Tuesday, April 9, 2013
2013 First Quarter Update.
This first part of 2013 has been exceptionally eventful for California Chapters. It would be impossible to capture everything happening at the statewide level, or within all 20 California Chapters in a simple blog post, however, below is our “top pick” of important issues.
“Look, You Gotta Follow the Law”
That’s what the California Coastal Commission (CCC) told the Navy when they unanimously rejected a proposal to conduct explosives and sonar training program off Southern California. The CCC concluded the Navy has refused to mitigate harmful impacts in the past, and currently they lacked enough information to back up their argument that testing would be "negligible" to marine life. Surfrider specifically opposed the Navy sonar testing because we were also concerned the testing would impact newly established Marine Protected Areas. Here is some news coverage on the issue.
California’s Landmark Law Under Attack
The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) is one of California’s most important laws. CEQA protects our environment and allows citizens to participate in local decision-making. Unfortunately developers and polluting industries have been attempting to weaken CEQA through legislation. Surfrider is concerned that a “weakened CEQA” would negatively impact coastal resources, and at the same time, shift the balance of power away from local communities to developers. Read more about what Surfrider is doing to protect CEQA.
Save Trestles FOREVER.
We know, we know...everyone thought the road was dead. And it IS. However, toll road developers will not give up their plan to build this zombie-road. We recently wrote a blog about their attempts to obtain a permit for building the first 5 miles of the road. Surfrider and our Save San Onofre Coalition presented formal arguments at the hearing and we are awaiting the Board to vote in May. While we wait, we are calling upon all of our supporters to help us continue fighting this road. We stopped them in 2008 (when thousands of surfers and activists generated the largest and most organized turnout to public hearings in state history). Here is an Editorial that will inspire you to continue the fight.
Strategic Planning for Ocean, Waves and Beaches
When people think about California they often think about our beautiful beaches. When Surfrider thinks about our coastline we often think about State agencies that are tasked with keeping beaches healthy and accessible. That’s why we were eager to provide recommendations for the California Coastal Commission’s (CCC) 5-year Strategic Plan. Surfrider submitted this comment letter detailing ways the CCC could continue to ensure public access, plan for climate change, and protect our coastal resources in an integrated fashion. Many of our recommendations were mentioned in the their final plan. Surfrider Chapters are engaging in local campaigns that focus on these important issues. Plug into your local chapter to see how you can help.