This week, Rob Machado, the Surfrider Foundation and advocates for ocean health throughout the surf industry took advantage of 2021 Coastal Recreation Hill Day to demand action on climate change from congressional leaders and White House officials in Washington D.C.
"My goal is to educate all the young people on the planet," Machado explained via a video conference. "I started here in my backyard at Cardiff. I realized that the children didn't have simple things like recycling at school. I started this foundation with the idea of environmental education for kids. From there we started implementing recycling programs, gardening programs, beach cleanups, and more at the schools."
Taking place on Monday, March 9, Surfrider laid out a number of recommendations that they suggest would make a difference, including reinstituting moratoriums on offshore drilling, protecting coastal and marine habitats and safeguarding communities from sea level rise.
They also advocated for Congress "to authorize $3 billion to support shovel-ready coastal restoration projects with priority given to projects that help to stimulate the economy, and assist communities of color, as well as low-income, tribal, and rural communities."
"With nearly 40% of Americans living within the coastal zone, this administration and Congress must drastically increase efforts to protect our coastlines from climate change," said Dr. Chad Nelsen, CEO of the Surfrider Foundation. "Many communities are already experiencing climate change impacts, including extreme weather events, sea level rise, coastal erosion and ocean acidification. Based on current science, those impacts will only continue to grow, costing Americans billions of dollars and harming our coastal economy."
"Climate change represents perhaps the greatest single threat to the survival of our industry and a way of life enjoyed by millions of people," added Sean Smith, executive director of the Surf Industry Manufacturers Association (SIMA). "SIMA and the surf industry join the Surfrider Foundation in demanding that federal leaders take action on the climate crisis."
For more information about 2021 Coastal Recreation Hill Day and for ways to get involved check out Surfrider.org.