Doug Karpa (Turtle Island Restoration Network), Madeline Kinsey (CA Sea Grant), Diane Castaneda (Wildcoast), and Mitch Silverstein (Surfrider SD) thank Senator Richard Roth (D31 – Riverside) for voting YES on CA’s plastic bag ban.
By: Mitch Silverstein
Did you know that Tuesday, March 15 was the 11th Annual Ocean Day in our state capitol? Neither did I! Not until Surfrider asked me to attend, of course.
Organized by Environment California in partnership with Surfrider Foundation + 10 other environmental groups in CA, over 50 ocean advocates washed ashore at the capitol Tuesday morning to promote policies which protect our oceans, waves and beaches.
A quick rundown of the top bills we advocated for while “dropping in” on our state legislators:
Prohibiting ocean discharges of treated wastewater by 2036. We need to put that water to use! (Senate Bill 163 – Hertzberg)
Improving prevention, preparation & response to oil spills in California. Santa Barbara, never again! (SB 900 – Jackson, SB 1083 – Allen, SB 788 – Mcguire)
Transparency and fair practices at the California Coastal Commission! (Assembly Bill 2002 – Stone )
No more smoking at our state beaches and parks. Cigarette butts, the world’s #1 most littered item, are toxic to marine life and do not readily biodegrade. (SB 1333 – Block)
Protecting marine wildlife by solving the problem of discarded fishing gear, and replacing drift gillnets with more sustainable swordfish-catching technologies. (SB 1287 – McGuire, SB 1114 – Allen)
We also paddled hard against the oncoming wave of ocean desalination plants in California, which are incredibly energy intensive, expensive, and destructive to our precious marine environment. It’s a last resort at best! We asked legislators to oppose 3 bills – AB 1871, AB 1925, AB 2043 – which support and set goals for desal, rather than explore & promote alternatives.
Lastly, we sought official endorsements for this November’s referendum of SB-270, California’s single-use plastic bag ban. Please remember to vote YES on this landmark bill!
We’d like to thank everyone who came together to make Ocean Day a success, and all of our state legislators who took the time to meet with us. You can make a difference by contacting your representatives and echoing our sentiments!
Needless to say, every day is Ocean Day here at the San Diego chapter!