

Comments are sorted newest to oldest.

Comments for Fort Bragg Glass Beach

Click here to add your own comments

Apr 27, 2015
No, Not Crazy
by: Cass

No birds or other creatures eat the glass.

It has, rather, created the richest marine environment in at least northern California.

This is due to the minerals released into the environment as the glass and pottery dissolve.

Each color comes from a different mineral and glass is clarified with magnesium or selenium. It is also made with soda, lime and silica.

All these minerals form the basis of the food chain.

Right now all the glass that can't be recycled at the recycling center is trucked out to a landfill in Sparks, NV.

That is a huge environmental and economic cost considering it can just be safely recycled through our beaches.

It only has to be tumbled for about 12 hours to make it safe to put on the beaches.

Apr 27, 2015
Are you all crazy?
by: Anonymous

I think this looks amazing, in the fact that many years of polluting the ocean and sea life ended up with this beautiful glass.

But all the talk of replacing the glass is ludicrous. This is not nature, it is garbage. Birds eat it, other animals eat it and what happens to them? They die!

Best thing to do is get it off the beach, enjoy it people, take it home, it's a rare find, but it doesn't belong on the beach.

Mar 24, 2015
Yup there are conflicting warnings...
by: Anonymous

I have collected glass and other "junque" off Glass Beach for years. Not lately though...in 2013 we were "warned" by a shop owner that it was illegal. Checking signs in the parking lot (pre-trail construction) we understood it was discouraged.

So...a very nice local lady explained if we collected south of the big drain pipe we were good to go. We (Pre-trail)hiked down before sunset last summer and I found an amazing spark plug just laying in a tide pool with a couple of pieces of Coca Cola glass. They are now a very nice pendant!

The beaches in proximity to Fort Bragg, all the way down to Big River have sea glass in varying quantities. You just have to be looking!

It's a great place to relax.

We live farther north in Humboldt and come down to Mendocino for 'warmer' weather.

Mar 04, 2015
Coastal Trail is open
by: Cass

The new coastal trail is open and Site 1 can be walked to now.

They also put down steps to Site 2, but they are closed as the bottom steps washed out during the first storm that hit after their completion.

It is now possible to walk all the way from Glass Beach, Site 3, to Sodier Bay (Fort Bragg Landing) in the center of town.

Sep 24, 2014
Throwing Stuff Offshore Is Not Good
by: Cass

I'm glad you enjoyed the beaches and tried to do good. I own the Sea Glass Museum.

Please, people, do not throw stuff offshore in Fort Bragg.

The reason we have so much is that nothing washes IN or OUT here.

If you throw stuff offshore, off of the beach, below the low water mark, it will never, ever, come in.

If you want to keep it on the beach to ripen and cook, just bury it in the sand.

Again, glad you enjoyed yourself, and thanks for thinking of the beach.

We just don't want folks throwing stuff out into the marine environment off of the beaches.

Also, please do not put sharp glass on the beaches. It is very dangerous.

Quite a few people have put beads, marbles and the like on the beaches.

If it needs tumbling, 12 hours in a tumbler using corundum sand will take any sharpness off.

Terra Cotta pieces wouldn't need to be tumbled, or could be tumbled in regular sand.


Sep 23, 2014
Glass Beach Fort Bragg
by: Lesa Marie

I was just there on the 18th September, 2014. There were no signs posted stating to not take the glass.

I did take some and I also threw some large pieces back to the sea to get better frosted.

One was a wonderful old milk glass jar broke in two pieces and an old brown Clorox bottle.

I live on the Eastern Seaboard and have never seen as much glass as I did at Fort Bragg.

I highly recommend it.

Sep 18, 2014
Glass Beach
by: Wendy

I love glass beach and hunt for it all the time living on the East Coast. Now I have someplace new to venture to.

A trip to the West Coast beaches and Glass Beach intrigues me.

I loved the story of how all of this came to be.

I wish people were more open minded and kinder to each other with their comments. But then again I do support free speech and I am usually more tolerant of other's comments, be they negative or positive.

Glass Beach and surrounding area will be added to my bucket list.

Jul 22, 2014
Fort Bragg Tee Shirt - Customize It
by: David and Lin @ Odyssey

FORT BRAGG, CALIFORNIA Retro Vintage Style Ladies' T-shirt

Jul 21, 2014
California's lunacy in a nutshell
by: Anonymous

Gotta love the absurdity of people complaining about others picking up discarded garbage, simply because it's been laying on the beach for a few years.

Smug self-righteous "green" people talking about wasting energy to pre-tumble discarded glass garbage to be dumped on the beaches.

Face it, your beaches are laden with old trash. If you're so worried about the old trash going away, do the "natural" thing and dump some more broken glass on them. Nice sharp freshly broken glass, so the silly purists will be happy. And just think of the economic boost it will give you in increased bandaid sales.

Mexico can't reclaim your state soon enough.

Jul 06, 2014
by: Cass

Glad you had fun, Chaz!

Everyone should come by the museum first. Yes? Gotta love it!


Jul 06, 2014
Glass Beach Heaven!
by: Chaz

Fort Bragg is probably the grand daddy of all Sea Glass beach coasts.

My Mom & I just got back this 4th from there. Gold mine!

But the sweetest spot is my recommendation of Mr SG himself, Capt Cass, enter off Elm street, walk entrance, follow the fence line, make a left, follow again, then another left... that area is 90% all seas glass! I was going snow angels in it!

It's tricky getting in so be careful of slippery rocks! Bring buckets!


May 08, 2014
Replenishing Glass
by: Cass

It only takes 12 hours of tumbling to remove the sharpness so the glass is safe to put on the beach.

A cement truck could be used for the tumbling.

Right now the glass we can't recycle is trucked to a landfill in Sparks, Nevada.

It would be much more economical and environmentally sound to recycle it through the beaches here in Fort Bragg.

The glass that ends up in the landfill is the prettiest glass, too, the art glass that isn't recycled like wine bottles are.

Colored earthenware, like fine china and pottery, should also be used to replenish the beaches as they tumble much more quickly than the glass and result in beautiful pieces.

May 08, 2014
Replenishing Glass
by: John Loomis

I have proposed and would love to help out, getting an old cement mixer, getting old plates, bottles, etc. and loading the mixer, and turning it.

After about a week, if not longer, see if the glass can be re-installed at the beach.

I would use an electric motor or some device to turn the drum....making like a rock tumbler.

Add sand, rocks, etc. to help round the pieces.

It would work, we could use recycle, and replenish the glass with original materials.

john loomis fort bragg, calif.

