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Winning in 2017 – A Look at the Bright Side

Above: Surfrider activists at Ocean Day 2017 in Sacramento

Despite the significant challenges faced at the federal level in advancing our work, momentum remains strong in California on both the state and local levels. We logged 18 official victories and gained substantial ground on many important campaigns. This is all thanks to the hard work and dedication of Surfrider’s powerful activist network of volunteers and staff and their relentless efforts to protect California’s coast. Without everyone’s dedication, this progress would not be possible and for that we extend a heartfelt THANK YOU for making 2017 the best it possibly could be.

Above: Activists taking a stand against Cemex sand mine and associated astronomical beach erosion rates in Monterey County

To recap, together we were able to secure these important victories:

  • In January, President Obama expanded the California Coastal National Monument;
  • Venoco’s proposed offshore oil drilling expansion in the state waters adjacent to the city of Goleta was denied;
  • The EPA stopped Humboldt Bay dredge spoils from being dumped on Samoa Beach.
  • Culver City adopted an ordinance banning polystyrene food service ware items;
  • The California Supreme Court upheld permit conditions for a seawall in Encinitas that helps to set precedent statewide;
  • Phillips 66's rail spur expansion project from being permitted in San Luis Obispo County was denied.

Above: Activists rallying to restore access to Martin’s Beach {victory in the works)

We also were successful in our advocacy efforts on several important Coastal Commission decisions:

  • Ensuring the provision of low cost accommodations at Crystal Cove State Beach;
  • Securing substantial mitigation funds to offset armoring impacts in Solana Beach;
  • Influencing the permitting of Pure Water San Diego – a waste water recycling facility in the works;
  • The end of the Cemex sand mine in Monterey County!
  • Saving Beacons Beach and Solana Beach from “defacto” seawalls;
  • Preventing parking restrictions at Surfrider Beach in Malibu;
  • Resolving a violation which resulted in the transfer of approximately 36 acres of coastal property located between Jalama Beach Park to the county park to expand the campground and park area in Santa Barbara County.

Additionally, were able to help pass two very important pieces of legislation:

  • SB 5, California’s Parks Bond, the first bond measure in state history to focus on social equity, including access to parks for all Californians;
  • AB 250 California’s “Coastal Cabins” bill, which will help make beach trips more affordable so all Californians and visitors to our state can enjoy the coast.

If we can do all this in 2017, the sky is the limit for 2018! We can’t wait to work with everyone next year to continue protecting California’s ocean, waves and beaches.

Happy holidays and New Year to all!