Summer has given way to fall and we have a transition to report from Surfrider HQ as well... After a year-plus of outstanding achievement as your California Coastal Policy Coordinator, Amanda Winchell has begun a new chapter in her life – in Seattle! New in the role, although not to Surfrider, is Mandy Sackett.
Our California chapter network also helps to support statewide efforts including Yes on 67, expanding the California Coastal Monument, advocating for protection of offshore seamounts and fighting to uphold the Coastal Act by keeping the California Coastal Commission accountable.
As Southern California Regional Manager Bill Hickman recently pointed out, Surfrider celebrates 25 years of chapter strength this year. While we now have chapters all over the country – and across the world! – our longest-running chapters call California home. Each has its own priorities varying from region to region, but all share a determination to protect our coast. What that looks like can vary from influencing policy and fighting illegal sand mining to hosting beach cleanups to engaging future coastal stewards in the wonder of the ocean.
In recent news, Governor Jerry Brown has signed Surfider-supported AB 2616 into law. Authored by Assemblymember Autumn Burke, the bill directs the Commission to consider environmental justice when making decisions. This is a victory for those typically underrepresented on coastal environmental issues and for public access as a whole.
You can make your own voice heard by weighing in on the Commission's search for a new Executive Director, asking Commissioners to acknowledge that the new Coastal Commission Executive Director must ensure staff continues their excellent track record of fairly and objectively applying the Coastal Act to the various issues and matters that come before the Commission. Submit a letter to Coastal Commission staff regarding the Draft Coastal Commission Executive Director position statement to Deputy Chief Susan Hansch and Human Resources Chief Melanie Wong.
You can also answer these survey questions to inform both the Commission's final ED position announcement and the interview questions that the staff and consultant will prepare for interviewing candidates.
Governor Brown also signed SB 1287, Senator Mike McGuire's bill enabling for better retrieval of crab fishing gear, which means less debris in the water, reducing risks of whale entanglement and other harm to wildlife. We are very pleased to have supported this important legislation.