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Coastal Blog — Legal

Surfrider Foundation Intervenes in Suit Over Right to Know GMO Legislation in Kaua’i

March 04 2014

Surfrider Foundation Intervenes in Suit Over Right to Know GMO Legislation in Kaua’i

Legal Water Quality

Surfrider Foundation has intervened in a new federal lawsuit in support of Kauai County's ordinance relating to disclosure of pesticide use and cultivation of genetically modified crops. Industry brought the suit in order to block implementation of the "right to know" legislation. Along with the Center for Food Safety, the…

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This Land is Our Land: California State Legislature proposes Bill to Open Martin’s Beach

February 08 2014

This Land is Our Land: California State Legislature proposes Bill to Open Martin’s Beach

Beach Access Legal

California Senator Jerry Hill has authored legislation to allow public access to Martin's Beach in Half Moon Bay. The bill will be introduced on February 10, 2014 in the California State Legislature. The bill will require the State Lands Commission to consult and negotiate with property owner Vinod Khosla about…

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California Senators Promote Bag Ban Bill for 2014

January 31 2014

California Senators Promote Bag Ban Bill for 2014

Legal Rise Above Plastics Bag Bans

California State Senators Alex Padilla, Kevin DeLeon and Ricardo Lara recently announced support for legislation to ban single-use plastic bags and place a fee on single-use paper bags in California. These three Senators have partnered with the environmental community, the California Grocers Association and the United Food and Commercial Workers…

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Marine Plastic Pollution Legal & Policy Solution Briefings for U.S. Senate Ocean Caucus

December 12 2013

Marine Plastic Pollution Legal & Policy Solution Briefings for U.S. Senate Ocean Caucus

Legal Rise Above Plastics

This week, Surfrider Foundation, with the help of UCLA Frank G. Wells Environmental Law Clinic, had the outstanding opportunity to present legal and policy solutions available for addressing marine plastic pollution at the federal level. This presentation took place in our nation's capitol, Washington DC, with the help of the…

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Surfrider Foundation Legal Department Highlights for 2013

November 25 2013

Surfrider Foundation Legal Department Highlights for 2013

Beach Access Legal Rise Above Plastics Water Quality

The legal work at Surfrider Foundation moves at a fast pace; however, we took a few minutes to look back on the year 2013 and acknowledge some of Surfrider Foundation’s accomplishments and strategic movement in legal campaigns. Since the organization-wide programmatic priorities for the past year were (1) Rise Above…

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Martin’s Beach Litigation Update

November 11 2013

Martin’s Beach Litigation Update

Beach Access Legal

The beautiful crescent-shaped stretch of beach in Half Moon Bay is the site of Surfrider Foundation's featured beach access campaign since owner, Vinod Khosla, has gated the only road leading down to the beach. While Surfrider Foundation helped to successfully defend the Martin's 5 from trespass claims last year, there…

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Final Marine Debris Strategy Released!

October 11 2013

Final Marine Debris Strategy Released!

Legal Rise Above Plastics

The West Coast Governors Agreement on Ocean Health released their Final Marine Debris Strategy this week, with the help of Surfrider Foundation, Heal the Bay, state and federal government, industry and academia. The goal of the strategy is to lay out a plan to effectively address ocean pollution with an…

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Primer on the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”)

September 11 2013

Primer on the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”)

Legal

The California Environmental Quality Act ("CEQA") is California's premier environmental law. The law ensures that there is protection of the environment and informed self-government. Projects must be reviewed for their environmental impacts, which must be avoided or mitigated whenever feasible. The law functions by including the public's point of view,…

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The CCC: California’s State Agency for Coastal Decision-making

August 06 2013

The CCC: California’s State Agency for Coastal Decision-making

Legal

Most controversies involving California’s coast eventually wind up before the California Coastal Commission. The California Coastal Act created the Coastal Commission to “Protect, conserve, restore, and enhance environmental and human-based resources of the California coast and ocean for environmentally sustainable and prudent use by current and future generations.” It does…

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New Texas Open Beaches Act Amendment Explained

July 25 2013

New Texas Open Beaches Act Amendment Explained

Beach Access Legal

The Texas Legislature recently passed H.B. 3459, which the governor signed into law June 14, 2013. The new law amends the Texas Open Beaches Act, which means it will have an effect on public beach access. However, because the law grants a significant amount of decision-making authority to the General…

