Coastal Preservation, Ocean Protection, Plastic Pollution, Updates, Climate Change, Water Quality
March 02 2020

Hill Day 2020: The Seas Are Rising and So Are We!

by Pete StaufferKatie Day

Surfrider members and partners visit Washington D.C. for Coastal Recreation Hill Day

Over 150 Surfrider members, industry leaders and surf ambassadors traveled to Washington D.C. on February 26-28 to meet with federal leaders about ways to protect our ocean, waves, and beaches. Participants visited 145 Senate and House offices to urge immediate action on climate change, plastic pollution, water quality and other key issues affecting our coasts and ocean.

Surfrider and our partners also participated in high-level meetings with White House officials and the Senate Democrats Committee on the Climate Crisis to advocate for federal action to protect our coasts and ocean. These discussions were a timely opportunity to remind our federal leaders that over 100 million Americans visit the beach each year supporting 2.4 million jobs and contributing over $124 billion to our nation’s gross domestic product.

Surfrider's Industry Delegation provides testimony to the Senate Democrats Committee on the Climate Crisis

A major priority of Hill Day was demanding federal action to address the climate crisis that is damaging our coasts and ocean. Hill Day participants urged their representatives in Congress to support legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, stop new oil and gas drilling, and help communities adapt to sea level rise and extreme weather events. During meetings, Surfrider presented federal leaders with surfboards and letters signed by thousands of citizens and businesses asking for immediate action on climate change.

The New Jersey Delegation meets with Senator Cory Booker's office

Surfrider also organized an industry reception in the Dirksen Senate Building to highlight the impact of climate change on coastal recreation across the United States. Speakers included Surfrider CEO Dr. Chad Nelsen, Surf Ambassadors Leah Dawson and Greg Long, and BAPPC Founder Vipe Desai. As part of the reception, Surfrider honored Senator Bob Menendez (NJ) and Congressman Francis Rooney (FL) for outstanding legislative leadership to address climate change and protect our coastal waters.

Surf Ambassadors Greg Long and Leah Dawson share the stoke with Senator Bob Menendez

Another major priority of Hill Day was building federal leadership to tackle the plastic pollution crisis in our ocean. Hill Day attendees urged Senate and House members to co-sponsor the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act that Surfrider recently helped introduce to stop the flow of plastics into the ocean. Surfrider’s Jennie Romer also provided formal testimony to the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands in support of legislation to restore a ban on plastic water bottles in National Parks.

Surfrider’s Jennie Romer testifies in support of legislation to reduce plastic pollution

We’re very grateful to the 38 Surfrider chapters and 8 student clubs that traveled to Washington D.C. to make their voice heard. Special thanks to the Surf Industry Manufacturer’s Association (SIMA), the Outdoor Alliance, REEF, Sanuk, REI, Vissla, Dragon, Patagonia, Seea and all the Surf Ambassadors who participated. Finally, a heartfelt thank you to our DC Chapter and GWU Student Club who served as local hosts for Hill Day and helped sponsor an ocean friendly celebration for all participants!

The Virginia delegation makes their voice heard on Capital Hill

Fortunately, you don’t need to travel to Washington D.C. to make your voice heard on federal issues. Please see the links below to learn more and easily contact your members of Congress!

To read Surfrider’s federal priorities click here.

To make your voice heard visit our take action page.