Coastal Preservation, Updates, Climate Change
February 01 2017

Surfrider Foundation Officially Joins the People’s Climate March

by Stefanie Sekich-Quinn

Surfrider recently joined dozens of nonprofits to help organize the People’s Climate March on April 29, 2017.  We strongly believe climate change is a very serious issue facing our planet and humanity and it is incumbent upon us to help raise awareness about potential impacts—especially when it comes to our ocean and coasts. The People’s Climate Movement has an interesting history that started in Sept 2014 when 400,000 people marched through the streets of New York City demanding action the night before the UN Climate Summit where leaders from around the world gathered.  

Surfrider’s goals for participating in the march are specifically to:

  • Raise awareness about climate change impacting our ocean and coasts.
  • Urge the new Administration to not withdraw from the Paris Agreement. This unprecedented agreement brings together over 190 countries to focus on curbing climate change.
  • Oppose Trump Administration climate change policy rollbacks and budget cuts that impact climate programs.
  • And most importantly, we want to stress the importance of Federal leadership and the use of science to address climate change threats. 

And we have good reason to make these requests! Since the inauguration, climate change has become a target for Trump.  At first it was reported that the new Administration ordered the EPA to remove all climate change information from its website.  With EPA employees stating: “[We were] notified by EPA officials on Tuesday that the administration had instructed EPA's communications team to remove the website's climate change page, which contains links to scientific global warming research, as well as detailed data on emissions...”  Then, within 24 hours, employees reported they were not going to delete the information, telling E&E News:  "We've been told to stand down."

In another round of frenzy, it was reported Kenneth Haapala (a climate change denier) was tasked to serve on the team handling appointments for the U.S. Department of Commerce, the agency that oversees National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). This quote demonstrates the importance of NOAA's role with climate change. “Calling itself the nation’s “environmental intelligence agency,” NOAA has a $5.8 billion annual budget, with roughly $190 million targeted toward climate change research. It operates several orbiting satellites to collect data on the atmosphere and earth sciences. Before Trump took office, NOAA released a report declaring 2016 to be the warmest year on record globally, following two other record years."

Then just yesterday, an official within the Dept. of Commerce reported Mr. Haapala was not part of the transition team.  We are curious if a recent letter from Senator Whitehouse and a Ranking Member of the Committee on Natural Resources had something to do with Haapala not being on the transition team.

It’s challenging to follow the climate-change-hot-potato thrown around by the new Administration—and that is precisely why it is so important we continue our pressure to ensure the new Administration hears our voices demanding climate change action.  We cannot allow progress to be undone—future generations are counting on us to speak up for them.

March Organizing

March organizers are encouraging people to attend the DC march in order to have massive turnout and impress upon Trump that people have come from near and far to voice their concerns about climate change.  However, local marches are organically popping up around the country.  Go to this interactive map to find a march near you. 

In addition to joining us on April 29 for the People’s Climate March, we also encourage you to become a climate change activist with the Surfrider Foundation.  We recently released an activist toolkit. Stay up to date with Surfrider's climate change efforts here

The time to act is now.