Oct 16, 2013
"New" Glass
by: Cass

In response to David, I am proposing 5 cubic yards be added to Sites 1 & 2 three times a year to begin with.

There is so much glass still on these beaches that the new glass would mix in and be hardly noticeable.

As the finished glass is being removed by collectors, the new glass would be "cooking" and, if the program is continued at a rate equal to depletion, there would always be plenty of glass that is finished to make it a great collecting destination.

I think this is far preferable to trucking our glass to a landfill in Sparks, NV, at a huge economic and environmental cost.

Please keep in mind that the glass has created the richest marine environment in at least northern California and that varieties of species of life will be lost here if all the glass is depleted.

Oct 14, 2013
Replenishment Question
by: David @ Odyssey

Cass has suggested adding 5 cubic yards of fresh glass shards to the beach at Fort Bragg per year.

A reasonable question is asked below, "Would you come to Glass Beach if you knew the glass was new?"

Since there are several different coves at Glass Beach, perhaps just the one to the very north could be replenished.

A sign could then be posted stating "Recycled Glass Replenishment Program" at that cove, or something to that effect.

Oct 14, 2013
by: C JOE

*** Comment Deleted ***

Please note that comments in ALL CAPS will be deleted. You may submit your comment again if you would like.

Thank you, David @ OdysseySeaGlass

Jun 01, 2013
There is glass to be found
by: Kris

I was in Ft Bragg last weekend.

There is still plenty of glass on the portion of "Glass Beach" that is now part of MacKerricher State Park, but there are signs saying "no glass collecting allowed."

As Cass stated, there is another site just south of the park property that is city property.

And that beach is CRAZY!! There is hardly any sand or rocks...it's just sea glass of all colors.

It won't be depleted for YEARS (or DECADES)...if people are just thoughtful about what they take. I found cobalt blue (mostly wee pieces), red, yellow, white milk glass, and mint green milk glass in addition to the usual various shades of green, brown, and white.

As for the "replenishing program" - I like the idea.

I think that Cass is onto something, despite the fact that many in Fort Bragg don't agree with it.

Apr 24, 2013
The Meeting
by: Cass

I was very disturbed by the "community meeting".

Doug Hammerstrom's jumping on me every time I spoke was shameful, very embarrassing, and severely inhibited discussion by anyone else, lest they get the same treatment.

The only reason the "meeting" was held was to get me to drop libel suits against Marie Jones and the city after I was libeled by Marie on a National Geographic site last June.

It was just a "dog and pony show".

It was anything but a serious discussion or pursuit of replenishment.

I believe certain people on the council are just against replenishment for whatever reasons they may have, regardless of the economic or environmental costs.

Needless to say, after the way Doug treated me, I am pursuing my suits and we are scheduled to be in Ten Mile court on 5/2.

Apr 24, 2013
by: Cass

Only about 5 cubic yards needs to be added 3 times a year to the huge volume already there and it would mix right in.

The glass would still be local and would be sea glass.

The vast majority of people could care less and just want something fun to do.

Feather's comments at the meeting were completely off base.

Only a very few are "purists" who care when or how the glass got to be there.

You never see comments about how old the glass is or where it came from when you buy sea glass jewelry, etc.

In my gallery, very few ask which beach it came from or how old it is.

A lot of people also just want to have something pretty and fun for their kids to do.

A lot also just use it in fish tanks, flower pots, etc., and don't even care if it is "cooked" or "finished".

Apr 24, 2013
Would you come if the glass isn't original?
by: Johanna

I attended a community meeting to consider replenishing the glass and some people said that adding glass would make the beach less popular because the glass would be inauthentic.

Is that true?

Would you still come if you knew the glass was a mix of old and new?

Apr 24, 2013
Thank You
by: Cass

Thank you, Tammy.

Very well said.

I would also like to add that the no collecting signs are having no effect except to deter vitally needed tourism.

Everyone I see in the park area seems to collecting.

Only responsible replenishment can save our glass beaches.

Glass Beach Book

Glass Beach ~ A Sea Glass Lover's Paradise by Lisa D Walker

This book is a compilation of the fascinating history and the jeweled yet fragile present, of a beach located in Fort Bragg, California, called Glass Beach.  Read more...

Apr 24, 2013
Sea Glass Depletion - No Surprise
by: Tammy Davis

OK, here's my 2 cents worth...

We have always known that sea glass depletion is inevitable.

Whether or not locals or visitors, collectors or sea glass business owners, young or old, male or female, immigrant (and this includes Anglos) or indigenous, take buckets full or just a handful, is irrelevant in my opinion.

So the depletion is realized 1 year, 5 years, or 10 years earlier than it would be if everyone was "polite".

There's only one way, that I know of, to circumvent the depletion of the sea glass here, and that is by replenishing it.

Cass has been trying to raise awareness on this issue for years.

He finally got city officials to at least discuss the fate of Glass Beach at a council meeting.

However, none of us who are discussing how much Glass Beach means to us have been supporting Cass' movement to save Glass Beach.

So pointing fingers at ANYONE seems futile...again, this is just my opinion.

All beaches (and other navigable waters) of the U.S. belong to the people...all of the people.

Glass Beach does not belong to Fort Bragg, therefore there are no special rights of access granted to locals or any other group dynamics.

People who have no regard for the natural environment (by littering or disturbing ecosystems, etc,) are a completely different matter.

By the way, the newest little sign posted next to the main path at Glass Beach carries no more weight than the one posted at the fork of the path.

Not only do neither of them cite a civil or penal code for removing sea glass, but there is also no entity claiming responsibility for posting the signs in the first place.

Apr 24, 2013
Packs of certain cultures?
by: Vida Twynahm

I agree, it is true and sad that some visitors have little to no regard that they are just that, visitors and should limit their souvenir right and not remove more than they should.

I've been fortunate enough to visit this special place every year now for the past ten years.

I've seen many people of all race, age and sex enjoy the beach and glass as well as those who take advantage.

There are those who take one or two pieces and some who leave with bag fulls.

It's people, not certain cultures, but certain people of every culture who lack the foresight and manners as well as respect and should be more aware and kind to this environment and the history of it.

Apr 24, 2013
by: Karen

I have been going regularly for the past couple of years. There is a sign posted prohibiting collection but I have seen PACKS of certain cultures work all day with sifting screens, carting off 20 to 30 gallon size ziplock bags per group. It is absolutely nothing like it used to be even two years ago. Very sad!

Mar 11, 2013
Return to Glass Beach
by: Cass

What you say is true, but unfortunately you just hit Glass Beach (Site 3).

