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California Currents - This Week's Action Alerts, Policy Updates, Red Tide Survey, #ISD2020 Update and more!

Hello and Happy Friday Coastal Defenders!

We are reporting in with our weekly roundup here to keep you in the loop on all things coastal protection in California! As always, you can also listen and subscribe to our weekly podcast for a similar update as well as fun factoids, action alerts and more!

Please Support Our Partners

: Chrissie Y.

On June 19, 1865, Black communities in Texas finally received the news that they were set free. Juneteenth is a day that commemorates this news and honors Black freedom and perseverance.Although slavery was abolished nearly 150 years ago, systemic racism still permeates our society and we recognize that black people are impacted daily by social and environmental injustice. It’s a little known fact that even our beaches and surfing areas were sources of racism and segregation. (see link in our bio)This Juneteenth we proudly support Black Lives Matter. Racism has no place in the surf community or coastal conservation, and it has no place in our society. The Surfrider Foundation continues to actively work to ensure that our ocean, waves and beaches are accessible and welcoming to everyone.We can’t solve our environmental challenges without addressing our social challenges first.

Surfrider’s mission is to ensure fair and equitable beach access for all. For some Americans, public beach access may seem like a given. Many people grow up going to the beach, seeking the comfort of sand and surf during hard times, and struggle with feeling cooped up while beaches across the country are closed in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Yet for many Americans, particularly Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC), beach access has historically been denied. Read the full blog Surfrider’s Legal Intern recently posted!

With the COVID-19 pandemic, many of our outdoor recreation colleagues have been forced to postpone or modify programs. Longtime heroes Brown Girl Surf , Outdoor Outreach as well as the City Surf Project who are working on so many fronts to create equity in the line-up. Support them today!

Support 30 x 30 in California!

Climate change is limiting nature’s ability to buffer communities impacted by disasters like storms, fires, and floods. We support the House and Senate 30x30 resolutions’ call for fully addressing environmental justice and the necessity for a much more equitable distribution of nature’s benefits to ALL people, not only privileged communities. Sign the Healthy Ocean Coalitions’s supportive petition here:

June Coastal Commission Report

First, we published our June ActCoastal report with an update from the June Coastal Commission meeting that took place Wednesday, June 10 to Friday, June 12. Notable from the meeting is that the Commission issued a $1.7 million fine and ceases and desist order for private encroachments onto public sand dunes! At least 33 homes had extended their yards and landscaping into the dunes, in many cases for decades.

The Courthouse News reported on the item and quoted Surfrider Foundation’s Jennifer Savage. Savage said during the meeting the homeowners encroached on the public beach “with a sense of entitlement most of us would be hard-pressed to fathom.” Savage said some of the illegal yards extended as much as 80 feet onto the beach!

Additionally, Surfrider Foundation pushed the Commission to deny a proposed 7 unit condominium development in Pacifica that would have been located on Beach Boulevard. The development would have relied on the existing seawall and likely perpetuated its existence into the future and created a significant loophole where new development could rely on existing seawalls – which is illegal under the Coastal Act. For more information on the Coastal Commission meeting check out our vote chart and meeting summary at  and sign up for our newsletter!

Southern California Red Tide Health Survey

Photo: Blacks Beach by Austin Blair

Did you visit the beach during this last red tide (Mar 30-May 31) in Southern CA?

If so, please complete this red tide questionnaire we helped develop with SCCOOS. There's been anecdotal evidence for years that this specific phytoplankton can cause respiratory symptoms and skin rashing. The hope is to get more information from people, even anecdotally, to help track this potential.

In response to the recent, prolonged Red Tide Event, the Southern California Coastal Ocean Observing System (SCCOOS) and researchers at UCSD Scripps Institution of Oceanography are collaborating with the Surfrider Foundation to collect community anecdotal information/data for inclusion in future publications and bulletins on potential respiratory symptoms experienced after being exposed to the Lingulodinium polyedra bloom.

Please fill out the survey today and let us know if you experienced any health impacts!

International Surfing Day – June 20

In case you missed it, we recently announced the First Annual, California International Surfing Day – Virtual Surf Contest!  Check out how you can participate here!