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Long Fought Beach Access Battle at Strands Advances with Appellate Court Ruling

June 20 2013

Long Fought Beach Access Battle at Strands Advances with Appellate Court Ruling

Beach Access Legal

Surfrider Foundation received a positive ruling from the California Appellate Court this week when it ruled in favor of California Coastal Commission control over beach access right at Strands Beach in Dana Point. Surfrider won our case against the City of Dana Point in 2011 at the trial court when…

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Settlement Protects Coastal Waters from Harms of Oil Spill Dispersants

May 30 2013

Settlement Protects Coastal Waters from Harms of Oil Spill Dispersants

Legal Water Quality Oil Spill

Surfrider Foundation filed a settlement today that requires the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Coast Guard to ensure that toxic oil-dispersing chemicals will not adversely impact sea life and our coastal resources. Surfrider Foundation, Center for Biological Diversity and Pacific Environment originally filed a lawsuit against the EPA and…

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Lawsuit Resurrected to Kill Zombie Toll Road

May 22 2013

Lawsuit Resurrected to Kill Zombie Toll Road

Legal

Back from the dead, a proposal to build the first segment of the 241 toll road was certified by the Transportation Corridor Agencies ("TCA") on April 18, 2013. Today, May 22, 2013, the vigilant group of environmentalists, including Surfrider Foundation, resurrected our California Environmental Quality Act ("CEQA") lawsuit that challenged…

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What Does a Plastic Packaging Bill Look Like?

April 29 2013

What Does a Plastic Packaging Bill Look Like?

Legal Rise Above Plastics

The enormity of the plastic pollution problem in our oceans is staggering. Surfrider Foundation has been hard at work advocating for local bag bans, polystyrene foam foodware bans and regulations of cigarette butts, amongst other efforts. But what else can we do to make sure we are targeting other forms…

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Top Plastic Pollution Bills in California

March 28 2013

Top Plastic Pollution Bills in California

Legal Rise Above Plastics Bag Bans

The California legislative session started off in full sprint this year, with Senators and Assembly members tripping over themselves to come up with bills that address coastal plastic pollution. At the end of the first quarter, we have several priority pieces of legislation that Surfrider Foundation supports in our efforts…

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Surfrider Foundation Sues to Open Martin’s Beach to the Public

March 13 2013

Surfrider Foundation Sues to Open Martin’s Beach to the Public

Beach Access Legal

Martin's Beach in Half Moon Bay, California, is a beautiful stretch of sandy beach that has been enjoyed by locals and visitors for generations. However, locked gates and signs were erected at the entrance to the beach road several years ago. After over two years of outreach and advocacy, the…

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Surfrider Foundation 2013 Federal Legislative Priorities

March 01 2013

Surfrider Foundation 2013 Federal Legislative Priorities

Legal

Surfrider Foundation has a focused, few legislative priorities at the federal level that bubble up from our 84 grassroots Chapters on the ground. For 2013, our priorities at the national level are Clean Water, Ocean Ecosystems, and our Not the Answer campaign. We are also monitoring for Rise Above Plastics…

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Appeals Court Rules for LA County Bag Ban and Against Plastics Industry

February 22 2013

Appeals Court Rules for LA County Bag Ban and Against Plastics Industry

Legal Rise Above Plastics Bag Bans

On February 21, 2013, the California Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District affirmed the lower court judgment in favor of Los Angeles County in defending their municipal bag ban ordinance from an attack brought by the plastics industry, including Hilex Poly Co., in Schmeer et al v. County…

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Surfrider Overcomes Big Challenge to Access on the Big Island!

January 22 2013

Surfrider Overcomes Big Challenge to Access on the Big Island!

Beach Access Legal

In Hawaii, Surfrider Foundation’s Hilo Chapter has fought for over the past two years to open up trail access to Papaikou Mill Beach, one of the few sandy beaches on the East side of the Big Island. Known as a popular surfing, fishing and recreational spot, the beach is also…

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Federal Marine Debris Legislation Signed by the President

December 21 2012

Federal Marine Debris Legislation Signed by the President

Legal Rise Above Plastics Tsunami Debris

President Barack Obama signed the Marine Debris Act Amendments (Farr - H.R. 1171) into law on December 20, 2012 as part of the Coast Guard Maritime Transportation Act (H.R. 2838). The Marine Debris Act Amendments reauthroizes and amends the Marine Debris Research, Prevention, and Reduction Act to create a marine…

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