Site 2 is still heavily laden, is outside the park area so there are no restrictions, and rarer pieces are still found there on a regular basis.

Next time you visit, please come to the Sea Glass Museum so we can give you directions.

Mar 11, 2013
Definitely not what it used to be!
by: Ginger B. Collins

Visited glass beach in late February, 2013.

There is still this density of glass but all the large shards and rare colors, (anything other than brown, white, and kelly green) are gone.

Signs are posted warning visitors not to remove glass from the beach.

It's not strictly enforced, but meant to deter those who have in the past towed away buckets of glass and reduced the beauty of the beach as well as the quantity of material.

Where there used to be all colors and shapes from quarter-size to 2 1/2" in diameter, now it's hard to find pieces larger than pea-sized pebbles.

The good news is that the majority of what is there is smooth with no rough edges.

Nov 10, 2012
Banning collecting
by: Cass

Also, there is no way to stop the collecting as all entities in California, including the city and park, end at the mean high water mark, which is halfway down the beach at low tide.

After that you are "at sea" and they have no jurisdiction.

The rangers have tried to stop collecting in the park area, which is nearly depleted, to no avail.

Enforcement is impossible and unless a ranger sees you actually take a piece from within the park area they have no legal leg to stand on.

Currently there are only 4 rangers to patrol all the parks in Mendocino county.

There are no signs in the park forbidding collecting.

Nov 10, 2012
by: Cass

The purpose of this meeting is to hopefully proceed with resuming recycling our glass on our beaches.

Anyone who might have a jurisdictional issue will be there and if there is a law or code which would forbid it, we intend to have that law or code amended to allow it.

Right now glass that can't be recycled here is trucked to a landfill in Sparks, Nevada, at a huge environmental and economic expense.

Most of it gets recycled there by Gallo and others for their wine bottles, but the transportation cost is huge as glass is very heavy.

The minerals used to color, clarify and make the glass have created the richest marine environment in at least northern California here.

If we let it get depleted, we will actually lose varieties of species of life here and have a huge die back in the marine environment that would extend into harbor seal, otter and sea bird populations.

The sea bird rookery is located on the islands around site #1.

Nothing is washed off our magical beaches. If it is put on the beach, it stays there until someone takes it away.

Everything that was non-biodegradable that was put in the dumps on the beaches was eventually recycled.

We want to continue to do that with our glass instead of trucking it to Sparks.

It is great for our economy and essential to our fantastic marine environment.

Nov 10, 2012
Fighting over trash?
by: Rick

What a shame. First off, it's trash!

Yes, some can use it for treasure so what?

There's many beaches in So Cal (where I'm from) that have far less glass (you'll be lucky to find one piece every 10 minutes) but they still attract many glass hunters from all over the world.

To the residents of Fort Bragg I say why waste your time on this silly issue?

I love your town, and I can tell you it's the people, culture and history of Fort Bragg that are the real treasures worth coming for!

Nov 08, 2012
Public Meeting about Glass Beach
by: Johanna

The City of Fort Bragg's City Council’s Community Development Committee will hold a public meeting on Wednesday, November 14th at 10:00 AM at Fort Bragg Town Hall to discuss a range of options for dealing with the depletion of beach glass at Glass Beach and nearby beaches.

Options include “replenishment” of beach glass, signage and enforcement to prevent beach glass harvesting, or the “do nothing” option which will result in the eventual depletion of beach glass.


Glass Beach Book

Glass Beach ~ A Sea Glass Lover's Paradise by Lisa D Walker

This book is a compilation of the fascinating history and the jeweled yet fragile present, of a beach located in Fort Bragg, California, called Glass Beach.  Read more...

Oct 19, 2012
by: Cass

This is why we take such a strong stance against trespassers into Treasure Cove.

They are raping our beautiful beach.

Oct 19, 2012
Is it Greed or Hoarding
by: Anonymous

Just read today that a sea glass collecter spent 12 hrs at Treasure Cove last time she went she brought home 40 pounds of glass, its kinda like the goldrush days for some folks, kinda weird and tacky!

Sea Glass Colombi Motel Fort Bragg
Colombi Motel, Fort Bragg, California
David and Lin's personal favorite place to stay in Fort Bragg. Just like a small apartment with separate kitchen, etc. Mention that you were referred by us at OdysseySeaGlass.

Jun 10, 2012
Sea glass at Fort Bragg Ca
by: Recologies

I just visited Glass Beach and it was just amazing.

Having been there before this trip reconfirmed my thoughts about the area.

It is so beautiful and serene.

The water makes this amazing tinkling noise as it sweeps across the pieces of glass.

I make jewelry and for me it was like walking on precious jewels!

As you come to the north end of Fort Bragg turn on Elm street and follow to the end. A short walk through the grassy bluffs brings you to Glass Beach.

When you get to the Y in the trail stay to the left.

If you head right you will find a cove of tide pool areas and then a sandy beach stretch, still very beautiful but not filled with sea glass.

So, veer left and then make a hard left at the corner of the fence which encloses an off limits private land area.

Stay along the fence and continue until you see a small trail which seems like it may just lead you off a cliff, it won't.

You will however need to carefully scale your way down the cliffs through a winding trail through the rocks.

It is not too difficult but you will get dirty.

Good shoes are important.

Once you're down it will be hard to believe your eyes.

You are now standing on sea glass...everywhere.

This isn't the only spot to collect these beauties. There are several more coves that you can walk to as long as the tide is low so I suggest going at low tide.

A rainbow of colors from all the broken bits of bottles and ceramics are intermixed with the usual grains of sand.

There aren't any sharp edges-the waves and tumbling in the surf have taken care of that.

A few recommendations:

1. Good sturdy shoes

2. Dress in layers and in clothes that you won't mind getting really dirty. (Stained- due to the high content of clay rich dirt mixed with the sand here)

3. Bring a bag(s)

4. Keep to yourself. (Similar to gold panning, collectors seem to not be interested in socializing)

5. Do not worry about taking the glass, it is perfectly legal on this left side of the beach. By the way, the never ending supply theory is true here. If you dig a foot or more down you'll encounter some water but still layers and layers of seaglass.

6. Try, not to yell and call out in excitement as you feel as if you have struck gold and found the true bounty.

Apr 03, 2012
Sea Glass beach Fort Bragg 2011
by: TravelCacher

The sea glass here is EVERYWHERE!!

You'll have no need to search for it as the entire beach is covered in glass.

The pieces I found here were bigger ranging from 1/2 inch to 2 inches in size.

The colors were more varied with white, green and brown being predominant.

However, with diligence I was able to discover blues, reds, gray and lavender.

The pieces were excellent jewelry grade condition with decades of decomposition creating rich frost and smooth edges.

Jan 05, 2012
Return visit
by: Jim C.

My wife and I visited Fort Bragg Glass Beach for the second time just before Christmas this year and although it was a bit foggy and there was a "light" rain, we spent several hours sifting through the glass and found a couple of "treasures" we'll be adding to our display case.

We also visited the Sea Glass Gallery & Museum (again) and were fortunate enough to be able to spend a bit of time visiting with Capt. Cass.

A wonderfully informative time. Next year it'll be kayak time.

Bottom line, Glass Beach is a place everyone should visit and learn about it's history. And -- Capt. Cass should be supported in his efforts to support and maintain Glass Beach.

Sep 02, 2011
Picking up Glass at Fort Bragg Glass Beach
by: Anonymous

I just got back from Fort Bragg Glass Beach.

I was a little nervous that if I wanted to have a piece of glass to take home I would get into trouble..uhhh well everyone on the beach was collecting the seaglass.

There was no one saying not to do it. Like I said everyone was picking up glass. I didn't see anyone with buckets, the norm was a small ziplock bag, I think you would really look odd if you had a big bucket..it was really awsome seeing all the glass.

It's best to go at low tide. There is mostly white, brown and green. There was also a surprising amount of bonfire glass.

But if your looking for the rare stuff you will have to go to the spots that Captain Cass goes.. He has a map you can buy at the museum for $2.00, you have to access it at low tide and by Kayak.

The museum is very interesting and so is the Captain.

It was a cool road trip I think everyone who likes seaglass should see it. I would like to go back and stay a couple days, walk around down town..nice little small town.

Aug 16, 2011
More Treasures at Fort Bragg Glass Beach
by: Vida

Yes, just think about all the things that people have used and now we can see those remnants in the rock. From broken china plates and cups,to porcelain toothpaste caps.

My daughters and I visit yearly and love to take pictures of those old, rare and fun treasures that are found stuck in the rocks.

It would be sad to just see big chips and holes in the rocks were there once "use" to be a small piece of ship history or story.

I understand the interest of metals and such, it just would be a shame to chip away or take away any more from this lovely area.

Still a supporter of Fort Bragg,


Aug 16, 2011
Metals - Fort Bragg Glass Beach
by: Cass

Some people just look for metal pieces instead of the glass. I was told some people used to pan the tide pools on very low tides for the heavy metals, gold and platinum.

You can take the metals from the beach, but I wouldn't go hacking things out of the rocks as they are now part of the "natural" environment and it would probably get you in trouble.

Chipping at the slag pile cove under the pipes is common, though.

As for where they come from, just imagine everything people use.

Aug 16, 2011
Metals at Fort Bragg Glass Beach
by: Anonymous

No one usually talks about the left over metals at glass beach.

Are those considered historic? With the high price of scrap metal I am surprised I still find copper and brass also on occasion gold jewelry and coins.

I used to mine this place of metals when I was younger but these days I am afraid to take anything.

I can find five gallon buckets of this stuff but its not like it used to be because its now all politics.

I suspect people really don't care because its a bunch of discards but anything can be sacred these days.

I am just wondering if there is any information about the metals like there is for the glass?

Jul 20, 2011
The So-Called Expert responds
by: Cass

The local TV station, MCTV, did an interview with me three or four weeks ago. It is now up online at http://mendocoasttv.org/CoastCurrents09.html#featured

The Fort Bragg Glass Beach replenishment will not benefit me economically, but will keep the magic here.

It will take 20-30 years to ripen glass placed there today, by which time I will be in my 80's and 90's.

Please take the time to view the interview, "anonymous from Fort Bragg". There is much more to consider.

They did not remove the glass during the clean up.

The Water Quality Control Board considers the glass benign.

As you'll hear in the interview, it does not wash in and out.

Where it has disappeared, it is due to people taking it.

I hope you enjoy the interview,


Jul 20, 2011
Replenish Schmenish - Fort Bragg Glass Beach
by: Anonymous

Replenish the glass? Are you joking? You must be because that is such a ridiculous idea. (Of course, we've also raped the ancient redwood groves and are now trying to grow trees in farms. And salmon and all the other earth's fish are farmed too. But let's keep our glass farming where it currently is: in the factories.)

At any rate, I live here in Fort Bragg. The glass I collect is the trash that my grandparents threw over the cliffs.

Over the years I've seen most of it disappear.

And, I've seen most of it wash right back up.

What I'm trying to find out is if it is true that when they did the redevelopment of this beach cliff, did they haul most of the glass out to the dump?

Anyone know?

That's what I've heard and I wouldn't put it past these FBIs.

Please come and get some glass! Bring a bucket. One bucket is enough, duh!

This glass will wash up for years.

To replenish is to once again act out of fear and cause more problems and ruin what is.

There is also a new museum coming to town.

The so-called local expert here is not the only one interested in making a business out of this hobby.

There are many opinions here and I find that MOST of us Fort Braggers welcome you with open arms.

Apr 19, 2011
Fort Bragg Glass Beach on the 11th of March 2011
by: AGraywolfe

I was there the day before the Tsunami hit the west coast.

I don't know how it affected Fort Bragg. But I do know I spent HOURS there instead of driving oops how time flies.

I plan on taking my husband there soon. I want him to ride his motorcycle down while I drive in the car. That will give him something to do when he gets bored.

But the town and everyone in it told me where to go to collect. A

nd how to get there doesn't seem to be discouraging the collecting.

But do remember to breath the first time you see it. What a beautifully amazing site.

And at the right time of the year You can watch whales and hunt at the same time. I know I got to see a few whales while there.

Apr 03, 2011
Trip to Fort Bragg Glass Beach
by: Mary A

Thank you Vida & Cass! I am sure our trip will be enjoyable; and we appreciate your input.

We have no intentions to fill any buckets, we don't even have shovels.We will just be happy with a few small pieces.

The beauty in the area is what we are excited to see and the sea glass is icing on the cake!

We will stop by the Museum for more info & direction.

See you in June!

Apr 02, 2011
Working Towards A Common Goal
by: Tammy

Thank you for the information, "Anonymous Mary", about the Nature Tourism Coalition project.

It looks to me like there was a lot of work done and a great deal of useful data produced. And more importantly, there was a regularly scheduled forum for effective communications among representatives with a common goal.

However, the info I found online about the NTC project indicates that the project ended in 2008.

We do have active group gatherings here on the Mendocino Coast where the focus is on economic development and/or environmental/wildlife preservation.

