Surfrider Federal Priorities
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 Coastal Recreation Hill Days 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.
➔ Support: At least level funding for the EPA, and $10 million for EPA's BEACH Act Grants Program in the FY 2022 Budget. Beach water quality monitoring programs protect children, swimmers and beachgoers from contracting dangerous waterborne illnesses and infections.
➔ Support: $100 billion for EPA's Clean Water State Revolving Fund over 10 years ($10 billion/year) in a economic and insfrastructure reconciliation package. This funding would upgrade our nation's failing wastewater systems to stop sewage pollution at the source, while helping to boost the economy. Take action.
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. Merkley and Rep. Lowenthal's Break Free from Plastic Pollution Act (HR. 2238, S. 984) to tackle the plastic waste crisis through actions to reduce the source of plastic pollution.
➔ Support: The Presidential Plastics Action Plan (plasticfreepresident.org) & BFFP Stimulus Recommendations.
➔ Oppose: Weak recycling-focused bills/provisions and language that turns the blame on other countries.
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 climate justice, protect critical habitat and blue carbon ecosystems, and enhance coastal resiliency by protecting natural shorelines.
➔ Support: Ocean climate solutions legislation, such as Rep. Grijalva's Ocean-Based Climate Solutions Act (soon to be reintroduced in the House) and Sen. Merkley's Ocean Climate Emergency Action Now Act in the Senate. Take action.
➔ Support: Increased funding for NOAA in the FY 2022 budget including funding for Coastal Zone Management, Coastal Resilience, Sea Grant, and National Marine Sanctuaries programs.