Thursday, April 26, 2012


April Policy Update

Capitol News….

This is the time of year when lawmakers make laws!  Surfrider is following many bills that relate to our ocean, beaches and waves.  Not only are we watching bills, but Surfrider is also sponsoring a very important bill called SB 568.  This bill seeks to ban the use of expanded polystyrene or "foam” take out food packaging.  Foam is a petroleum-based plastic that is not recyclable and doesn’t biodegrade.  Foam containers can also be toxic to humans by leaching chemicals into our foods.  Pieces of foam are ubiquitous at beach cleanups and the California State Water Board found that foam is the most prevalent trash on beaches. Foam cannot be controlled using typical litter collection methods because small lightweight pieces blow away. 

If you live in California, tell your Assemblymember to vote YES!   If you live outside California but visit the state and would like to see this bill passed, to find out which Assemblymember represents the district that you visit, then contact them directly. 

Bag It! (just not in plastic).

Congratulations to the San Diego Chapter who worked to influence the City of Solana Beach to vote YES on banning plastic bags.  Solana Beach will be the first city in San Diego County to ban the use of plastic bags.  Read more here.  Local bag bans are becoming the fastest way to curb plastic pollution.  Plastic is not only the most common type of marine litter worldwide (comprising 90% of floating marine debris), but it also kills an estimated 100,000 marine mammals and up to 1 million sea birds every year when these critters mistake it for food.   Oh and plastic never, never, never goes away...when it hits the ocean, plastic just breaks down into smaller pieces.  Ick.  Ick.

Make a vow to use less plastic. Learn how here

San Onofre and Trestles are known for Waves….

From the get-go, Surfrider was perplexed by a proposal to build a wave energy facility in the ocean just offshore of San Onofre and Trestles.   As a disclaimer: Surfrider is not necessarily opposed to wave energy; we believe it has the potential to provide a sustainable source of clean energy. But at the same time, we want to ensure wave energy projects avoid impacts to ocean and recreation.  The San Onofre wave energy plan was also questioned by local fishermen, community members and now, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) the agency in charge of the permitting such a proposal.  At the end of March, FERC stopped the proposal dead in its tracks.  FERC concluded that the company does not have the money or ability to conduct all the studies needed to undertake a huge wave energy project. Surfrider Foundation was a formal participant and stakeholder in the permit process and we were very pleased with FERC decision. 

West Coast Governors Rule!  

CA, OR WA Governors
In 2006, the Governors of Washington, Oregon, and California agreed to take bold steps to protect the west coast and its important coastal and ocean ecosystems.  This agreement is officially known as the West Coast Governors’ Agreement on Ocean Health (WCGA).  In 2008, the three states released a final action plan outlining activities that would be implemented on regional basis.  Today, WCGA released its Integrated Ecosystem Assessment action plan that focuses on an “ecosystem approach to the management of ocean and coastal resources, including providing a comprehensive framework for coastal resource decision making-considering the wide range of ecological, environmental, and human factors that influence societal objectives regarding resource use and protection”.   This action plan is one of 11 plans that will be forthcoming from the Governors. 

Way to go, west coast!  To learn more about WCGA and its plans go here.  


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  CA Policy Manager:
Stefanie Sekich-Quinn

Southern California Field Manager:
Nancy Hastings

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Angela Howe


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