Surfrider members are “ocean users” through and through. It’s amazing to think that as I write this blog, there are Surfrider supporters around the world surfing, diving, fishing, SUPing, swimming, sunbathing, wildlife watching AND fighting to protect our coast.
In California, Surfrider is upping our ante to preserve our coast and engage more Californians to participate in coastal issues. We recently joined forces with other organizations to launch ActCoastal—the California Coast Accountability Project. The premise of ActCoastal originates fromthe California Coastal Commission (CCC) vote chart Surfrider and colleagues have produced for over 20 years, where we monitor big items before the CCC and score their voting record.
While the vote chart is useful, we wanted to make the concept more contemporary and exist in ‘real time’. To do that, we decided to launch a monthly score card and develop a website that functions as a clearinghouse for coastal advocates.
Surfrider and our colleagues have been attending Coastal Commission hearings for decades and we want to share our knowledge about the process. ActCoastal contains resources, including: tips for attending/testifying at hearings, factsheets about the CCC, news articles, a “take action center” where people can write the CCC, and commentary from environmental leaders.
Another goal of ActCoastal is to encourage communities who might be presently under-represented in coastal decision making to get more involved. We are partnering with environmental justice organizations to ensure the Commission hears from the all the diverse communities who treasure California’s shared coastal resources.
For example, we are very excited to publish guest columns by:
- Black Surfers Collective, an organization dedicated to promoting diversity in the sport of surfing through community activities, outreach and camaraderie;
- Azul, an organization working to empower Latinos to become ocean and coastal stewards.
ActCoastal will serve millions of Californians who love our coast—empowering them to learn more about coastal issues and participate in the process.
In order for this campaign to amplify its impact, we need YOU to get involved and motivate decision makers to ActCoastal.
It’s time to ActCoastal!