We are looking forward to another great year of working together to protect our ocean, waves and beaches. In 2018, Surfrider logged 82 victories across the country – thanks in large part to our outstanding network of volunteer activists. We can’t wait to build on all this progress with you all. If you haven’t already, find your local chapter and get plugged in ASAP! The beginning of the year is the perfect time to do so.
Sea Level Rise
If you haven’t heard, we released our State of the Beach report just before the new year and it attracted a lot of attention! Check us out in Forbes and in Surfer! One of our major objectives for 2019 will be to protect our coast, beaches and waves from sea level rise. And while California received a good grade in the report – there is much work to be done! Now, we need to focus on translating good policies to actual implementation plans – we need to put our money where our mouth is! In our Coastal Preservation Manager, Stefanie Sekich Quinn’s words – “As the report reveals, many states hit hardest by extreme weather and climate change are the least prepared and it is vital that states take action now to protect our nation’s coastal resources for the future.”
We also plan to continue to focus on beach access for all – including low income, inland communities. A recent LA Times article on the state of beach access in California states, “The California Coastal Act proclaimed in 1976 that the beach is for everyone — not just for those fortunate enough to own an oceanfront home. The state over the years has chipped away at locked gates, private roads and neighborhoods that try to keep out the public. What’s left are access battles against those with the means to fight back in court in perpetuity.” And on that note – may we all resolve to visit the coast as much as we can this year. Surfrider’s mission is not only to protect our beaches and special places but also to ENJOY them!
Over the past several years there has been a groundswell of support for local legislation aimed at reducing or eliminating single-use plastic pollution. From bag and foam bans, to straws-upon-request, our chapter members are committed to keeping California’s beaches, shorelines, and waterways free from trash and toxins. Our state legislators have also shown leadership by passing bills to reduce foam and straws across the state. But with the recycling rates declining and the amount of plastic production expected to increase by 40% in the next decade, these product-by-product bans are not enough. This year, we are focused on enacting more comprehensive measures to address the plastic pollution problem, similar to what the European Union passed in December of last year.