On February 20, Ed and John joined more than 165 activists in Sacramento for the 14th annual Ocean Day California. Since its inauguration in 2005, Ocean Day has drawn advocates to the State Capitol to inform legislators about the latest issues facing California’s coastal ecosystem and to underscore how vital these issues are to California’s identity and economy. Every year, more and more people participate. After a record-setting level of participation in 2017, this year’s attendance increased by 70 percent. Co-organized by Surfrider Foundation, AZUL, and Environment California, Ocean Day draws activists – experienced and new – from all over the state.

The day opened with Assemblyman Ian Calderon and others providing passionate testimony on the importance of coastal access, ocean health and the various threats to both. Assemblyman Calderon, an avid surfer, has joint-authored a bill with to declare surfing the official state sport of California (!), elevated the fight against plastic pollution with his proposal to limit the distribution of single-use straws and has firmly rejected the federal administration’s attempt to open up California waters to new offshore oil drilling.

John and Ed teamed with 5 other activists and met legislative offices of Senator Jerry Hill (D), Assemblymen Richard Bloom (D), Heath Flora (R), Jim Patterson (R), to discuss offshore oil drilling, plastics pollution, poaching in marine protected areas, coastal access and more, highlighting the substantial list of legislation aimed at protecting California’s beaches, marine life and coastal economy. (See a full list on Surfrider Foundation’s California Region page.)

The San Mateo Chapter is stoked for this chance at civic engagement.  We will be making a return trip in February 2019. Plan to join us and make a difference!

*Thank you to Surfrider San Mateo County Chair, John Claussen, for sharing his experience in this post.