Ask the Los Angeles City Council to follow through on their commitment to reduce plastic bag pollution and adopt a strong reusable bag ordinance for a cleaner city, beaches and ocean!
## The LA City Council will take up the reusable bag ordinance on Tuesday, June 18 at 10 a.m. The Council may limit the number of people who can testify at the hearing, but we need your presence to show support! Join us at the hearing: arrive early for a rally, wear a green shirt and let's make Los Angeles the largest city in the U.S. to ban plastic bags! Los Angeles City Hall, 200 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012. ##
Plastic bags are made from non-renewable resources such as natural gas and 'fracking' for natural gas is a growing concern. Plastic bags do not biodegrade in our lifetimes and can impact wildlife when littered - in addition to being an eyesore, costing taxpayer dollars to pick up, potentially clogging drains and possibly creating mosquito breeding grounds in warmer months. While plastic bags are recyclable, recent reports show a dismal 5% recycling rate from the 115 billion bags used nationwide. There is an easy solution in reusable bags - and they are already being made right here in Los Angeles!
For these reasons and more we are calling on the Los Angeles City Council to finalize and approve a strong carryout bag ordinance that would ban plastic checkout bags place a ten-cent fee on paper checkout bags.
One year ago, the Los Angeles City Council voted 13-1 to move forward with drafting the final ordinance language and completing the appropriate CEQA environmental review. The City Council has all the resources at their disposal to finalize what they promised, send this action alert to ask them to ACT NOW!
Take action and contact the Oxnard City Council to let them know you support a citywide Reusable Bag Ordinace that would ban plastic checkout bags at grocery stores and food retailers. We need your support as this issue is slated to go to the full City Council for a series of votes in the coming months.
Plastic bags are typically made from non-renewable resources like natural gas. Plastic bags do not biodegrade in our lifetimes and can impact wildlife when littered - in addition to being an eyesore, costing taxpayer dollars to pick up, potentially clogging drains and possibly creating mosquito breeding grounds in warmer months. While plastic bags are recyclable, recent reports show a dismal 5% recycling rate from the 115 billion bags used nationwide.
In October 2012 Oxnard City Council took the first steps toward a possible plastic checkout bag ban by contributing funds for a regional carryout bag environmental impact report (EIR). Once the environmental review is complete, Oxnard and each jurisdiction in the area would need to approve their own local bag ordinance based on model language for the region.
We need you to show support for a plastic bag ban by signing this Action Alert to contact City Councilmembers, attending local hearings and spreading the word with friends. Click Here for more campaign info.
We need you to ask the California State Legislature to help protect critical habitat for endangered species and marine wildlife and to support healthy beaches in San Diego!
Please ask the California State Legislature to support the 3-year proposal for $1 million annual funding to maintain the Goat Canyon Sediment Basins in Border Field State Park as included in the Governor’s 2013- 2014 Budget.
The Goat Canyon Sediment Basins are a series of retention ponds built in Border Field State Park in the United States to capture significant levels of eroding soil and trash that flow in from Mexico during rainstorms. They protect the water quality of the Tijuana Estuary and the beaches of southern San Diego County.
The EPA is proposing once again to cut all federal funding for beach water quality monitoring, putting over 100 million Americans at risk of getting sick from polluted water! In 2000, when the federal BEACH Act was passed, water quality monitoring made big advancements in setting standards and funding monitoring programs to ensure your safety.
Just like health safety inspections for food, we rely on water quality monitoring and reporting to ensure that the water we swim, surf and play in is safe. With 23,481 beach closures and advisories issued last year, now is not the time to stop beach monitoring.
Ask Congress to continue to support beach water testing programs.