I myself am a member of the Fort Bragg Glass Beach Replenishment League. This membership has provided me with a great deal of useful information, encompassing things I am passionate about.

As a result, I have developed greater motivation and a renewed vigor to get involved, if even in a small way (as quoted by Mother Teresa? We can do no great things, only small things with great love?).

Perhaps if more folks express interest in the replenishment of Fort Bragg Glass Beach and wish to offer their ?constructive? input and maybe a little time for the cause if possible, we would have the opportunity to make this thing bigger and bring more creative ideas to the table.

After all, everyone has the same basic desire here - that is to protect, preserve and enjoy the breath-taking beauty and vitality of these Earthly coordinates where we live, vacation, meditate, dream, rejuvenate, and a whole host of other experiences that fulfill our quest for a sense of well-being, purpose and belonging.

Apr 02, 2011
Coming to Fort Bragg
by: Cass

By all means do come to Fort Bragg Glass Beach.

99% of the sea glass is outside the park borders and it is perfectly legal to collect.

It would be nice if everyone just would leave it there, but they are not and will not so replenishment is the only solution here.

Unlike riding bikes through Jackson State Forest, it actually enhances and benefits the marine ecology.

And please do stop by the Sea Glass Museum, we'll be happy to see you.

Apr 02, 2011
Let them eat cake!
by: Vida Twynham

Hi Mary,

Can I suggest that you go on your trip and avoid getting into any of the controversial "sea glass" drama. You will enjoy your trip much better.

I hope i can answer your question. You can take sea glass though I speak for myself and family, we only take a few special pieces.

You may encounter people with shovels and buckets, quite unfortunate really, but you won't encounter rangers forbidding you to take sea glass. Nor encouraging you.

Use your own discretion when taking from the Fort Bragg glass beach with a value for its beauty in wanting to preserve it and remembering you are a visitor. At the same time not letting the local drama ruin your trip.

I guess in answer to your question, it all depends who you ask and from which side of the fence.

Visit the Glass museum and get a map from Captain Cass. Enjoy his awesome collection of sea glass and pottery. He is also a great source of information on where to find sea glass.

Have a good trip!

Customize it. Buy it!

Apr 02, 2011
What if it was about dirt bikes instead of beach glass?
by: Anonymous

Last thought... would you feel the same if we were talking about something other than beach glass, one of the other things that helps the economy by bringing tourist to Fort Bragg?

For example, maybe we should encourage visitors to bring off-road vehicles to ride in Jackson State Forest - even though we know the activity damages tree roots, creates paths that cause erosion that pollutes the watersheds, killing the salmon since they can no longer breed in our rivers.

Or how about removing the limit on abalone, letting people take as many as they want because it's good for the economy - until over-harvesting means no more abalone.

I know - California Grey Whales pass by twice a year, why not allow whaling instead of whale-watching? If killing whales is good business for Japan, why not let Fort Bragg get some of that action?

Apr 02, 2011
A county where ecology and economic vitality are interrelated
by: Anonymous

I love that Tammy quoted the Mendocino Land Trust study, because James Bernard, the Executive Director of MLT when they did the study she sites, was one of the founding members of the Nature Tourism Coalition.

The Nature Tourism Coalition (NTC) was a group of community leaders working to promote the responsible enjoyment of nature, protect the character of our community, and develop a nature tourism infrastructure that meets local needs and economic development.

Please understand, the people working to protect the glass on Fort Bragg Glass Beach are not anti-tourism; they simply believe in helping tourists enjoy our natural assets in ways that protect both our natural and human communities.

Their goal is a healthy county where ecology and economic vitality are interrelated, a place we can enjoy without worrying about businesses or tourists loving our special places to death (FYI - "Loving our Special Places to Death" is the title of a presentation by James when he was ED of MLT).

MORE ABOUT THE NATURE TOURISM COALITION: The group's first step was hosting the successful Wildlife Partnership Conference, attended by more than 80 county visionaries, in the village of Mendocino in March of 2007.

The Mendocino County Nature Tourism Coalition was officially created when the participants expressed a desire to capture the energy and implement the ideas developed during the conference.

The Nature Tourism Coalition knows tourism is the largest industry in the world, and nature-tourism is the fastest growing segment of the industry.

By creating a regional strategy and plan for nature tourism, they want to help tourism by protecting the environment.

Apr 02, 2011
Upcoming trip to Fort Bragg glass beach
by: Mary A

Hello! My husband and I are planning a trip (from Fresno) to the Fort Bragg glass beach area in June, with family visiting from Minnesota.

We were hoping to collect a little sea glass in the area & would like to know exactly what to expect & what beach(es) are best to visit.

While we would like to collect sea glass, is it prohibited? Discouraged?

Or should we just find another area to visit (Seaside? Monterey? Etc).

We want to feel welcome & enjoy your area, but we've heard some non-welcoming comments from locals & govt staff/rangers.

Thank you for keeping us informed!

Sea Glass Colombi Motel Fort Bragg
Colombi Motel, Fort Bragg, California
David and Lin's personal favorite place to stay in Fort Bragg. Just like a small apartment with separate kitchen, etc. Mention that you were referred by us at OdysseySeaGlass.

Mar 27, 2011
One more thing...
by: Tammy Davis

I would like to request from all who are posting or planning to post to this discussion to please refrain from using rude, hateful, judgmental, or attacking kind of comments.

There is no reason to add childish or ignorant commentary to any discussion, and it never results in progress.

Everyone's opinion matters...but the old saying "you catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar" is always true, in my opinion. Lashing out only makes others question the character of the one doing the lashing.


Thanks again Tammy. Lin and try not to censor comments if possible, although we have deleted downright obnoxious ones.

All comments here do have some positive things to say so far, so we're leaving it the way it is for now.

But please think twice before posting in haste and listen to what Tammy's saying!


David and Lin

Mar 27, 2011
Just how significant is Fort Bragg Glass Beach as a tourist destination?
by: Tammy Davis

Well, I think everyone who has an interest in this discussion will find this information quite interesting:

"Land Trust staff and Mendocino Land Trust intern conducted a visitor survey over a two week period in July 2008 to observe visitation rates and routes in order to better understand visitation patterns at the property.

"An average of 1000-1200 people visit Glass Beach per day making this one of the most visited destinations in Mendocino County."

You can read more about what is currently happening with the property on and around Glass Beach by going to this page:


Mar 27, 2011
Fort Bragg glass beach collecting part 2
by: Cass

A big problem here is that both the rangers and city are telling people they can't collect glass "here" which is discouraging tourism when the whole county is filled with closed stores.

