WA Policy & Field Update- March EditionIt’s been a super busy year so far in our efforts to protect the Washington coast today, and for the future enjoyment of the generations of tomorrow. With a number of campaigns in Olympia approaching the finish line, there are a couple of easy ways that you can help get these important issues across the last few remaining hurdles and onto the Governor’s desk to be signed into law and declared coastal victories for our state. Please take a few moments to lend your voice for the protection and enjoyment of our ocean, waves and beaches today!

Thanks for all that you do for our ocean and coast!
-Gus Gates, Washington Policy Manager
Help Make Our State a #PlasticBagFreeWA!

The Reusable Bag Bill (5323) passed out of the House Finance Committee this morning and is now sitting in the House Rules Committee waiting to be pulled for a vote on the House Floor, help make Washington the next state to ban single use plastic carry out bags! Single-use plastics are polluting our environment and harming wildlife in the ocean, in rivers, and on our surrounding lands. Plastic has been documented in nearly 700 species of marine life, including gray whales found washed up on the shores of the Salish Sea. Plastic bags also cause operational and contamination problems at recycling and compost facilities by clogging machinery. A ban on thin plastic bags and an 8 cent charge for paper bags and thicker reusable plastic film bags was negotiated in the Senate. The charge incentivizes the public to bring their own bags and also helps smaller retail outfits cover the cost of the more expensive paper and reusable plastic film bags. This is the proven method of effective plastic bag policy as outlined in the Surfrider Foundation Plastic Bag Law Activist Toolkit. We are so close to getting this issue across the finish line, please TAKE ACTION by contacting your State Representatives TODAY!
#DefendOurCoast from Offshore Drilling!

Right now we have an important opportunity to pass SB 6432 which would prohibit oil and gas leasing for exploration, development or production off Washington’s outer coast waters (shore to three nautical miles). The bill also prohibits authorization of new infrastructure in the state’s ocean waters and the coastal zone of the outer Washington coast that would serve drilling operations in federal Outer Continental Shelf waters off the Washington coast (3-200 miles). We have a strong bi-partisan tradition of opposing offshore drilling along the West Coast dating back to the 80’s and this bill would join similar legislation already passed in California and Oregon. This bill is one step away from reaching the Governor’s desk, and it just needs a little nudge to get it out of the House Rules Committee. Click here to find your legislators and their email addresses or call the toll-free legislative hotline at 1-800-562-6000 (8am to 7pm) to talk to someone who will pass along your message to both of your Representatives at once, ask them to please bring SB 6432 to the House Floor for a vote and defend our coast from the threat of offshore drilling. More info and background on the issue here
Washington Chapter Leaders Bring their A Game to Coastal Recreation Hill Day in DC

This past week, Washington Surfrider Chapter leaders and staff joined over 150 Surfrider members from around the country, as well as industry leaders and surf ambassadors who traveled to Washington D.C. on February 26-28 to meet with federal leaders about ways to protect our ocean, waves, and beaches. Participants visited 145 Senate and House offices to urge immediate action on climate change, plastic pollution, water quality and other key issues affecting our coasts and ocean. Read more…
In case you missed it…King Tide flight highlights needs for improved actions towards coastal resilience

On February 9th, I had the opportunity to participate in a flight along the Grays Harbor coastline thanks to the generous support of pilot Jane and LightHawk. Joining us was the Mayor of Ocean Shores and Surfrider Foundation Leadership Academy Alum, Crystal Dingler. Our mission for the day was to capture an aerial perspective of the King Tide event that was happening and see how it was interacting with the coastline and a few erosion hot spots. What we saw was an fascinating window into a variety of coastal hazards, and a heightened sense of urgency for collective action towards coastal resilience by addressing the future impacts of climate change. Read more and check out some of the cool photos…  Upcoming Events
3/4 Olympic Peninsula Chapter Meeting- 6:30pm Smuggler’s Landing, Port Angeles
3/12 South Sound Chapter Meeting– 6:30pm The Social Bar and Grill, Tacoma
3/19 Seattle Chapter Meeting- 6:30pm, Location TBD, Seattle
3/25 Olympia Chapter Meeting- 7pm, Location TBD, Olympia
3/28 River & Ocean Film Festival– 7-9pm, Rainforest Arts Center in Forks, WA