January 04 2009 | Jim's Blog,
Loc. San Mateo, California, United States
Increased Protection for the Monterey Bay National Marine
After 7 years of planning and extensive public input, three marine sanctuaries off Central California issued a new joint management plan. The plan includes a 775 square mile expansion to include the Davidson Seamount, one of the largest known underwater mountains in U.S. coastal waters and home to a wide variety of marine species, prohibition of harmful discharges from cruise ships, restoration of the original limitation of motorized personal watercraft to four areas off the harbors, inclusion of a wintertime zone for tow-in surfing at “Maverick’s”, and efforts to reduce the introduction of non-native species.
Through the Joint Management Plan Review process, the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary considered revisions and additions to its management plans, which created an opportunity to revisit the management of MPWC in the Sanctuary. The chapters along the Central California Coast participated in this process in hopes of affecting change to MPWC regulations.
Loc. The state of California, United States
CA Beach Monitoring Funding Restored
Surfrider’s Global Headquarters and several California Chapters, including San Diego, Monterey, Sonoma and Mendocino Counties were instrumental in re-establishing funding for California’s beach water quality monitoring program. The funds were abruptly cut by Governor Schwarzenegger in September 2008, completely terminating beach monitoring in some counties and severely restricting monitoring elsewhere. In response, Surfrider launched an Action Alert that over 2400 activists responded to that sent emails to the Governor and state legislators to restore funding. Our San Diego County chapter initiated a separate action alert to urge their members to contact county supervisors to secure a new source of funding. Other environmental groups including Heal the Bay and the California Coastkeeper Alliance also lobbied to get funding restored. Surfrider participated in conference calls with these groups and state and county public health officials to strategize on ways to resolve the funding issue.
On November 4, 2008 the State Water Resources Control Board approved using Beach Grant funds from Prop 13 to backfill the beach funding for the fiscal year July 2008 through June 2009. There is also an option to extend this funding source for the 2009-2010 Fiscal Year. Surfrider will continue to work on this issue to identify a long term sustainable funding source to continue to fund this program for the future.
Loc. The state of Washington, United States
Jetty Island Water Quality
Everett City Waste Water Treatment Plant averages 2-4 spills per year and with the current methods of reporting the public is not made aware for 24 hours to sometimes 3 days, as was the case for a spill in late October. The belief was that it wasn’t a large issue with not a lot of recreational users in the water; that there were no high use beaches in the area. This is not the case. Jetty Island, just off the shore of Everett, is a prominent location for swimmers, kite surfers and wind surfers, especially the time frames of May – October of every year. So human health is definitely at risk. The engineers from the water treatment facility agreed to err on the side of caution and post immediately for the public to know. Surfrider Foundation in Washington is also on the notification list so that we can alert the public as well to the closures as they happen.
Loc. South Bay and West Los Angeles / Malibu, California, United States
Smoking Banned on All Beaches in Santa Monica Bay
The City of Redondo Beach passed a ban on smoking at city beaches and parks. This is the final city in all of Santa Monica Bay to do this.
This ban eliminates smoking on the beaches thus improving the health and recreational experience of all beachgoers, reduces cigarette butt litter, reduces potentially harmful effects of cigarette butts being mistaken as food by birds and marine life, reduces the risk of burn from unextinguished cigarette butts in the sand, reduces the choking hazard of butts by children playing on the beach, and improves local water quality from cigarette butts leaching toxins into the sand and water zone.
The South Bay Chapter is part of the South Bay Coalition for Smoke-Free Beaches which includes American Heart Association, American Lung Association, American Cancer Society, Beach Cities Health District and Girls Club of LA.
Loc. San Diego County, California, United States
Encinitas Pla stic Bag Ban Ordinance
After several months of collaborative work between Surfrider Foundation San Diego Chapter activists and the City of Encinitas, the City Council voted to ban plastic bags and put a fee on paper bags in an effort to reduce single-use plastic consumption by its residents. As the first city in San Diego County to pass a bag ban, this put the City of Encinitas at the forefront of the fight against plastic marine debris. As part of the ban ordinance, there was a specific directive that there be significant education and that it be phased in slowly to work with both residents and the business community – developing a reasonable plan and time frame. San Diego Chapter RAP volunteers collected close to 2,000 signatures from residents in support of a ban and presented them to the five City Council members. This victory was part of the Chapter's Rise Above Plastics campaign efforts to educate the public and encourage reusable bags and water bottles.