Surfrider is partnering with communities, Tribes, Indigenous leaders and NGOs to urge the Biden administration to expand ocean protections across the U.S.
Our partners at the National Ocean Protection Coalition have released a new Story Map and Report to highlight key opportunities to protect ocean resources across the United States. From the spectacular coral reefs of the Florida Keys, to the Chumash Tribal waters off California, to the tropical atolls of the Pacific, to a massive submarine canyon off the Atlantic coast, these conservation proposals are designed to build resilience to climate change and ensure that communities benefit from marine protected areas (MPAs). The eight proposals display powerful leadership from Tribes, Indigenous leaders and communities in protecting our natural resources. Surfrider joins numerous partners in urging the Biden-Harris administration to advance these MPA plans as part of the America the Beautiful Initiative before the end of 2024.
Surfrider is an active supporter of many of these campaigns including Florida Keys, Chumash Heritage, Pacific Remote Islands, Hudson Canyon and Northeast Canyons & Seamounts. As a grassroots organization, we believe that conservation must be driven by local people from the bottom up. Across the U.S., we are working with communities, Tribes and local partners to designate and expand MPAs to protect our natural resources and enhance equitable access. Grounded in science, these eight proposals enjoy broad and growing support and can help protect some of our nation’s best ocean resources. We look forward to supporting actions by the Biden-Harris administration to advance these regional ocean conservation priorities.
Surfrider is also working to expand ocean protections at the state and territory levels. In Puerto Rico, our staff and volunteers are building support for community MPAs through workshops, presentations, and stewardship events using the Tres Palmas Reserva Marina as a model. In Aguadilla Bay on Puerto Rico’s northwest coast, we are engaging local fishing, student, NGO, academic, tourism, and business communities and have completed a baseline marine wildlife inventory to inform conservation planning. Surfrider is also leading coastal restoration projects that improve public access and enhance climate resilience. Over the past year, hundreds of volunteers have planted mangroves along Aguadilla’s shoreline. To learn more visit our Surfrider Puerto Rico Instagram page.
The Florida Keys Restoration Blueprint provides a roadmap for protecting this special sanctuary
On the West Coast, Surfrider is supporting ten year reviews of state MPA programs to ensure that these networks of nearshore protected areas will continue to thrive into the future. In California, our staff and chapters are participating in the state’s MPA Network Decadal Management Review to assess how agency outreach, monitoring, enforcement and permitting processes have been performing. In Oregon, Surfrider is working with key legislators and partners to fight for increased investments in Oregon's Marine Reserve Program following its Decadal Program Review. As a leading organization that helped to establish both the California MPA Network and Oregon’s Marine Reserves Program, we will continue to support and defend these state MPA programs that provide crucial protection for nearshore habitats and wildlife.
Finally, Surfrider is working to strengthen the National Marine Sanctuary Program at the federal level. Over 50 years ago, the U.S. enacted the National Marine Sanctuaries Act to provide for the creation and management of marine sanctuaries. Despite the success of the program, it’s clear we must do more to protect our nation’s ocean and coasts. The combined threats of pollution, climate change, coastal development, fishing and energy projects are pushing our marine ecosystems to the brink. Surfrider has joined 25 other organizations in submitting recommendations to the administration that focus on expanding science-based protections. As a member of the Federal Marine & Coastal Area-Based Management Advisory Committee we will continue advocating for a stronger marine sanctuary program.
Please join Surfrider in supporting expanded protections for our ocean and stay tuned for upcoming opportunities to engage in these campaigns!