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2023 Coast & Ocean Legislative Update

Coming up on the July recess in Sacramento, Surfrider remains in strong support of the following bills:

  • SB 272 (Laird) -  Surfrider is calling this a "sea level rise planning for all" bill because it will mandate Local Coastal Program Updates for all California coastal areas. Watch Save the Bay’s conversation with Senator Laird, which includes information on the author's bill intention as well as some great updates on its progress, here. (Status: Assembly)
  • AB 1597 (Alvarez) - This bill for clean water will allow the State of California to send money to NADBank in order to fund clean water projects at the U.S.-Mexico border. While this is largely an administrative fix, it will provide an important pathway for the state to use to contribute funding to the wastewater solutions that Surfrider is advocating for as part of our Clean Border Water Now campaign. (Status: Assembly)
  • SB 704 (Min) - Surfrider’s North OC, Long Beach and South Bay Chapters submitted a letter in support of this bill because it reduces an outdated exemption that makes oil, gas and petrochemical refinery development along the coast easier. Because the last thing coastal oil developers should be getting is exemptions from Coastal Act review.  (Status: Assembly)
  • AB 1407 (Addis) - Surfrider San Luis Obispo submitted a letter in support of this bill because it will establish a framework and goals for kelp recovery in the state. (Status: Senate)
  • SB 286 (McGuire) - This bill keeps the State Lands Commission in charge of CEQA permitting for offshore wind projects. It also establishes a working group at the Coastal Commission for managing mitigation of offshore wind impacts. (Status: Assembly)

Surfrider is currently OPPOSING SB 423. This is an affordable housing bill - Surfrider is not opposing efforts to streamline affordable housing in the coastal zone. However, the current framework of the bill deregulates multi-family housing in the coastal zone by removing the Coastal Commission's jurisdiction on these projects. This means that any qualified housing projects would not get upheld to Coastal Act standards for mitigation and avoidance of things like blocked coastal access, erosion of public beaches, and impacts on sensitive habitats. Surfrider California believes affordable housing can be built consistent with the voter-approved Coastal Act, not in spite of it. We are working on suggested amendments to this bill.

How can chapters get involved in supporting our priority bills?

The end of the legislative session can be a very important time to show support for bills. You can get involved by identifying the bills (or even just one bill) that your chapter loves. Think about why it would improve your coastal community, or even your Surfrider chapter specifically. Once you've got that down, you can:

  1. Write a letter of support. Try to use locally relevant details and facts to illustrate why your chapter supports the bill. The San Luis Obispo Chapter's letter in support of AB 1407 (known affectionately as 'the kelp bill') can serve as a template. Send your draft letter to Laura Walsh, Surfrider's CA Policy Manager, to help you finalize the letter with the correct formatting and to submit to the right legislative committees and the Governor's office.
  2. Write a blog in support. Got a lot to say? Try expanding on your letter and turning it into a blog. Pictures and links can go a long way. Once you've posted the blog, send it to Laura Walsh so she can help make sure that the right members of the State Legislature know your blog exists.
  3. Take to social media. Post on instagram or twitter about your support for a bill. Make sure to tag your legislator, the bill author, the governor and Surfrider California, and definitely link to that blog or letter in your bio!

Stay tuned for action alerts on SB 272 and SB 704 and always be thinking about opportunities to connect with your legislator's district staff!