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Visiting the Capitol from Sunny San Diego

Around this time last year, a small delegation from San Diego County came back from Washington D.C. stoked on meeting with Congressmembers at Capitol Hill. Hill Day is a Surfrider Foundation nationwide event where delegations made up of staff, volunteers, and advocates meet with elected officials at Capitol Hill to discuss federal priorities. This year we pivoted from an in-person Hill Day and went virtual. Hill Day 2024 took place on February 28 and 29. 

Before meeting with representatives, delegations are formed to meet and plan out in anticipation for the big day(s)! Katie Day, Senior Manager of Science and Policy, took us back to high school for a quick U.S. Government 101 when Hill Day participants attended a Federal Advocacy and Surfrider Hill Day Training. We learned best practices for having successful, effective meetings from Surfrider policy experts and veteran Hill Day attendees. We reviewed our federal priorities, discussed techniques for being effective advocates, and shared how to meaningfully participate in constituent meetings. 

*SD Delegation

We broke records this year with more than 160 participants from 25 states! Our impact was felt throughout the two days —  new bill sponsors and cosponsors, many first timers excited to return, and commitments by our representatives to meet us in the field later this year. During our virtual Capitol Hill Day, we asked our representatives in Congress for four things

  1. to improve water quality monitoring along our coast to ensure the safety of our beaches for us and our families, 
  2. to halt the dumping of pre production plastic materials into our waterways, 
  3. to permanently ban new offshore oil and gas drilling along our coast, and⁠ 
  4. to protect clean water at the U.S./Mexico border.

With more than 140 Congressional meetings that took place, we are stoked to be part of the powerful voice in the fight to protect clean water and healthy beaches for all people.

This year's San Diego delegation included Mitch Silverstein, Sarah Davidson, Tom Germeau, Acxel Herrera Ibarra, and Lesly Gallegos-Stearns. The team met with staff from Representative Sara Jacobs, Representative Scott Peters, and Senator Alex Padilla. We plan to be back in person in 2025 and look forward to making waves of change in Washington D.C. 


Make Your Voice Heard

Help Support the BEACH Act of 2024: Help improve the BEACH Act to better protect water quality at your beach! A new federal bill has been introduced to provide much needed updates to how coastal states run their beach water quality monitoring and public notification programs. Please send an email to your member of the House of Representatives and ask them to help protect clean water and public health at the beach by co-sponsoring the BEACH Act of 2024.

Protect U.S. Waters from New Offshore Drilling: Surfrider is urging our federal leaders in the House and Senate to pass legislation to permanently ban oil and gas development during the 2023-2024 Congress. Please join us by contacting your federal representatives in support of ending new offshore drilling.

Pass the Plastic Pellet Free Waters Act: The Act would prohibit the discharge of plastic pellets and other pre-production plastic materials. Plastic pellets, also known as "nurdles," are the pre-production building blocks of nearly all plastic goods. Shockingly, current law allows plastic manufacturers and shippers to discharge trillions of these plastic pellets directly into America's waterways and ocean with little to no enforcement. Contact your federal elected officials and urge them to support the Plastic Pellet Free Waters Act (S.2337).

End the Public Health and Environmental Justice Emergency at the U.S./Mexico Border: The Pacific coastline along the U.S./Mexico border, rich in culture and biodiversity, faces severe pollution, leading to beach closures and widespread illness. Urgent action is needed from the President and Congress to address this environmental crisis and protect public health. 

Join the fight for Clean Border Water Now! Did you know World Water Day lands on March 22nd? Join us to learn about the public health impacts of the decades-old U.S./Mexico border pollution crisis through art and a panel discussion, UNACCEPTABLE: The Border Pollution Crisis & Public Health. Register here and bring a friend!


Ride a Wave of Change? Make a Donation Today

Your donation makes you a member of the Surfrider Foundation and directly supports our San Diego County Chapter and our efforts to protect what we all love, our ocean, waves, and beaches. Donate today with as little as $5!