Each year, the Surfrider Foundation prioritizes a set of federal bills and funding opportunities to advance Surfrider's mission at the national level. We then 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 in Washington D.C. Listed below are Surfrider's Federal Priorities for 2019. We encourage you to contact your federal representatives, and participate in the Coastal Recreation Hill Day in Washington D.C. on February 28th/ March 1st to express support for these issues!
Stop New Offshore Oil Drilling
The administration’s proposal to expand offshore drilling to over 90% of U.S. federal waters threatens marine ecosystems and communities that depend upon them. Surfrider opposes new offshore oil and gas development in the Atlantic, Pacific, Gulf of Mexico, and Alaska, and supports stronger safety and environmental regulations for Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) leasing. To access Surfrider's Stop Offshore Drilling campaign page and action alert click here.
➔ Support: Legislation to prohibit seismic airgun blasting and/ or new offshore oil and gas development in U.S waters. HR 279, HR 286, HR 287, HR 291, HR 309, HR 310, HR 341. Take Action.
➔ Support: Stronger regulations for offshore leasing, environmental review, spill response plans, financial liability, and best available technology.
➔ Oppose: Legislation to reduce regulatory requirements for offshore oil and gas development on the OCS. Explicit bill numbers under this Congress have not yet been assigned.
Protect Clean Water and Public Health
Federal leadership is necessary to properly implement and fund important environmental programs and regulatory safeguards 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: Funding for EPA BEACH Act Grants Program in FY 2020 budget ($9.59 million). Beach water quality monitoring programs protect children, swimmers and beachgoers from contracting dangerous waterborne illnesses and infections. Take action.
➔ Oppose: Efforts to deregulate and rollback health safeguards under the Clean Water Act, including the new Waters of the U. S. Rule. This new rule proposed by EPA will 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: Level funding for important EPA programs such as the Non-point Source Control Grants, U.S.- Mexico Border Water Infrastructure Program, and Regional Restoration Programs which support community efforts to improve water quality and protect coastal habitat.
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 reduction of the 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. This year, Surfrider Foundation and UCLA Environmental Law Clinic completed a House and Senate briefing on Plastic Pollution solutions and have a Briefing Booklet available online.
➔ Support: Marine protection legislation that aims to reduce the source of plastic pollution.
➔ Support: Legislation to prohibit single-use plastic consumption including plastic bags.
➔ Support: Reducing Waste in National Parks Act to reduce single-use plastic bottle pollution in National Parks.
Support Ocean Protection and Management
Healthy ocean ecosystems 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 and regional ocean partnerships and defend marine sanctuaries and national monuments under review by the Trump administration.
➔ Support: Funding for NOAA ocean and coastal management programs in FY 2020 budget. Take action.
➔ Oppose: Legislative and administrative attacks on marine monuments, national marine sanctuaries, and the Antiquities Act. Take action.
➔ Support: Funding support for regional ocean partnerships and ocean planning.
Promote Coastal Resilience
U.S. coastlines and coastal communities are becoming increasingly threatened and damaged by sea level rise, coastal erosion, and inappropriate development. Federal policy reform is needed to discourage coastal armoring and protect natural shorelines through restoration, managed retreat, coastal planning, and the use of living shorelines.
➔ Support: Amendments to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) that promote natural adaptation measures, discourage building in flood zones, and update flood maps. Take Action.
➔ Support: Permanent reauthorization and funding of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). Take Action.
➔ Support: The Green New Deal to transition to renewable energy, halt fossil fuel leasing and extraction, end fossil fuel energy subsidies, and ensure an equitable transition led by impacted communities and workers. Take Action.