As part of Surfrider’s 6th annual Coastal Recreation Hill Day, 165 Surfrider members, supporters and partners met with federal leaders to encourage swift national action to protect our coasts and ocean. This year, we had a record amount of student club volunteers (30 students!) as well as strong participation from the surf and outdoor industry, including the Surf Industry Members Association, REI Coop, Patagonia, Rip Curl, Dragon Alliance, CLIF Bar and more.
In just two days, our network held 148 meetings with congressional representatives in the House and Senate. Hill Day attendees separated into 36 regional delegations, composed of volunteers from 50 Surfrider chapters and 20 student clubs, as well as industry partners, coalition allies, Surfrider's national Board of Directors and more. Overall, our delegations met with federal leaders from 26 states and territories, showcasing Surfrider’s vast network of dedicated coastal community members across the U.S.
The goals of these meetings are threefold: (1) to provide important leadership and advocacy training to our volunteer network, (2) to build meaningful relationships with federal leaders by hearing directly from their constituents, and (3) to advance bipartisan action on ocean and coastal protection through Surfrider’s 2022 federal priorities. This year, our priorities are to:
- Support ocean climate solutions by passing the Ocean Based Climate Solutions Act (H.R. 3764) and encourage similar legislation in the Senate
- Protect clean water at the beach by funding essential EPA programs such as the BEACH Act and Clean Water State Revolving Fund
- Prevent plastic pollution by passing the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act (H.R. 2238/ S. 984)
In addition to congressional meetings, Surfrider hosted a high impact meeting with the White House Office of Domestic Climate Policy, including honorable Gina McCarthy, the National Climate Advisor; David Hayes, the Special Assistant to the President for Climate Policy; and Dr. Rick Spinrad, the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and NOAA Administrator. The voices of students, BIPOC communities, professional surfers, the outdoor recreation industry and Surfrider policy experts came together to discuss the importance of Presidential action to harness the power of the ocean to fight climate change. During this meeting, attendees also provided recommendations for proactive adaptation polices that will help to ensure resilient communities and protect coastlines and wetlands from the impacts destined to come.
This year, Surfrider also provided a variety of ways people across the nation can help drive federal action beyond participating in Hill Day meetings, including action alerts, tagging their federal representatives on social and more! To learn more about Surfrider’s federal priorities, Coastal Recreation Hill Day, and ways you can still support federal action to protect our ocean and coasts, visit go.surfrider.org/coastalhillday.