In the Texas state legislature last week, Representative Eddie Lucio III introduced a dangerous bill that would damage the sustainability of our Texas beaches and fundamentally change the purpose and intent of the Texas Open Beaches Act’s protection of the dynamic shoreline. HB 3131 is direct contradiction to the Texas General Land Office’s requirement that municipalities create and implement “Erosion Response Plans” that move development farther back from the waterline and the Public Beach in order to reduce public money expenditure on protecting such ill-advised development on Texas’ highly eroding barrier islands. HB 3131 would actually allow development that could exacerbate erosion to move seaward of previous building setbacks set forth by Texas and Cameron County and endanger the Public Beach and the public’s use of it. This would also allow for the destruction of important dune habitat that functions as a natural buffer along our Texas coastlines against rampant erosion and other coastal hazards.
Specifically, this special legislation seemingly is designed to aid a certain barrier island in Cameron County where a developer has sued the state of Texas to force the continued construction of a large retaining wall in front of a new residential development. This illegal partially constructed retaining wall, however, is set to be continued in the Dune Protection Area in contravention of County and statewide protections. The developer has been stopped in his continued construction of this retaining wall in court, and now there is a bill that would provide a loophole in the Dune Protection Act and alter the Texas Administrative Code to allow for such construction.
The Surfrider Foundation South Texas Chapter has been actively advocating against this particular revetment and the relaxing of development and building setback standards set forth by the Texas General Land Office and the 81st Texas Legislature. The Chapter sent a letter to the Cameron County Commissioners’ Court and testified in a public hearing with sworn testimony opposing a retaining wall because it could set a dangerous precedent of allowing unsafe and ill-advised coastal development that could eventually encroach on the public’s beach.
Please write your Texas legislative representatives to let them know that you oppose this special legislation. Stand up for smart coastal management and open Texas beaches!
It’s getting crowded out there in the ocean. No, we’re not talking about the lineup at your local break…
There are several new proposed uses of the ocean -- alternative energy projects, oil and coal exports, aquaculture projects and more that are competing for the same space as other uses, such as kayaking, surfing and fishing. New uses may also threaten the health of ocean and coastal resources.
Please take a second to ask your state legislator to secure $4 million in funding to support marine spatial planning on Washington’s Pacific coast for the next two years so that we may protect priority ecological and recreational areas from new conflicting uses.
The Transportation Corridor Agency (TCA) has been trying to build a 16-mile toll road in Orange and San Diego Counties for nearly 20 years. Yes, the same road that Surfrider and thousands of people fought—and the same road that was rejected by the California Coastal Commission and the Bush Administration in 2008 because of its devastating impacts to the environment, San Onofre State Beach and cultural resources.
Since 2011, the TCA has been proposing to build the road in “segments”—five miles at a time. Their segmentation approach is a guise to build the entire road down to San Onofre State Beach.
“Segmenting” is illegal under state and federal law. Not only does TCA’s plan circumvent important laws, this approach makes absolutely no sense. This first 5-mile segment is literally a “road to nowhere,” ending at a dirt road and threatening to create traffic nightmares for thousands of Orange County residents.
The TCA recently applied for an environmental permit with the Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB) for the first section of the road (this is one of many permits they need to obtain). Their RWQCB application is flawed—TCA is overlooking impacts to important wetlands, the San Juan Creek, and the surrounding watershed—which could affect the coastal zone and ocean resources.
A federal agency even admitted in 2005 that San Juan Creek watershed is already degraded due to erosion from development and cannot endure any more growth, saying that continued erosion could cause the failure of buried water and sewer lines, as well as the disappearance of watershed habitat.
Please send a letter to the RWQCB urging them to deny TCA’s application. We need your help to remind the TCA (and decision makers) that the public doesn’t want their destructive toll road.
SUPPORT A NEW OCEAN COUNCIL TO ADDRESS OCEAN ACIDIFICATION IN PUGET SOUND AND ON THE COAST!
A bill introduced this session in the state legislature would establish a new ocean council to address ocean acidification and improve coordinated management efforts between Puget Sound and Washington’s Pacific coast.
Please support Washington's ocean and coast by helping this bill pass out of committee -- send a note fast to your state senator.
