Protecting California’s Oceans During World Oceans Month

Xavier Becerra
Jun 20 · 2 min read
Swami’s Beach in Encinitas, California

When people from outside of California think of our state, they often think of beaches and palm trees. And while those of us lucky enough to live here know that California is home to mountains and deserts, cities and farmland, we’re most famous for our 800-mile coastline — a unique blessing.

Every day, Californians come to the coast to live, work, and play. Our ports receive billions of dollars of goods each year, 25 million Californians live in coastal counties, and at almost every pier in California you can walk out to the end and see someone fishing for food.

But, tragically, our oceans are in crisis. Climate change poses an existential threat to the way we live. As our planet warms, sea levels will rise, species will go extinct, and our communities will feel the pain of decades of inaction.

This federal government’s complete and utter failure to protect the planet we live on is inexcusable. As the Attorney General of California, I have fought at every turn to protect the air, water, and natural resources we all rely on every day to live and prosper. In fact, nearly half of our lawsuits against the Trump administration involve protecting the environment.

Just this month, I joined a coalition of 11 states denouncing a plan by the EPA to abandon Clean Water Act protections for the rivers, lakes, and streams that feed our oceans. The EPA should be in the business of protecting our health and environment, not the interests of polluters.

I have also made it clear that any drilling off our coast is a non-starter. Every time the Trump Administration has tried to force us to open up our state to offshore drilling, we have fought back. We know firsthand the devastation that an oil spill wreaks. We know the risks are simply too high to bear. Californians are emphatic: no drilling off our coast.

We’re fighting because when you come after our coastal waters, you’re attacking us, our community, our way of life.

And when it comes to our environment we’re doing more than fighting back — we’re pushing forward — and we’re winning.

Instead of clinging to last century’s ways of doing business, California leads the fight against climate change. We’ve already surpassed our greenhouse gas reduction goals years ahead of schedule. And, we’re leading the transition to a green economy. As the fifth largest economy in the world, we’ve proven that you don’t need to choose between good paying jobs and being good to our planet.

Fighting the climate crisis and cleaning up our oceans will take dedication, sacrifice, and most importantly innovation. But it’ll be worth it. California’s coasts deserve to be enjoyed for generations to come.

Xavier Becerra

Written by

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra