Friday, February 24, 2012
Feburary Policy Updates
New Offshore Oil Drilling Proposal
There is a new proposal to drill for black-gold in California waters. The Caron Petroleum Corporation is proposing to tap oil in state waters by utilizing an existing platform located in federal waters (near Carpinteria). The Santa Barbara oil spill of 1969 still lingers in the psyche of the local community—and that was apparent at a recent public hearing where locals expressed concerns about a new drilling proposal. Surfrider has weighed in on the proposal by submitting a comment letter for the scoping process of the project.
One of the more concerning aspects of the project is that the company hired to be the platform operator has been cited more than any company in Santa Barbara for drilling violations. In light of the Deepwater Horizon spill, our country cannot afford to have faulty operators at the helm—potentially putting our coast (and economy) in harms way. Read more about the project in a recent new article.
California Celebrates 40th Anniversary of Coastal Program
In 1972 the voters of California passed Prop 20, which established the California Coastal Commission (CCC). The CCC, in conjunction with coastal cities and counties, regulates the use of land and water in the coastal zone (under the Coastal Act which was established shortly after Prop 20 in 1976). Over the past 40 years, our coast has benefited from having a solid costal program and Commission in place. Without the foresight from the CCC, our coast would look and feel much differently. There would be less scenic beauty at Big Sur, more concrete/roads invading the coastal zone (like the proposed toll road through San Onofre State Beach), and less public access. Surfrider, in conjunction with other coastal advocates, will be celebrating the 40th anniversary of our state’s coastal program throughout the year in various ways (continue to check this blog for updates). If you want to help highlight a success story from your community related to our coastal program, contact Surfrider so we can brainstorm and plan ways to celebrate.
5th Annual “Ocean Day” Fast Approaching.
Ocean Day is a lobby day for advocates to visit elected officials and discuss pressing ocean issues. Our goal this year is to meet with 100 offices! The day also contains an educational event on the front lawn of the Capitol demonstrating the value of our ocean, the threats it faces, and future protections of its ecosystem. There will also be a luncheon sponsored by COMPASS with presentations by scientists highlighting some of the latest advancements in ocean science relevant to California’s ocean policy and management. We’ll cap off the day with a reception at the Sutter Club to celebrate California’s ocean and coast, and honor those who have helped advance ocean health in our state. If you want to get attend Ocean Day, please contact Stefanie: Ssekich@surfrider.org