Based on recommendations from the Governor's Blue Ribbon Panel on Ocean Acidification, this bill improves the state's ability to address acidifying runoff into marine waters and creates the Washington marine resources protection council within the office of the governor to:
1) Advise the governor on policies relating to the protection and conservation of ocean resources;
2) Coordinate the implementation of measures to mitigate the impacts of ocean acidification; and
3) Advance the state's ocean and Puget Sound resources policies in national, regional, and west coast multistate forums.
San Onofre and Trestles have been synonymous with California surfing since the 1930s. The area is world-renowned for its consistent, near perfect waves. Trestles provides some of the best year-round surfing waves in California, an area with the greatest concentration of surfers in the world. We now have the opportunity to have it recognized for its historical contributions by being listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
For over 70 years this stretch of coast has been associated with events and activities that have played a significant role in the evolution of surfing as a sport, which is an integral part of Southern California's identity as a beach culture. The physical isolation and absence of commercial growth encouraged the development of a society whose lifestyle and unique culture would later personify Southern California and influence surfing worldwide.
From the early days of heavy wooden longboards to the development of high-performance aerial surfing, Trestles has remained at the forefront of the sport and culture of surfing. Please sign the petition below to show your support for listing in the National Register and share your personal and family stories about Trestles and San Onofre. Learn more on our Coastal Blog.
This petition will be forwarded to the CA State Historical Resources Commission and the National Park Service to demonstrate community support.
Take action and contact the Ventura City Council to let them know you support a citywide Reusable Bag Ordinance for grocery stores and food retailers. We need your support as this issue could go to the full City Council for a series of votes in 2013.
Plastic checkout bags are typically made from non-renewable resources such as natural gas. Plastic bags do not biodegrade in our lifetimes and can impact wildlife when littered - in addition to being an eyesore, costing taxpayer dollars to pick up, potentially clogging drains and possibly creating mosquito breeding grounds in warmer months. While plastic bags are recyclable, recent reports show a dismal 5% recycling rate from the 115 billion bags used nationwide.
We need you to show support for a plastic bag ban by signing this Action Alert to contact City Councilmembers, attending local hearings and spreading the word with friends. Click Here for more campaign info and Bring Your Own Bag Ventura!
We use plastic bags for minutes, yet they persist in our environment for hundreds of years. The average person uses 360 single-use plastic bags every year which is over 38 million bags in Wilmington alone.
Despite efforts to expand recycling programs, less than 5% of single-use plastic bags are currently being recycled nationwide. The rest of these bags inevitably end up in our landfill or as litter, clogging storm drain systems, and making their way to the Cape Fear River and ocean. Plastic bags entangle or are ingested by sea turtles and shore birds, as well as break down into small bits that persist in the ecosystem and may move through the food chain if ingested by fish.
Bans on single use plastic bags are not a new approach to reducing plastic pollution. San Francisco was the first big city to ban plastic bags in 2007 and there are now 33 plastic checkout bag ordinances covering 53 jurisdictions in California. Portland, OR, Seattle, WA, Austin, TX along with towns in Alaska, Colorado, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island and all four counties in Hawaii have banned plastic bags as well and our very own Outer Banks. Additionally Washington D.C., Ireland and the United Kingdom have added small fees on plastic bag use. These policies have reduced the use of plastic bags and consequently the use of petroleum and natural gas, space in landfills, and the negative impacts of plastic bag litter, all without affecting the economy.
Passing an ordinance regulating the use of plastic bags in New Hanover County will be a major step in aesthetically improving our community while reducing the expense of plastic bag disposal. Furthermore, the regulation of plastic bag use would promote New Hanover County’s reputation as clean and green coastal community.
There is a mandatory warning on plastic bags that begins with “To avoid danger of suffocation…”. We do a good job of protecting our children from that danger but we need to do more for the environment and wildlife.
Please take an active step in improving our community by signing this Action Alert.
The Department of Interior is deciding whether to conduct seismic surveys in the Atlantic ocean from New Jersey to Florida to assess oil and gas resources. The proposed surveys would employ loud and continuous sound blasts that would cause major impacts to marine wildlife and the ecosystem.
Please ask the Secretary of the Interior to cancel seismic exploration off the Atlantic coast.
Seismic surveys would produce devastating impacts on marine mammals, sea turtles, fishes, and other marine life. The blasts from seismic airguns have been shown to interfere with the mating, feeding, communication, and migration activities of numerous species, including the endangered Right Whale (photo).
Furthermore, offshore drilling is inherently polluting and dangerous, and it will not solve our nation's energy needs. According to the Department of Energy, fully developing all of our recoverable offshore oil reserves would lower pump prices by only 3 cents. Such a tradeoff is not worth the risk to our coastal economies, including tourism, recreation, and commerical fishing, which generate billions of dollars in annual revenue on the Atlantic coast.
Please sign the petition to ask the Department to cancel plans for seismic exploration off the Atlantic coast.
Ask the Los Angeles City Council to reduce plastic bag pollution and adopt a strong reusable bag ordinance for a cleaner city, beaches and ocean!
Plastic bags are made from non-renewable resources such as natural gas and oil. Plastic bags do not biodegrade in our lifetimes and can impact wildlife when littered - in addition to being an eyesore, costing taxpayer dollars to pick up, potentially clogging drains and possibly creating mosquito breeding grounds in warmer months. While plastic bags are recyclable, recent reports show a dismal 5% recycling rate from the 115 billion bags used nationwide. There is an easy solution in reusable bags - and they are already being made right here in Los Angeles!
For these reasons and more we are calling on the Los Angeles City Council to approve a strong reusable bag ordinance that would ban plastic checkout bags place a ten-cent fee on paper checkout bags.
On May 23rd, 2012 the Los Angeles City Council voted 13-1 to to move forward with drafting the final ordinance language and completing the appropriate CEQA environmental review. The May 23rd vote was very important but the bag ban needs final approval from City Council in the coming months so we still need your support.
We all know about the problems caused by plastic trash in our oceans and on our beaches. The Texas Coastal Bend Surfrider Foundation Chapter has a campaign called "Skip the Plastic" to raise awareness and advocate for changes that will reduce disposable plastic consumption and help clean up the Coastal Bend.
On May 29, the Corpus Christi City Council will consider action to reduce the number of plastic bags littering the beaches, streets and parks. We are advocating for a fee on single-use plastic bags to help motivate shoppers to bring their own reusable bags. Brownsville has already done this with great success.
We're asking Surfrider Foundation members and supporters throughout Texas to contact the Corpus Christi City Council, urging them to adopt a fee for single–use plastic bags.
If you have the opportunity, also attend the City Council meeting on Tuesday May 29th. It begins at noon at City Hall - 1201 Leopard St. in Corpus Christi.
Take action and contact the Santa Barbara City Council to let them know you support a citywide plastic bag ban at retailers. We need your support as this issue is slated to go the to the full City Council for a final series of votes in 2013.
Plastic bags are made from non-renewable resources such as natural gas and oil. Plastic bags do not biodegrade in our lifetimes and can impact wildlife when littered - in addition being an eyesore, costing taxpayer dollars to pick up, potentially clogging drains and possibly creating mosquito breeding grounds in warmer months. While plastic bags are recyclable, recent reports show a dismal 5% recycling rate from the 115 billion bags used nationwide.
In March 2012 the Santa Barbara City Council took the first steps to pursue an ordinance to reduce disposable bags in favor of reusable bags. Council voted 5-2 to pursue drafting a model ordinance that could potentially be used countywide and beyond to create a level playing field for businesses throughout the region. On May 22nd 2012, City Council voted 6-1 to have their staff draft the ordinance language and coordinate the appropriate environmental review which should be complete in Spring 2013.
We still need your support to show the Santa Barbara City Council that this is an important issue that needs to be addressed and a bag ban needs to be finalized!
The Queens County Library offers a plastic bag to each patron checking out a book, DVD or CD. They had a circulation of 23 million in 2009. Even if only 5% of the patrons accept a bag, the 62 branches of the Library have given away millions of taxpayer-funded plastic bags since the practice started.
Please send a message to the Queens Library, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Mayor Michael Bloomberg asking them to stop this practice and in support of banning all single-use checkout plastics bags in New York City.
Single-use plastic bags and foam food ware represent two of the greatest environmental catastrophes of our generation. It is estimated that 60-80% of all debris in the ocean is plastic, and 80% of plastic in the ocean is land-based. Plastics take hundreds of years to break down at sea and most types never truly biodegrade. As a result, marine animals often get entangled in the debris or mistake it for food.
Around 100 billion plastic checkout bags are used each year in the United States, requiring ever-increasing demands on our finite natural resources. Sadly, 12% or less of these bags are recycled each year and cities, counties, and non-profit organizations must pay millions each year to clean up plastic litter.
Plastics, especially expanded polystyrene foam, easily break into small pieces which are difficult to clean up off our beaches. It is consumed by wildlife and has also been linked to toxins and carcinogens which can leach out from the product.
Please ask the Aliso Viejo City Council to be a leader in Orange County by considering and passing a ban on plastic bags and expanded polystyrene foam foodware. Aliso Viejo can be another Orange County city to do the right thing. Dana Point and Laguna Beach have done it, now its Aliso Viejo's turn!
Plastic checkout bags represent one of the greatest environmental catastrophes of our generation.
Plastics take hundreds of years to break down in water and most types never truly biodegrade. As a result, marine animals often get entangled in the debris or mistake it for food. In urban areas like Chicago they can also clog storm water drains and litter the landscape resulting in urban blight and increased cleanup costs to taxpayers.
Over 1 billion plastic checkout bags are used each year in Illinois, requiring ever-increasing demands on natural gas and oil. Sadly, only 1.5% of those bags are recycled and cities, counties, and non-profit organizations must pay millions each year to clean up plastic litter.
The good news is that the City of Chicago is considering legislation to address these issues!
In 2008, two Aldermen introduced legislation to ban the bag in Chicago. The supporters of this ordinance eventually compromised to accept a recycling program in the city, which has done virtually nothing to improve the situation. It’s time to revisit the issue and show the world that Chicago is a leader that knows how to get important things done!
This new ordinance would restrict plastic checkout bags at most retailers over 5,000' and include an outreach program to distribute and encourage reusable bags. Chicago should join the growing number of cities in the U.S. and worldwide that are responding to this important environmental issue.
The Surfrider Foundation Chicago Chapter supports the ban on single-use plastic bags within the City of Chicago, which will further reduce waste and encourage people to shop with reusable bags. Such an ordinance is needed to help prevent plastic pollution, protect our Great Lakes, save money and reduce our dependence on non-renewable resources.
Please participate in the action below to send a letter of support to Mayor Emanuel. We encourage you to personalize your letter!
Single-use plastic bags represent one of the greatest environmental catastrophes of our generation. It is estimated that 60-80% of all debris in the ocean is plastic, and 80% of plastic in the ocean is land-based. Plastics take hundreds of years to break down at sea and most types never truly biodegrade. As a result, marine animals often get entangled in the debris or mistake it for food. In Oregon (and the world!) the very first statewide volunteer beach cleanup was held in 1984 under the title "Plague of Plastics", calling historical attention to the rise of plastics in our oceans and on our beaches.
Around 100 billion plastic checkout bags are used each year in the United States, requiring ever-increasing demands on our finite natural resources. Sadly, 9% or less of these bags are recycled each year and cities, counties, and non-profit organizations must pay millions each year to clean up plastic litter.
