Two California Legislators, Resources Secretary to Receive Ocean, Coastal Awards
Awards Ceremony, Film Screening Are Culmination of Effort to Bring Attention to Cleaning up Marine Debris on California Beaches
Contact: Steve Aceti 760-612-3564 (cell)
What: Reception, Awards Ceremony, and Film Screening
Where: Crest Theater, 1013 K Street, Sacramento
When: Wednesday April 2, 2008
Time: 5:30 pm (Reception, Awards); 6:00 PM (Screening)
Hosts: California Coastal Coalition (CALCOAST), the Wetlands Recovery Project, NRDC, California Coastkeeper,
Environment California, Ocean Conservancy, Heal the Bay, Alliance, NRDC, Surfrider Foundation and others
SACRAMENTO – Senator Alan Lowenthal will receive the “Friend of the Ocean Award” and Assemblymember John Laird and Secretary for Resources Mike Chrisman will each receive “Ocean Stewardship Awards” at a VIP reception and awards ceremony at the Crest Theater, on Wednesday, April 2 at 5:30 PM.
The ceremony precedes the Sacramento premier of “A Sheltered Sea,” a new documentary about the pioneering conservation work that is taking place up and down the coast of California, as the Marine Life Protection Act brings together diverse groups to create the first statewide network of marine protected areas in the U.S.
Senator Lowenthal is receiving his award for his work on marine debris and litter abatement, along with his efforts to clean up the air quality at the port of Long Beach. Assemblymember Laird and Secretary Chrisman are receiving awards for their continuing work on California’s coastal conservation efforts, including efforts to put into effect the Marine Life Protection Act.
The ceremony and screening are the culmination of a two-day effort on the part of CALCOAST and its partners to bring attention to the issue of preventing and cleaning up marine debris along California’s coast.
“We urgently need to develop a statewide, comprehensive marine debris program that will provide grant funds for cities and counties to eradicate marine debris and raise public awareness levels,” said CALCOAST Executive Director Steve Aceti. “Although the state has made marine debris a high priority, little has been done to move the ball forward on funding and coordination among the agencies that should be involved in this effort.”
Marine debris degrades beaches and has direct impacts on tourism. Efforts to clean up marine debris will include storm drain filters, better trash receptacles at or near beaches, anti-litter beach signage, vacuum trucks, and more personnel to remove trash from coastal areas. CalCoast is lobbying the state and Congress for marine debris funding, including funds for the state’s “Thank You Ocean” campaign, launched by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger at the 2005 “California and the World’s Oceans” conference in Long Beach, CA.