San Diego County Chapter

Climate Change

Changing Climate, Changing Coasts

Our ocean and coasts are under siege due to climate change. Extreme weather events, sea level rise and ocean acidification are putting our coastlines at risk, impacting everything from beachgoing to ocean recreation. Climate change impacts are also increasingly taking a devastating toll on coastal economies and local communities.

By 2050, scientists estimate that 90% of coral reefs will die off from ocean warming and acidification due to climate change. It’s also predicted that three feet of sea levels rise will completely wipe out 87% of California’s best surf breaks. In addition, warming water temperatures from climate change will produce more harmful algae blooms, resulting in closed beaches, killed wildlife, and severe illnesses to surfers and swimmers.

What is Surfrider doing to help our eroding coastlines?

  • Safeguarding and passing climate change and coastal preservation legislation at the state and federal levels. 
  • Halting harmful development and damaging coastal armoring projects around the country. 
  • Engaging in more than 25 local and state efforts to plan for sea level rise. 
  • Participating in coastal dune restoration projects across 14 chapters. 
  • Helping to pass Community Choice Energy (CCE)  programs in local communities to allow local municipalities to create their own ‘energy portfolio’ by increasing  renewable energy sources.
  • Planting Ocean Friendly Gardens to create ‘“living soils”’ that avoid fossil-fuel intensive fertilizers, trap carbon and reduce nutrient runoff.
  • Surfing with Smartfins to collect ocean data that will inform scientists about how climate change is impacting the ocean and marine ecosystems.

Grassroots Efforts in San Diego County

santa cycle

While our Beach Preservation committee focuses on the protection and preservation of our beaches in the face of sea level rise and development, the Climate Change Committee supports coastal preservation by providing a strong voice for the coast in several key areas of Climate Action that invariably affect our ocean, waves and beaches… but aren’t necessarily happening right on the sand. These efforts include: 

  • support and advocacy for Community Choice Energy (CCE) in San Diego 
  • participation in San Diego “Green New Deal” planning process along with other local, climate-focused NGO’s 
  • ongoing efforts to oppose any new oil drilling off our coasts, including support for city resolutions against offshore drilling 
  • support for a broad range of efforts for successful climate action planning countywide
  • educational events such as movie nights and community bike rides along coastal areas vulnerable to sea level rise.

The Seas are Rising and So Are We

Our Climate Change Committee meets on the second Wednesday of each month at 6:30pm; meeting location varies so please check our Events Calendar.

For more information on our efforts and how to get involved, please email climatechange@surfridersd.org

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