Even as our federal administration ramped up efforts to tear down California’s status as a leader in environmental protection, Surfrider Foundation accumulated win after win protecting our beaches and ocean, with 21 significant victories throughout 2019.
Once again, our network of chapter activists demonstrated how grassroots activism, hard science and boundless passion for clean beaches and a healthy ocean combine into a nearly unstoppable force. We turned out to say “No more!” to single-use plastics, to demand Clean Border Water Now! and to reject destructive seawalls along our precious California coastline.
Surfrider’s California policy staff spoke on behalf of the public time and time again. We raised our voices at public meetings and served as spokespeople on rising seas in the LA Times, Scientific American and OC Register; on equitable beach access on ABC News and KTLA, and in the Santa Monica Daily Press, and even in response to President Donald Trump’s attacks on San Francisco.
In addition to keeping our activists informed through this website and via our Facebook page and Instagram account, we created “Protect & Enjoy,” a weekly California ocean and coast podcast.
Looking to the future, we know the greatest threat to California’s beaches is how we respond to sea level rise. If the state allows continued armoring of our shores, our sandy beach will quickly become a place of the past – as will our waves that depend on those beaches to break. We’ll continue to advocate for “soft” solutions and managed retreat as the best long-term response. We’ll also our focus on ocean protection through defending California’s network of Marine Protected Areas, resisting new offshore oil drilling and ensuring the nuclear waste along our coast is safely stored and ultimately relocated.
How well our coast fares in 2020 will depend, as always, on the engagement of our activists, volunteers and supporters! Watch for info on how to join Ocean Day Sacramento – taking place Tuesday, March 24 – and don’t forget to re-up your Surfrider membership, get involved in your local chapter, follow along here and elsewhere, and make sure to include enjoying your local beaches as part of protecting them!
- Jan. 8 – The City of San Diego bans expanded polystyrene (aka Styrafoam) to help stop the flow of plastic to the ocean!
- March 1 – The City of Los Angeles requires all food and beverage facilities within city limits to only offer plastic straws upon request!
- March 4 – The City of Del Mar bans plastic straws and stirrers!
- March 6 – The City of Manhattan Beach passes a stricter version of their plastics reduction ordinance that includes a ban on balloon releases!
- March 19 – The City of Manhattan Beach City Council bans polystyrene meat trays!
- May 15 – The City of Imperial Beach City Council bans plastic straws, stirrers and utensils throughout the city and expands its ban on polystyrene!
- June 14 – The California Coastal Commission votes to save San Clemente’s T-Street beach access trail and open space!
- July 11 – The California Coastal Commission votes to save Half Moon Bay State Beach from a seawall!
- July 12 – Governor Gavin Newsom signs the “Bring Your Own” bill into law!
- September 3 – The City of Redondo Beach City Council bans smoking in public places!
- September 13 – The California Coastal Commission votes to save Gaviota State Beach from 1,700 tons of riprap!
- September 17 – The City of San Diego chooses Community Choice Energy!
- September 19 – The City of La Mesa chooses Community Choice Energy!
- September 20 – The City of Encinitas chooses Community Choice Energy!
- September 25 – The City of Solana Beach passes a comprehensive plastics reduction ordinance!
- September 27 – Governor Newsom signs new legislation to help prevent harmful chemicals, plastic pollution and sewage from spilling into the Tijuana River Valley!
- October 10 – San Luis Obispo County bans polystyrene!
- October 17 – California legislature passes “Oil Spill Response and Contingency Planning” bill to better prevent, contain and clean up dangerous and hard-to-manage “nonfloating” offshore oil spills!
- November 6 – The City of Pacific Grove says No! to single-use plastics!
- November 18 – Hermosa Beach City Council expands citywide ban on polystyrene!
- December 10 – Irvine passes Community Choice energy!