Wednesday, January 18, 2012
January Policy Update
|Photo: San Diego Chapter.|
January’s policy update is packed with many issues. While the update only covers a fraction of California coastal issues, we tried to pick topics that are germane to Surfrider supporters. Remember that your local Chapters are working on a myriad of issues and always need the help. Make a New Years resolution to volunteer more with your local chapter!
California State Beaches: Lifeguard-less?
Over the last several months, Surfrider has written about the plan to close 70 state parks--the proposal has been on the table in order to help close the budget gap. As if that wasn’t bad enough, there is a new proposal to eliminate all seasonal lifeguards and 20 percent of ranger positions in California state parks if the governor’s November ballot initiative for new revenue isn’t successful. Despite the fact that a decision on that initiative is ten months away, the governor is demanding that these state park reductions be made this spring.
Closing parks and eliminating lifeguards would directly impact Surfrider members who use State Beaches on a regular basis. Contact the Governor and tell him that closing parks is bad for California! Ask him to reverse the permanent cuts to state parks and keep our parks safe and open for all Californians.
King tides. It sounds so regal, doesn’t it? Well, it is! King Tides are events occurring in early winter where the high tide is unusually higher than typical tides throughout the year. Surfrider, along with California Coastkeeper Alliance, is encouraging people to participate in the King Tide Photo Project, in order to document and help understand the impacts of sea level rise in the coming decades. Grab your camera!
Getting Strategic With It:
The Ocean Protection Council (OPC) recently released its Draft Five Year Strategic Plan. Surfrider Foundation staff worked diligently to provide our feedback on the Strategic Plan by focusing our attention on the following areas: climate change, marine ecosystems, coastal/ocean impacts from land, and existing and emerging ocean uses. The OPC was created under the California Ocean Protection Act (COPA), which was signed into law in 2004 by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. The OPC's mission statement is to ensure that California maintains healthy, resilient, and productive ocean and coastal ecosystems for the benefit of current and future generations. Read our comment letter here.
This Beach is My Land….This Beach is Your Land…
California Coastal Commissioners jumped in a bus and took a tour of beaches in Malibu to get a closer look at beach access issues. Prior to this visit, the California Coastal Commission recently completed a report about the status of public access ways in San Diego, Orange, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Ventura, and San Luis Obispo Counties. The report found that Los Angeles County greatly lags behind other counties in southern California for providing public access. Surfrider tips our hat to the Commission for pounding the beach in order to better understand obstacles blocking public access. Read more about their trip here.
It’s Fun to Play…in Marine Protected Areas.
On January 1, 2012, southern California became the proud owner of newly established Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). After a multi-year process, these new MPAs are hoped to bring about renewed ocean health to marine life and habitat. Check out our recent blog about the establishment of MPAs.