Coastal Blog — Legal
March 13 2013
Martin's Beach in Half Moon Bay, California, is a beautiful stretch of sandy beach that has been enjoyed by locals and visitors for generations. However, locked gates and signs were erected at the entrance to the beach road several years ago. After over two years of outreach and advocacy, the…
March 01 2013
Surfrider Foundation has a focused, few legislative priorities at the federal level that bubble up from our 84 grassroots Chapters on the ground. For 2013, our priorities at the national level are Clean Water, Ocean Ecosystems, and our Not the Answer campaign. We are also monitoring for Rise Above Plastics…
February 22 2013
On February 21, 2013, the California Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District affirmed the lower court judgment in favor of Los Angeles County in defending their municipal bag ban ordinance from an attack brought by the plastics industry, including Hilex Poly Co., in Schmeer et al v. County…
January 22 2013
In Hawaii, Surfrider Foundation’s Hilo Chapter has fought for over the past two years to open up trail access to Papaikou Mill Beach, one of the few sandy beaches on the East side of the Big Island. Known as a popular surfing, fishing and recreational spot, the beach is also…
December 21 2012
President Barack Obama signed the Marine Debris Act Amendments (Farr - H.R. 1171) into law on December 20, 2012 as part of the Coast Guard Maritime Transportation Act (H.R. 2838). The Marine Debris Act Amendments reauthroizes and amends the Marine Debris Research, Prevention, and Reduction Act to create a marine…
December 17 2012
Surfrider Foundation, by and through our Los Angeles County Chapters and along with a coalition of environmental groups, filed an amicus or “friend of the court” brief in support of Los Angeles County in Schmeer v. Los Angeles County. In this case, the County of Los Angeles is being used…
November 08 2012
The National Ocean Policy strives to be the one unifying law to govern the resources of our oceans and Great Lakes in the United States. Enacted by an Executive Order of President Barack Obama in 2010, the implementation plan for the NOP is expected to be out any day now.…
November 07 2012
Surfrider Foundation has long worked to secure low-impact beach access for all people. Our work in realizing this goal has not gone without recognizing the omnipresent balance between beach access and the ecological integrity of our beaches. This balance is often implicated in beach driving. The Southern Four Wheel Drive…
September 20 2012
This week California Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 1219 (Wolk) into law, extending the in-store recycling program for single-use plastic bags. Unlike the former version of this bill AB 2449 (2006), there is no local preemption for municipalities in California that want to require a charge for plastic bags.
September 16 2012
The City of San Francisco successfully fended off a suit by the Save the Plastic Bag Coalition that challenged their new broader single-use bag ban. This win will likely encourage other cities to stand up to industry scare tactics and enact broad local ordinances.
August 13 2012
Beach driving not only involves ecological considerations; it also involves beach access and freedom to enjoy coastal resources. This blog explores how beach driving has shaped the law and, in turn, how the law has responded to beach driving.
June 29 2012
In a curt and unreasoned statement, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals denied the application of Harris County, Texas, to file an amicus brief in support of rehearing of the Severance v. Patterson case. This recent case denied the State of Texas interpretation of the Texas Open Beaches Act to…
May 31 2012
On March 30, 2012, the Texas Supreme Court ruled in favor of private property rights over the public beach access rights of the people of Texas. Surfrider Foundation Texas Chapters have pledged to resurge support to strengthen the state's beach access law.
April 18 2012
Two years after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster, EPA still hasn't studied the effects of toxic chemical dispersants on water quality and wildlife. Surfrider Foundation, Center for Bioligical Diversity and Pacific Environment filed suit today to challenge the authorization of such chemicals in oil spill response plans.
April 16 2012
Surfrider Foundation, Hawaii Wildlife Fund, Sierra Club-Maui Group, and West Maui Preservation Association, represented by Earthjustice, sued the County of Maui today for federal Clean Water Act violations leading to contamination of nearshore waters from the Lahaina wastewater facility injection wells.
March 23 2012
In a Los Angeles Superior Court hearing today, Judge James C. Chalfant upheld the County of Los Angeles ordinance to impose a single-use plastic bag ban with a 10-cent fee on paper bags.
March 03 2012
This past week Surfrider Foundation staff visited Washington DC to promote our federal priorities on Capitol Hill. As a grassroots organization, our federal priorities stem from the work of the over 80 local Chapters in the United States. The common issues that have risen to the top of our local…