04 • 10 • 2017

Climate Change Round Up

Reading Trump Administration Tea Leaves

The Trump Administration continues to take aim at important environmental regulations and agencies. Recently, Trump signed an executive order to rollback a number of climate change policies, and he has proposed massive budget cuts that will impact climate change programs. To make matters worse, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, cavalierly said, “As to climate change, I think the president was straightforward: We’re not spending money on that anymore.” And then, last week, the EPA closed down its climate change adaptation programa program designed to help coastal communities adapt to the impacts of climate change, such as sea level rise.

In other news, Politico reported: “A supervisor at the Energy Department's International Climate Office told staff not to use the phrases “climate change,” “emissions reduction” or “Paris Agreement” in briefings or other written communication.”  Speaking of the Paris Agreement, Surfrider recently setup an action alert asking Trump to maintain the U.S. commitment to the international agreement.  Click here to send a letter emphasizing the importance of federal leadership and working with global partners to tackle climate change. 

Soggy Surfing

Researchers from Stanford University released a paper concluding sea level rise will impact more than one third of surf-spots in California by the end of the century. Sea level rise will contribute to extreme tides that will impact how waves break. In areas where the seafloor is sandy and flat, the wave may break further inshore (perhaps not breaking at all until the shore break). In areas where the seafloor is uneven and rocky (a reef break), higher sea levels will inundate the reef, leaving less area for the wave to break, thus changing the size and shape of the wave. 

Don’t Mess with Texas (Beaches)

After many years of work, our South Texas chapter has been making strides to influence how local beaches are managed.  Not only have they helped with many dune restoration projects over the years, they are also improving development standards by advocating for ‘setback’ lines to ensure properties are a safe distance from the ocean.  The establishment of ‘setbacks’ build wider beaches that can withstand current erosion rates and be more resilient in the face of future sea level. YeeHaw!     

Dam Busters

For years, Surfrider has been working to remove two obsolete dams in southern California—the Matilija Dam and Rindge Dam.  It is well established that dams critically impede natural transport of sand to coastal watersheds and beaches.  One of the most challenging aspects of dam removal is figuring out what to do with trapped sand.  Surfrider recently submitted a comment letter for the Rindge dam project suggesting creative ways to manage the sediment.  Surfrider hopes to influence the decision-making process now to ensure sand is strategically used to build resilient beaches that will buffer future sea level rise.  

Climate Action! Takin’ It to the Streets  

Lace up your walking shoes and hit the streets with Surfrider as we march with thousands of people from around the world at the People’s Climate March on April 29, 2017.  Despite the Trump Administration being tone deaf about climate change, we need to take a stand and demand climate action.  Plus, by marching we are sending a message to decision-makers who ‘believe’ in climate change that they must up the ante and take bold step to curb climate change. Get inspired. Check out the below video about the upcoming march. See you in the streets on April 29th!