It is perfectly legal to collect glass "here", even if you think the rangers are right about the park area.

This is a serious economic issue for not just Fort Bragg, but the entire county and ultimately the state.

Tourists travel a long way to get here and buy things all along the way.

I appreciate the view of the people who say we should all just leave it alone, but that is not going to happen and replenishment is the only solution for the sake of the environment and economy.

You can read and sign the petition at http://www.petitiononline.com/gbrl/petition.html

Mar 27, 2011
Collecting in Fort Bragg
by: Cass

I own the Sea Glass Museum in Fort Bragg. The situation is Fort Bragg is this:

The Fort Bragg park area runs north from the fence line along the path going down so as soon as you are south of the fence line you are out of the park.

The park also ends at the mean high water mark.

The mean high water mark is about halfway down all of the beaches at low tide (half way between the top of the beach and the water), including those bordering the park. So below the mean high water mark, you are no longer in the park.

The park rangers are citing a resource code that says you cannot take anything of historical or archeological value from a park.

The glass is not archaic, so it is not archeological, and the area was just a dump, which is hardly historical.

At one time "Glass Beach" (the area within the park, the 3rd site that was a dump from 1949-67) was truly remarkable.

It has now been mostly depleted and contains mostly only small, rough pieces.

It is no longer remarkable and we have other beaches in surrounding towns that offer much better collecting, like the Albion River flats or down near the Point Arena lighthouse.

All the towns have sea glass because they all used to have water dumps, like all water front towns and cities everywhere.

The claim that the glass there is somehow now "historical" is shaky at best and this is why I think there is no enforcement.

"Glass Beach", the park area, only has about 1% of the sea glass in Fort Bragg. The previous two sites are completely covered in ripened glass, though rare colors are very rare at site #2 now.

Another problem with enforcement at Fort Bragg Glass Beach is that unless the ranger sees you collecting the glass inside the park borders, he can't prove where you got it.

We will never stop people from collecting in Fort Bragg because both the Fort Bragg park and city end at the mean high water mark.

This is Article 10 of the state constitution.

The beaches in California, thank God, belong to the people.

This article of the State Constitution intends this to be for economic reasons.

Eventually, and pretty quickly now, the glass will all be gone.

These are magical beaches that are a huge natural tumbler. Nothing washes away here.

I now have a petition with over 1,000 signatures from all over the continent and world supporting replenishing our beaches, including restoring "Fort Bragg Glass Beach".

The glass benefits the environment as there is a constant minerals seepage off our beaches, from the coloring minerals, that is the very basis of the food chain.

We have 48 variety of chiton here, the snails that live on the rocks, and that is more than anywhere else in California.

The pebbles of glass on the beaches form little air pockets that provide habitat for small shrimps, worms and isopods that also reinforce the food chain.

It also will help stabilize the beaches as ocean levels rise to global warming.


Mar 27, 2011
Recent State Park Response
by: Anonymous

I recently read this response from State Parks regarding collecting glass on Fort Bragg Glass Beach:

"According to the California Code of Regulations, where our park rules are laid out, it is unlawful to disturb or remove any object of historical value. This applies to Glass Beach, and also to things like middens.

"That being said, local custom has been to collect some glass and we try to accommodate local custom where feasible.

"My enforcement philosophy is to educate the public when they're collecting about the finite nature of this feature, and to limit what people take to a few special pieces of glass.

"People who are using shovels or buckets, I ask to desist, as that tends to indicate commercial use of the glass, which is strictly forbidden."

I'm sorry to hear the park official at Fort Bragg Glass Beach let you get away with collecting a bag full of glass; even if you are not collecting for commercial use, people like you are loving it to death and ruining it for the rest of us.

Happy you appreciated Fort Bragg Glass Beach - but think of it this way - if everyone takes home a bag of the glass, how long will it be until the beach is somewhere no one else gets to enjoy?

Mar 27, 2011
Wonderful beach to visit
by: Anonymous

I was not aware that possibly sea glass collecting was discouraged.

I came from the midwest to visit and walked right past a state employee with my bag of glass that is now displayed and enjoyed in a glass bowl on the coffee table.

A beautiful spot when the sun is out and the glass is sparkling.

Tide pools are really interesting.

Fort Bragg Glass Beach is the prettiest beach we have visited on the east or west coats.

Oct 02, 2010
Regarding trusting me Part 2 - Fort Bragg Glass Beach
by: Cass

Comment Part 2:

If someone wanted to return the glass they took from the park, the rangers would have no objection.

Indeed, Marylin Murphy, the last head of the district, told me it would be nice if the locals did that.

I asked her why, so the tourists could take it? I have personally taken bags of glass back when I found I had collected chipped or unripe pieces.

No ranger would stop me from doing that. There is no difference between the unripe and chipped pieces on the beach and new unripe (pre-tumbled and softened) glass to be used in replenishment.

As for me, I am turning 61 in December. Any glass put on the beach now will not be ripe until I am at least 81 so I don't expect to be benefiting from that.

I just cannot sit by and watch this great resource not be renewed for future generations in the city and county.

Neither can I sit and watch non-locals profit from it while the local community gains nothing.

There is a petition online to get the city council to take action on the replenishment and it now has about 800 signatures, 104 online and the rest from the museum and from volunteers collecting in town.

All the county Chambers of Commerce will be contacted with a full proposal for replenishment so they are on board when we go to the council.

This is NOT an economic issue for just Fort Bragg. It is an economic issue for the county and state as well.

Sea glass collectors do not just come to collect in Fort Bragg.

They also collect near the lighthouse in Pt. Arena, on the Albion river flats, at Portuguese beach in Mendocino, Caspar beach and Dave's beach in Westport.

Fort Bragg, however, is the only place where replenished glass can be guaranteed to remain on the beach until it ripens because the rock formations here set up wave patterns that keep everything on the beach.

This is not a time for hand wringing and accusations.

In this disastrous economy it is a time for action.

Just ask the people who used to have stores in the empty storefronts in Fort Bragg, Mendocino, Willits, etc.

My special thanks to Tammy and Laura and the other members of the Glass Beach Replenishment League for their time and efforts on behalf of this great endeavor.

It is the people who have vision and say "yes we can" who build the future, not suspicious, anonymous nay-sayers.

Sorry, but it really bugs me when people don't have the courage to sign what they say.

Oct 02, 2010
Regarding trusting me- Fort Bragg Glass Beach
by: Cass

This is a two-part comment.

Part 1:

Sad that the person who left their anonymous comment on 9/1/2010 didn't have the courage to leave their name.

