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Surfrider Foundation Business Sign-On Letter: Calling on Federal Action to Protect our Coasts

We, the undersigned businesses of the surf and outdoor industry, support strong federal leadership to protect our nation’s coasts and ocean. Ocean and Great Lakes recreation and tourism are major economic drivers in the United States, generating over $150.7 billion annually. Unfortunately, the threats of climate change, plastic pollution, and sewage undermine the ability of our ocean and waterways to provide us with the natural services we depend on. Federal leadership is urgently needed to protect valuable marine and coastal ecosystems and the businesses and communities that depend on them.

Specifically, we call on the Biden Administration and 117th Congress to:

1) Take Action to Address the Climate Crisis
Our coasts and ocean are under siege from climate change impacts including sea level rise, extreme weather events, and ocean acidification. We call on the Biden administration to aggressively implement its climate plan and pass the Ocean-Based Climate Solutions Act. This ambitious bill leverages the enormous power of the ocean to drive solutions to the climate crisis. Key elements of the bill include banning new offshore oil drilling and protecting carbon storing wetlands. We also urge the Biden administration and Congress to provide critical funding for NOAA programs that help communities plan for sea level rise and extreme weather events.

2) Stop the Flow of Plastic Pollution into the Ocean
Plastic pollution is one of the greatest threats to the health of our ocean. To stem the tide of plastics entering the marine environment, we urge the Biden administration and Congress to pass the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act, the most comprehensive federal proposal to address plastic pollution from production to disposal. We also urge the President to: (1) mandate the federal government to stop buying single-use plastics; (2) deny and/or strengthen permits on new plastic production facilities; (3) make the plastic industry pay for the waste they create; (4) stop exporting waste to developing countries; and (5) seek more ways to become a global leader in the fight against plastic pollution.

3) Protect Clean Water for All People
Water quality at our beaches is threatened by pollution, causing over 20,000 health advisories to be issued each year. We call on the Biden administration and Congress to uphold the Clean Water Act through sufficient funding and enforcement of water quality regulations and programs. This includes support for critical EPA programs, such as the BEACH Grants program that protects the health of beachgoers, and the Clean Water State Revolving Fund which assists communities in upgrading and fixing their sewage infrastructure. We urge federal leaders to strengthen protections on seasonal streams and wetlands that affect water quality downstream and on our beaches.
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