For these and other reasons, The Newport Chapter of Surfrider Foundation supports a ban (and/or fee or deposit) on single-use plastic bags within the City of Newport to reduce waste and encourage people to shop with reusable bags. Such an ordinance is needed to prevent marine debris, save money and reduce our dependence on finite natural resources. Many other cities have taken similar action including Portland, San Francisco, San Jose, LA County, Maui, Edmonds WA and even Washington DC, Westport CT, Brownsville and South Padre TX - all which have passed ban or fee ordinances on plastic bags.
Aug. 25th Update: The City of Dana Point has once again failed to comply with the June 2011 judgment to remove gates and apply for a coastal development permit.
A 14 day Writ of Mandate was formally served to the city on August 9th. As of August 23rd, the city has ignored the public's interest in regard to beach access, not to mention expended almost $300,000 in legal fees.
Please sign the petition and feel free to add comments that we will present to the city council from the public. Be sure to share with your friends too.
Sign the Petition
When the Headlands and Strands development project was approved by the California Coastal Commission, the City of Dana Point and Sanford Edward, the project developer, agreed to provide “maximum” access to Strands beach via access ways on the north, central and south ends of the Strands development. The access ways to the north and south of the project are not gated and provide access during all beach hours. The Mid and Central Strands access ways have been gated and the hours have been limited to 8 AM to 7 PM during the summer months and 8 AM to 5 PM during winter months. The gates and limited hours restrict the most direct access to the beach, violate the agreement made when the project was approved and violate the Coastal Act. Any limitation of access requires a permit from the Coastal Commission.
Sign the petition below to tell the Dana Point City Council to open the access at Strands Beach!
THE GAVIOTA COAST, located in southern Santa Barbara County, includes the coastal watersheds between Coal Oil Point in Goleta, to Point Arguello on Vandenberg Air Force Base, and the remainder of Vandenberg’s coast to Point Sal. Surfrider’s Santa Barbara chapter is working to preserve the 20-mile stretch of the Gaviota Coast between Goleta and Gaviota, which draws more than a million visitors to its beaches, coastal canyons and mountain trails every year.
WHAT'S AT STAKE: In just over two generations, more than ninety percent of southern California's once-unspoiled coastline has been lost to development forever. Expanding urbanization has displaced agriculture on fertile coastal plains, reduced public beach access, and stressed coastal watersheds and marine ecosystems. Rapid population growth in the region has led to dramatic loss of native biological diversity, and a general decline in the health of ecosystems we depend on. The Gaviota Coast’s intact ecosystems, riparian and wildlife corridors, important coastal farmland, rare and endangered animals, unique tidal wetlands, and Native American cultural sites are all gravely threatened by development.
YOU CAN HELP! Please sign our petition to permanently preserve the Gaviota Coast for future generations to enjoy!
The National Park Service is currently developing a long-term plan for ORV (off-road-vehicle) and pedestrian access inside Cape Hatteras National Seashore. Let them know, when making decisions, to remember Cape Hatteras’ unparalleled role as the most popular and influential surfing region on the whole East Coast —and therefore the US — with a high priority on access to the most treasured breaks. Also demand they look for a wide range of solutions besides closures; ones that benefit the animal species while guaranteeing humans can continue to enjoy and protect this most-precious coastal resource for years to come.
There is a section of the Pacific Ocean twice the size of the continental United States called the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Within it, 100 million tons of plastic swirl in a vortex of currents. There is so much plastic in the water that it outnumbers zooplankton by six to one!
This plastic ends up in the stomachs of marine birds and animals. In fact, one million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals die globally each year due to ingestion of or entanglement in plastics.
Plastic is forever, with virtually every piece of petroleum based plastic ever made still in existence. That's why it's so critical to our oceans and beaches that we dramatically reduce our use of plastics, especially single-use plastics, starting today.
You can make a difference for our world's oceans, waves and beaches -- pledge to rise above plastics today.