Sabriyya Ghanizada, EcoNews Intern
“The Surfrider Foundation is a grassroots non-profit environmental organization dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of our ocean, waves and beaches for all people. Founded in 1984 by a handful of visionary surfers, Surfrider’s network includes over 185 volunteer chapters and student clubs, and over a million members and supporters.” – Surfrider Foundation.
The Surfrider Foundation Humboldt Chapter participated in Hill Day, with Delia Bense-Kang as the Humboldt Chapter’s team captain. Bense-Kang led a group of volunteers to meet with Northern and Central California representatives. During ten meetings scheduled over the course of two days, the team prepared by studying the legislation Surfrider is supporting and opposing as well as getting briefed on the representatives they’d meet with.
The Humboldt Surfrider chapter supports Hill Day by sending volunteers to participate and be the voice of the constituents in the area. The chapter also helps by sharing action alerts on the bills. In the past, Surfrider has been able to secure ongoing funding for the BEACH Act and Clean Water State Revolving Fund, and get anti-offshore oil drilling bills passed.
Surfrider’s 2022 Federal priorities are the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act, funding critical EPA programs to protect U.S. beaches from sewage pollution and supporting ocean climate solutions.
The organization also advocates for laws that aim to reduce single-use plastics, which include plastic straws and bags. Plastic pollution is detrimental to the environment, health, and the entire marine ecosystem.
According to Surfrider, The U.S. produces more plastic waste than any other country in the world, at an estimated 42 million metric tons each year. With only 9 percent of plastic ever recycled, most of this waste ends up mismanaged and polluting our environment, including our air, water, seafood and more. By supporting the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act, Congress would require producers of packaging, containers, and food-service products to design, manage, and finance waste and recycling programs. It would also ban certain single-use plastic products that are not recyclable. This ban would prohibit toxic chemicals from being included in compostable products. It would also ensure translation services are provided for non-English speaking communities and accessibility services for the disability community.
The Ocean-Based Climate Solutions Act of 2022 will enhance coastal resilience, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, ensure climate-planning is inclusive and protect critical habitat and blue carbon.
Surfrider Humboldt also supports appropriations of over four billion dollars that may go towards funding critical EPA programs to protect U.S. beaches from sewage pollution.
To support these bills and more, the easiest thing to do is visit go.surfrider.org/coastalhillday to sign all the action alerts! This will automatically send a message to your representatives asking them to support this year’s legislative priorities.
Stay in the know about Hill Day! Follow @Surfrider on social media, visit its website humboldt.surfrider.org/ and become a member to receive email updates!