Thursday, July 25, 2013
2013 Second Quarter Update
Here’s what California Surfrider Chapters have been up to. Remember, this newsletter only highlights a fraction of what is taking place. With 20 Chapters, it’s impossible to capture everything these do-gooders are doing in one publication! To find out how you can plug into a local Chapters go here.
Ocean Day Swells on The Capitol.
Surfrider, along with several statewide organizations, plans an annual “Ocean Day” where advocates hit the Capitol to speak with decision makers. This year was particularly exciting for Surfrider because 25% of our Chapter leadership attended the lobby day. In all, over 70 activists from various organizations visited 100 Senate and Assembly offices to discuss: climate change and sea level rise planning; ocean ecosystem protection; plastic pollution solutions; and various pieces of legislation that will help protect our ocean and coastline. Go here to see more about the day.
State Park Fees
Surfrider chapters have been monitoring and commenting on proposals to increase fees at State Beaches. Surfrider understands the Department of Parks and Recreation (the Department) is suffering during hard economic times, and we believe reasonable park fees may be necessary to maintain our parks and keep them open. However, we are concerned about how the process of increasing fees has been handled thus far—especially in Sonoma County where a plan calls to implement fees at 80% of Sonoma State Beaches. In southern California, where many beaches already have fees, Surfrider is concerned the Department is not conducting current revenue analysis to plan for new fees. We recently submitted a comment letter to the Coastal Commission as they were considering fees in So Cal. At the end of the day, we call upon the Department to re-double its efforts to work with the public and assuage concerns. Our Sonoma Chapter has put a tremendous amount of work into ensuring maximum public access at State Beaches. Here is a current article about the situation. And here is an AP article that provides good background.
Plastic Bags on Their Way Out.
Kudos to our South Bay and West LA/Malibu Chapters for helping pass a bag ban in Los Angeles. LA is now the largest city in the U.S with a bag ban. This victory has been years in the making. Check it out! Sonoma County (where it is estimated that 260 million plastic bags are used annually) is getting closer to banning bags. The County Supervisors voted to support an ordinance and directed Sonoma County Waste Management Agency Board to vote in support of adopting a countywide ordinance. See more here.
- Toll Road Gets “Water boarded”: Surfrider and partners defeat toll road developers (again) at a recent Water Board hearing. See more.
- Surfrider Planting the Seed. Ocean Friendly Gardens hitting So Cal. Learn how.
- Dude Where’s My Beach?: San Diego Chapter helps stop a massive sand replenishment project.
- Long Walks on the Beach: The Long Beach Chapter successfully weighs in on pedestrian path.