Each year, the Surfrider Foundation prioritizes a set of federal bills and funding opportunities to advance Surfrider's mission at the national level. We encourage our U.S. network of chapters, members, and supporters to advocate in support of these bills and funding needs through grassroots advocacy and lobby days on Capitol Hill. Listed below are Surfrider's current Federal Priorities. We encourage you to contact your federal representatives, take action and participate in our annual Coastal Recreation Hill Day in Washington D.C. to express support for these issues!
Protect Clean Water and Public Health
Federal leadership is necessary to properly implement and fund important environmental programs and regulatory safeguards offered by the Clean Water Act that coastal communities rely on for clean water and safe recreation. The public health cost of recreating in polluted water is $2.9 billion nationwide. To visit Surfrider's Stand Up for Clean Water campaign page click here.
➔ Support: At least level funding for the EPA, and $10 million for EPA's BEACH Act Grants Program in the FY 2021 Budget. Beach water quality monitoring programs protect children, swimmers and beachgoers from contracting dangerous waterborne illnesses and infections. Take action.
➔ Support: Defense of the Clean Water Resolution. Efforts to deregulate and rollback health safeguards under the Clean Water Act, including the new Waters of the U.S. Rule, would wipe out protections for streams that provide drinking water to tens of millions of people and wetlands that filter pollution and protect our communities from flooding.
➔ Support: Legislation and funding aimed at solving the US/Mexico border pollution crisis, including $40 million for the Border Water Infrastructure Program (BWIP) in the FY 2021 budget.
Prevent Plastic Pollution
Plastic pollution is a grave environmental problem that threatens coastal economies and the health of marine ecosystems, including critical components of the food chain. Surfrider supports laws aimed at reducing sources of plastic pollution, including prohibition of easily littered single-use plastics, such as plastic bags, straws and polystyrene foam. Surfrider also supports prevention and response to ocean trash and funding for agencies and efforts that address marine plastic pollution. In 2019, Surfrider Foundation and UCLA Environmental Law Clinic completed a House and Senate briefing on plastic pollution solutions and have Briefing Booklet available online.
➔ Support: Sen. Udall and Rep. Lowenthal's draft of landmark legislation to tackle the plastic waste crisis through actions to reduce the source of plastic pollution.
➔ Support: Reducing Waste in National Parks Act (HR.4236) to reduce plastic bottle pollution in National Parks. Take action.
➔ Support: ZERO WASTE Act (HR.4050) to offer grants for source reduction efforts and help fund zero waste initiatives in environmental justice communities as part of a Green New Deal.
Take Action on Climate Change
Coastal communities and marine ecosystems are increasingly threatened by sea level rise, extreme weather events, ocean warming and acidification. These threats are exacerbated by the Administration's efforts to expand harmful and unncessary offshore oil drilling. Bold federal leadership is needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, prohibit new offshore oil drilling, advance coastal adaptation and enhance coastal resiliency by protecting natural shorelines.
➔ Support: Legislation to prohibit new offshore oil and gas development in U.S. waters, including seismic exploration. The House passed HR.1941 & 205; Senate action is needed. Take action.
➔ Support: National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Reauthorization and Reform Act (S.2187) and NFIP amendments to promote natural adaptation, discourage building in flood zones, and ensure affordability. Take action.
➔ Support: Legislation and resolutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, end fossil fuel subsidies, promote renewable energy development, and ensure an equitable transition led by impacted communities and workers, e.g. the Green New Deal (S.Res.59, H.Res.109). Take action.
Protect Public Lands and Waters
Our coasts and ocean are public resources that provide enormous benefits to our nation's economy and sustain a way of life enjoyed by millions of Americans. Federal leaders must support NOAA funding, the Land and Water Conservation Fund, and national protected areas.
➔ Support: Increased funding for NOAA in the FY 2021 budget including funding for Coastal Zone Management, Coastal Resilience, Sea Grant, and National Marine Sanctuaries programs. Take action.
➔ Support: Permanent funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (HR.3195, S.1081) to protect coastal resources and enhance recreation opportunities for the public, as mitigation for ongoing drilling. Take action.
➔ Support: Efforts to enhance management of national monuments, e.g. the Antiquities Act (HR.1050, S.367) and protect monuments and sanctuaries from legislative and administrative attacks. Take action.