Save Our Shores was formed as the result of a grassroots campaign to prevent oil drilling off our coast in the early 1980’s. We’ve continued to advocate for smarter ocean policies and coastal protections ever since. Today, as we steward Clean Shores, Healthy Habitats, and Living Waters for a thriving Monterey Bay, we believe advocacy is one of our most effective tools. Over the last four decades we have led the way on many campaign fronts- sometimes going at it alone and other times forming cross-functional policy coalitions.
Anti-Fossil Fuel Exploration Ordinances
In the early 1980’s we got 26 coastal communities across the state to pass local ordinances that prohibit the construction of the onshore infrastructure that would be required to support offshore oil and gas exploration and drilling.
Obtaining Sanctuary Status
Working alongside local and regional ocean leaders, in 1992 we secured National Marine Sanctuary status for the Monterey Bay- the largest Marine Sanctuary in California.
Plastic Pollution Mitigation
Over the last decade we’ve led efforts to ban polystyrene packaging and single-use plastic bags throughout Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties. These ordinances that passed were among the first in the state. We eventually saw the passage of a statewide ban on single-use plastic bags. Now, we have launched a rigorous and robust campaign focused on limiting the impact caused by the Sinister Six.
Saving Our Sand
In 2017 after 16 months of rallies and protests, we won a negotiated closure of the CEMEX sand mining operation in Marina. This effectively put an end to the last coastal sand mine in the US. The settlement agreement allows CEMEX to take sand until the end of 2020. Then they must sell the site to buyer(s) approved by the California Coastal Commission who will keep the land in conservation in perpetuity.
Standing Against Oil and Gas Exploration
With plans to shrink Sanctuaries and open the US Coast to new oil and gas exploration leases, the Trump administration unleashed opposition and around the country. In February of 2018, we organized over 1,000 strong who marched along West Cliff to Cowell Beach where we created a human billboard telling this Administration “No Drilling”. We are continuing to push back on Trump’s ill-advised policies by leading letter-writing campaigns, hosting online petitions, speaking at public forums, and securing no new drilling resolutions throughout the Sanctuary.
Photos: Oceana, Save Our Shores Archives, Edward Garner