Tuesday, October 22, 2013


2013 Third Quarter Update

Fracking Unfolds  

Surfrider, along with the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) and the Environmental Defense Center (EDC), recently broke the news that fracking has be used off California’s coast for decades.  EDC obtained internal documents from the federal government clearly showing fracking was conducted more than a dozen times in the Santa Barbara channel and some frack-fluids were directly discharged into the ocean.   As we struggled to understand how fracking could occur without regulators knowing, we decided to write a letter to the California Coastal Commission (CCC) asking for an investigation.  As we were putting the final touches on that letter, our friends at CBD discovered fracking was also happening in states waters.  We immediately launched this press release.  Fortunately our request was taken seriously and the CCC is currently investigating all fracking.  Hear more here and see more here.  

Legislative Season

The legislative season often feels like the World Series of baseball—there are always curve balls thrown and the games leading up to the final playoff are always nerve-wracking.  Surfrider monitored nearly a dozen bills this legislative season.  In the end, our coast didn’t win the World Series—unfortunately special interests came to Sacramento with a heavy hand.  This biggest loss (read: curve ball) was the defeat of AB 976—a bill that would have given the Coastal Commission authority to administer fines to violators.  Surfrider worked hard on this bill and we are hopeful we can successfully pass it next year.  On a positive note, two small victories came when the Governor signed:
  • AB 691requires an assessment of sea-level rise impacts to public trust lands.
  • — AB 754—that puts “check-off box” on the state tax return allocating money to the fund that pays for Whale Tail grants.
California and International Conference

125 Surfrider activists from California, Europe, Japan, Australia, Peru, Jamaica, and Canada recently spent a weekend discussing current issues impacting our protect our oceans, waves and beaches.   Topics included:  plastic pollution, offshore oil drilling, climate change/sea level rise, offshore fracking, wave protection, volunteer training and our CEO provided an excellent “state of the state” of Surfrider is and where we are going.  These conferences are the heart and soul of Surfrider.  Get more involved with your local chapter so you can attend fun events like this. 
 In Case You Missed It: 
  • The Tides are a Changing (no Bob Dylan pun):  The Coastal Commission recently released a document providing an overview of science on sea-level rise and steps to combat the growing issue.  Surfrider is delving more into understanding the implications of sea-level rise and recently attended a training held by NOAA to actively plan for climate change adaptation.
  • Boom, Boom, Boom…Surfrider submitted a comment letter to the State Lands Commission regarding the process of conducting seismic testing off our coast.   You can read it here
  • Oil Drilling Precedent: There is a new proposal to drill for oil off Hermosa Beach (if city voters approve a ballot measure).  If this project moves forward it would set a horrible statewide precedent.  We recently submitted this letter to express our concerns. 


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  CA Policy Manager:
Stefanie Sekich-Quinn

Southern California Field Manager:
Nancy Hastings

Legal Director
Angela Howe


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