First, I am not the only sea glass collector in Fort Bragg making money off the sea glass.

I can foresee a whole sea glass industry in Fort Bragg and increased tourism for the county and city.

The city and county should be encouraging this industry, as should the locals.

There are other local artists with items on sale in the museum and a few people are selling the glass online on Ebay and other places.

Fort Bragg lost three more stores in September due to the recession yet the city council, Chamber of Commerce and park rangers are still discouraging sea glass collectors from coming here.

The fact is that these glass beaches are providing income for people from all over the country. I've met artists from 5 east coast states so far who come here for their sea glass and of course from all the Pacific states.

Just why the locals should not be keeping some of that money in the city and county I do not know.

On top of that, my museum is preserving the best for future generations to enjoy.

The mean high water mark is no "red herring" - it is the state constitution, Article 10. Anyone can simply Google that.

In Fort Bragg about half of each beach is below that mark, outside the city and park jurisdiction.

A petition was just forwarded on 10/1/2010, with hundreds of signatures, to the the Bureau of Audits to get the rangers to stop quoting the resource code they are using to try to stop the collecting in the park area, which has hardly any glass at all, only about 1% of what is in Fort Bragg.

Replenishment is not at all impossible, only if you think it is.

Glass is just big pieces of sand colored with minerals that benefit the marine environment.

All it would take is affirmative action on the part of the city council.

If the rangers objected it merely need to be placed on the beach below the mean high water mark, i.e. outside the park.

Sep 16, 2010
Some more info to support replenishment at Fort Bragg Glass Beach
by: Tammy Davis

Please check out the link below. I think even the nay-sayers will find it enlightening:


And just to share another item of interest, check out this link for an interesting story about the annual Glass Float Festival that takes place in Lincoln City, Oregon:


Happy Sea Glassing!


Hi, this is David from here at Odyssey Sea Glass.

Thanks, Tammy, for providing some interesting links bearing on the subject of replenishment.

Lin and I try to stay neutral on this "controversy," since both sides have good points to make.

I just wanted to add that the above links are worth checking out as respects replenishment of beach resources and what others are doing.

The first site above is the Coastal Education and Research Foundation who are doing tests on using discarded glass to replenish marine environments.

They have no connection with sea glass collecting per se. Check out the foundation supporters list.

I might mention that we (Odyssey Sea Glass) was contacted by the Army Corps of Engineers for information on using glass to rebuild marine environments about a year and a half ago. Studies they had done showed that glass was perfect for use on coastlines.

The above site confirms those studies.

Happy hunting!

David and Lin

Fort Bragg HotelsBeachcomber Motel Fort Bragg

Located on the California Coastal Trail, this beachfront Magnuson Hotels affiliate offers direct access to Pudding Creek Beach and is walking distance from Glass Beach.

Sep 16, 2010
Thank you for your input Vida!
by: Tammy Davis

Thank you so much for sharing your view point on this topic.

The Glass Beach Replenishment League here in Fort Bragg, of which I am a proud member, has been trying to emphasize the importance of keeping the sea glass enthusiast segment of the tourist population.

In fact, it is the key issue for us. Many folks have directed some pretty harsh comments at those of us who collect sea glass for more than just a hobby.

I suppose that just adds fuel to the fire that is our passion for sea glass.

Sep 14, 2010
Sea glass brings tourism
by: Vida Twynhams

Ive been going to sea glass beach for three years now. I am a collector like most.

I collect for pleasure and as a hobby that only other fellow sea glass enthusiast can understand.

This summer my daughters and I rented out the Point Cabrillo Lighthouse keepers house for a week to comb sea glass beach for that rare color of precious sea glass or piece of old pottery to add to our collection. During our stay with lodging, food,shopping and gas we spent $5000 in Fort Bragg and Mendocino.

I would think Fort Bragg could part with a few pieces of glass and pottery per person especially considering the amount of money the tourist spend while they are there.

Yes, by all means, let's not be greedy. The attraction and beauty is the glass. I'd like to return next year to see and enjoy the glass again.

However let's not forget the money the sea glass seeking tourist bring to your town at a time where all our tourist seeking towns need the money.

Home of Moonstone Beach(come collect moonstone, we won't complain)

Sep 01, 2010
Just because you can, doesn't mean you should
by: Anonymous

First, I'm not convinced Cass is the 'expert' or that we should be listening to his advice. Cass makes his living harvesting, selling and depleting the glass on this beach; what position would you expect him to take?

Second, I'm not opposed to picking up a few pieces, what bothers me is the idea that anyone can take as much as they want, especially if they're selling it for personal gain. Let this happen and there WON'T be any left for others to enjoy.

Cass's attempt to put more glass on the beach is a non-starter - good luck getting State Parks' permission to dump anything on one of their beaches, regardless of what Cass says, or his red-herring about the low-tide issue.

Third, I'm amazed that normally rational people encourage others to haul away as much glass as they can find - even trespassing onto private property that's known to be full of toxic hazards and extremely dangerous to reach by boat. Sorry, I'm not taking my kids anywhere near the 'other' coves.

Finally, would you encourage Timber companies to clear-cut our redwood forests? This is the same thing - we can't let people do anything they want at the expense of the environment.

This isn't like sea shells - when the glass is gone, it's gone. Are you the kind of person whose response is, "Then I better get mine while I can"?

Please, come to the beach, enjoy the experience, even slip a piece or two in your pocket as a souvenir if you must, but leave the rest for others to enjoy.

Sep 01, 2010
Replenishment or Re-Seeding Program
by: Tammy

Hi David,

I saw the post below and just wanted to advise you that the hopes for a Replenishment/Re-Seeding program in Fort Bragg were started by Capt. Cass Forrington.

I am only part of the team that Cass has put together to try to make this dream a reality.



Hi Tammy, thanks for the info.

I'm kind of surprised that Cass himself didn't let me know, since he usually keeps track of Fort Bragg posts.

Again, we appreciate your update.

David and Lin, OdysseySeaGlass

West Coast Sea Glass Northern California

Fort Bragg, CA "Sea Glass Beach"

Although there are a number of reports on the net from over the last few years that collecting sea glass is prohibited at Fort Bragg, it has been pretty much confirmed by people living in Fort Bragg that although the parks department might discourage picking up the sea glass, it is not at all prohibited.

Tammy, from MendoCoastTreasures.com (Mendocino County, CA)is getting together a sea glass replenishment program which should be interesting to say the least and will be keeping us up to date!

