Wednesday, July 9, 2014


2nd Quarter Update for 2014.

State Budget Gives the Coast a “Bang for the Buck”

Who ever said ‘balancing the budget’ is not exciting? Certainly not coastal advocates—and especially this year!  The recently passed State budget includes three exciting coastal initiatives that will help California progressively plan into the future to safeguard our coastline. This budget provides:
  • The establishment of the “Climate Resilience Account” which gives $3 million to coastal agencies to address Sea Level Rise and Climate Change.

  • The Coastal Commission will receive $3M in funding to partner with local governments to complete and update Local Coastal Programs.
  • The Coastal Commission will receive authority to fine Coastal Act violators. Previously, the Commission was unable to levy fines against illegal efforts that block coastal access (such as when a private landowner posts illegal “no parking” or no “beach access” signs). 

Marine Protected Areas Continue to Succeed through Community Efforts

The Surfrider Foundation is working with local organizations, regional agencies, and the Department of Fish and Wildlife to foster a statewide network of “community-based” councils to manage and protect Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) throughout California.  Since MPAs were officially established, local “collaboratives” have been budding around the State and creating projects such as: conducting education and outreach, biological monitoring, and helping the State install informational signs. Go here to learn more about MPAs.

Coastal Oil Drilling is Not the Answer
There is a proposal to drill for oil off Hermosa Beach (if city voters approve a ballot measure).  Voters will have a chance in the next several months to cast their vote and squash this project.  Our local Chapters are engaging in efforts to stop the project and are out nearly every weekend working with “Keep Hermosa Hermosa” and Heal the Bay to educate the voters about making the right choice. To find out more about the project go

Let it Go, Let it Go….
Surfrider’s flagship campaign “Save Trestles” is still ticking despite toll road developers saying they are
“withdrawing their environmental plans of its proposed 16-mile toll road.”  After saying they were abandoning the full project, they contradicted themselves by deciding to spend $750,000 on lobbyists and consultants to secure approval of the failed road.  The toll road agency has already wasted more than $300 million on this ‘road to nowhere’ and they plan on spending $25 million this coming year on their failed project.  Really?  Just let it go.

Room to Grow

NOAA is proposing to expand the Cordell Bank/Gulf of the Farallones Marine Sanctuary.  Surfrider strongly supports the proposal to extend the boundaries of the two sanctuaries to add the northern area from Bodega Bay, Sonoma County to Alder Creek, Mendocino County. Surfrider has been actively working with a myriad of stakeholders to protect these special, biologically rich places and ecosystems. Read our comment letter here.

High and Lows of Law Making

We are halfway through the legislative season.  Unfortunately, the fracking moratorium bill to halt offshore/onshore fracking died due to heavy industry pressure.  On the positive side, there are many great pieces of legislation still moving that include: banning single use plastic bags; opening Martin’s Beach in the Bay Area after being closed off by a landowner; a resolution establishing “Safeguard Our Coast Day” (which celebrates the state’s leadership in coastal  management); a bill that eliminates a section of state law that will allow for oil and gas exploration off Santa Barbara; a bill that allows people living in communities with Home Owner Associations (HOA) to plant drought tolerate plants without being fined by HOA; a bill to preserve the right to have camp fires in Newport Beach; a bill to require “rapid water quality testing” along the coast, and many more.  Stay tuned; we will produce a synopsis of our victories at the end of the law-making season. 

P.S. We’re committed to keeping you up to date on California's coastal issues. But, we need YOU to help turn our campaigns into victories for California's coastline.  Please consider making a donation today--
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First Quarterly Update 2014

Welcome to our first 2014 newsletter.  

Our Chapters hit the ground running this year and we are excited about recent victories.  Before we jump into our update, we need your help. Please take 2 minutes to send an action alert to the Coastal Commission asking them to deny a mega-resort in Monterey Bay.  This project does not belong on a sensitive habitat area that is subject to erosion and sea level rise.  To read more about Surfrider’s concerns view  a recent letter we submitted.  And please send a message to the Commission here.  

Pack it Up…Pack it In…
Our South Bay Chapter has been working full steam on banning plastics that foul our beaches. Last month, all the Chapter’s hard work paid off when the Manhattan Beach City Council voted to prohibit restaurants from distributing single-use carry-out plastic bags and to extend its ban on polystyrene products to include utensils, straws, cup lids and foam coolers.  Check out the story and a great quote from out Chapter Chair. 

Take Down that Gate Mr. Khosla.
Martin's Beach, south of Half Moon Bay, has been loved over generations by local families and tourists who have spent countless hours there. That came to an end in recent years once billionaire venture capitalist, Vinod Khosla, purchased the property adjacent to the beach and decided to keep the public out.   In addition to the initial action of blocking public access, he cloaked his identity as the property owner, refused requests to meet and discuss the matter, hired security to patrol the property and ward off beach goers, and sought a restraining order to keep the public from the beach. Send a letter to Mr. Khosla asking for his cooperation.  Surfrider is also supporting legislation that will help resolve this matter.   

What the Frack?
  As we mentioned in a recent quarterly update, fracking has been occurring off California’s coastline with little to no oversight.  Surfrider and partners wrote a brief report outlining how we think the State ought to be regulating offshore fracking.  Check out this piece from the Huffington Post that explains what Surfrider is asking for. 

Helps Us Understand How Sea Level Rise Will Affect Surfing 
The ocean is changing. Waves are changing. Surfers are on the frontlines of these changes. Who better to help document, explain, and predict these changes than surfers – no one else watches the ocean as carefully as we do! This is what science4surfing is all about. Giving surfers the opportunity to contribute their wave knowledge will improve our understanding of the threats facing the ocean, coasts, and waves. With this knowledge, we can better protect what we all share and love. Help by taking  the survey here

7th Annual Ocean Lobby Day a Success.
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.   Legendary author David Helvarg wrote a great piece for National Geographic highlighting the day. Photo of Speaker Perez Meeting with Coastal Advocates   


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