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--click here