Fort Bragg HotelsBeachcomber Motel Fort Bragg

Located on the California Coastal Trail, this beachfront Magnuson Hotels affiliate offers direct access to Pudding Creek Beach and is walking distance from Glass Beach.

Aug 03, 2010
When is enough too-much?
by: Anonymous

I think this post on FortBragg.com's blog says it all... visit the site to see the photos and use the links: http://www.fortbragg.com/blog/2010/06/glass-beach-still-glitters/

“It’s all gone…” To people who remember Glass Beach before the rest of the world discovered this former dump turned hidden gem, it seems like there’s no glass left. Once there were large pieces of tumbled pottery, prisms of uncommon colors such as soft greens, purple, citron, opaque white, cobalt and cornflower blue, even aqua from old Ball Mason jars and 19th century glass bottles.

Here’s what it looks like today, and how Christopher Reynolds, Los Angeles Times staff writer, describes it, “At first glance it looks like a standard-issue beach. But look at that twinkly stuff underfoot: silvery, green, blue, orange and occasionally red bits of ground glass, twinkling in the sun and tumbling in the tide along with tons of standard sand, bits of metal, a little kelp.”

So what happened to the glass locals remember, was it washed out to sea?

I think the writer from the LA Times has the answer, ” We found a dozen scavengers on the beach the afternoon we showed up, adults and children, shuffling and bending, picking favorite bits and tucking them away in plastic bags.”

Christopher goes on to ask, “Are broken bottles a natural feature?”

You see, the park’s brochure warns it’s illegal to remove or harm plants, animals or other natural features. So, how long does it take before old trash is ground into natural material? His question cuts to the heart of the debate, “When does sandy glass become glassy sand?”

Is it OK to take a piece or two home as a souvenir? How about a cup? A plastic bag – or a bucket-full?

When is enough too-much?

Sep 17, 2009
Legality of Collecting
by: Cass

Hi All;

Both the State Parks and City Council are concerned about the depletion of the glass.
The Parks handles it by saying collecting is "discouraged" while the city just lies and says it is forbidden or prohibited.

Article 10 of the California constitution has all entities, including the park and the city, ending at the mean high water mark, so collecting cannot be banned. The beaches belong to the people in most states, including California.

It is perfectly legal to collect glass on any of the beaches in Fort Bragg.

There are actually 3 main beaches, each a dump site.

The last was a dump from 1949-67 and is what is called "Glass Beach" inside McKerricher Park.

The 1943-49 site can also be accessed from the park, though it is outside the park boundries.

The 1906-43 site can only be accessed by ocean kayak during certain tide and sea conditions.

Although Glass Beach is largely depleted of the larger pieces, it has a great deal of small pieces and the larger pieces can be found after the storms that churn the whole beach.

The path to Glass Beach is located at the end of Elm St., not Spruce. Denny's is on the corner of Elm and Main.

Hope this helps clarify matters,



Thanks so much, Cass. That is certainly all the information in a nutshell. We really appreciate it! Check out Cass's website, Glass Beach Jewelry.

Now, we need to get a two-seater kayak, a roof rack for the van, and gas money to get there.

Really, we are planning a trip to visit the kids in Santa Cruz and want to do the long drive up to Fort Bragg if at all possible.

Thanks again, Cass, for this informative comment,

David (editor)

Sep 17, 2009
Reply to The Rumor Continues....
by: Tammy

There are a lot of articles out there about Fort Bragg Glass Beach and most of them still indicate that collecting glass is prohibited or discouraged.

Our local Chamber of Commerce had removed their statement from their website when I checked it about a month ago, but now it looks like they have an even older document under their Press & Media section, indicating no regulations on taking glass (it takes quite a bit of effort to find info on glass beach on the Chamber's website).

That being said, the authority on this subject is Cass Forrington, proprietor of the Glass Beach Museum and Gift Shop in Fort Bragg. In addition to getting to the bottom of the legality for collecting sea glass, he has also been working towards implementing a sea glass replenishment program in Fort Bragg. You can contact Cass through his website: www.glassbeachjewelry.com

Thank you for your tenacity, as there is a lot of disinformation out there and the task of getting the truth to all of those that are interested is daunting at best.

Thanks from us at Odyssey for looking into this, Tammy.

I sent off an email to Cass asking if he would be so kind as to put his input in a comment here, so maybe he has something to add.

David (editor>

Sep 16, 2009
The "Rumor" Continues - Not Allowed to Take Glass?
by: David (editor)

By chance, I came across another nice blog on Fort Bragg Glass Beach today, and once again it repeats the unsubstantiated statement that you are not allowed to take glass from Glass Beach. Here is the nice article: Sea Glass Fort Bragg on WebEcoist

My only problem with the article is that it doesn't state where they found that "not allowed" clause. The site that is sourced is a site on Fort Bragg, and that semi official site says NOTHING about no collecting sea glass.

So the "rumor" persists...

Sep 16, 2009
Fort Bragg Glass Beach
by: Bess Bunton

How would you rate this beach for sea glass? Excellent (16+ jewelry grade pcs. found per hour)

Glass Beach is in Fort Bragg off north end of Main St, at the end of Spruce St. Main & Spruce intersect on the west side by Denny's.

Once upon a time it was the local dump, over 55 years ago. It is true that the State has taken the beach but I am not sure glass hunting is prohibited.

As a teenager and then as a young Mother it was a favorite outing for me and my children, glass was over a foot or so thick, there is hardly that now but still if you want to dig a little it is there. Lovely pieces of crockery bits as well.

Hope this helps


Sep 16, 2009
Fort Bragg Glass Beach Open
by: Tammy

On Tue Aug 04, 2009

Name of Beach and Comments: Fort Bragg Sea Glass

"Glass collecting is not prohibited at Glass Beach in Fort Bragg, CA. It is only prohibited to trespass on the property of the old G-P Mill site.

If you are unable to kayak or climb to the coves that are south of the main beach, the only way to reach them is by trespassing."

How would you rate this beach for sea glass? Excellent (16+ jewelry grade pcs. found per hour)


Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Beaches Your Favorite.

Like this page!

Follow Me on Pinterest

Follow Me on Pinterest

Sea glass photo contest winner
Photo of the Month Winner
April 2015
"Amethyst Sea Glass"
Selkie's Sea Glass (Victoria, B.C. Canada)
Submit Your Photo to Odyssey's May 2015 Sea Glass Photo Contest

Return to top

Lin and David use Avast free antivirus to protect their computers. Try it!
Homepage | Contact Us | Link to Us | Advertise | Privacy Policy | Disclaimer

Copyright © 2008-2015 odysseyseaglass.com. All rights reserved.