Happy August! Is it us or does summer always seem to fly right by? Hopefully you’re taking a minute or several to enjoy the long days – and our glorious California coast. Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez understands this imperative and has undertaken a road trip stretching from the Oregon border to Baja’s. Along with photographer Allen Schaben they’re exploring beaches, wetlands, wave-pounded coves, rocky cliffs “and the characters who thrive in this iconic realm.”

This trip isn’t just an excuse to get out of the office. For several months, Lopez has been covering the disastrous decisions our current majority of California Coastal Commission keeps making. Too many of the Commissioners have opted to ignore not only the recommendations of their staff, time and time again, but are failing to adhere to the Coastal Act, the law that keeps California’s beaches open to everyone.

That’s why we launched our #SAVEOURCOAST campaign.

It’s also why we, along with our partners, maintain the ActCoastal website. For those looking for a deep dive, check out the most recent post on parking issues. Parking might not seem like the kind of issue that would destroy a state, but when the state is California and the larger issue is ensuring beach access to all members of the public, the impact of parking regulations can be profound.

Our Sonoma County chapter knows this first-hand and is still in the midst of fighting State Parks’ proposal to implement parking fees along the Sonoma coast.

Political insiders have suggested that the Coastal Commission majority ousted former Executive Director Charles Lester to clear the way for the widely disliked Parks’ plan. The contradictory statements – and consistent delaying of decisions – over parking issues at the most recent Coastal Commission meeting suggest support for that theory.

Expanding California’s Coastal Monuments
Have you voiced your support for greater coastal protection yet? Check out this gorgeous video about designating approximately 6,200 acres in Humboldt, Santa Cruz, and San Luis Obispo counties as California Coastal National Monuments.

Safeguard California Seamounts
Also up for protection: unique deep sea areas far off California’s coast. You’ve likely heard of Cortes and Tanner Banks, but this great story in the San Francisco Chronicle – and the video below – explains the significance of not just those amazing places, but underwater canyons and volcanos that serve as home to incredible, fragile species.

California chapters and campaigns

Our priority campaigns with a California focus include Open Martin’s Beach and Yes To the California Bag Ban. Want to know more about what’s happening in our state and what our activists are doing to protect our coast? Visit Surfrider’s campaign page and – if you’re not already involved – find the chapter nearest you. After all, it’s our irreplaceable network of chapter volunteers fighting local threats and protecting local beaches who ensure Surfrider’s victories.