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Straw Ban + Beach Access + Illegal Seawall

Beach Access // California + Santa Cruz + Martin's Beach

Three reports released in 2017 by researchers at Stanford Law, Berkeley Law, UCLA and San Francisco State University all found that residents along California coasts are more affluent and more white, and that there are significant physical and financial barriers for others who want to enjoy the beach – even though it is legally a publicly owned resource.

This issue was recently explored in an article in the Guardian quoting Surfrider's own Jennifer Savage. As she puts it, “There’s a growing awareness of the intangible barriers that keep people from being able to access the coast because of income,” she said, “We hear the rationale that allowing public use of a public beach will result in crime and trash and the destruction of our natural resources. And, certainly, not all people in all instances are perfect stewards,” she added.

“But if we wanted to really protect the natural ecosystems, then you could make an argument that people should not be allowed to go anywhere and all of our parks and beaches should be gated off from general use. That’s not the way that we do things, at least in California.” Read on: 'Privatizing the coast': are wealthy Californians seizing public beaches?

Beach Preservation // Update on Illegal Seawall in Laguna Beach

The OC Register published an update on the Coastal Commission's enforcement case over an illegal seawall in Laguna Beach. It's not surprise this is going to the courts.

“It’s very frustrating to see the continued disregard of the law by these property owners,” said Jennifer Savage, the Surfrider Foundation’s California policy manager. “The violations have been flagrant, long-standing and well-documented, so we do feel optimistic the courts will recognize that the Coastal Commission properly fulfilled their obligation to protect the public beach for all Californians. “We just hope the illegal seawall doesn’t destroy that public beach in the meantime, especially with the coming winter storms and swells.”

Read the full article, here: Laguna Beach homeowners win reprieve in tearing down seawall protecting house

Plastic Pollution // California Passes Straw Ban

Governor Brown signed two bills Thursday afternoon that will help reduce plastic pollution in California!  Thanks to Assembly Majority Leader Ian Calderon and Senator Ben Allen for helping California #BreakFreeFromPlastic! In his signing statement, Governor Brown writes, “But one thing is clear, we must find ways to reduce and eventually eliminate single-use plastic products.” Here's the scoop.

Action Alert // Save the Land and Water Conservation Fund

A little fund you might not know about does BIG conservation work in California and elsewhere! For over 50 years, the Land and Water Conservation Fund has protected outstanding public lands and waters across the United States. For those of us who love the coast, this means the conservation of countless special places with enhanced opportunities for recreation.

Unfortunately, the Land and Water Conservation Fund (#LWCF) will be eliminated unless our federal lawmakers take action by September 30th. If the #LWCF is not reauthorized, our nation will lose one of its best conservation tools to protect important habitats and recreation areas.

Please tell your Congressional representatives to permanently reauthorize and fully fund the Land Water Conservation Fund! #SaveLWCF. Sign the action alert now!

Event // California Surfing Day

Mark your calendars! September 20 is now officially California Surfing Day!