Many of the threats facing the ocean are too big and too urgent to be solved just with personal changes alone.
In addition to education and promoting ocean-friendly choices at the individual level, the Massachusetts Chapter actively campaigns in support of state and local legislation that would lead to systemic changes to help protect our waves, beaches, and ocean.
This page is frequently updated as the MA Chapter’s work advances. Please also check out our growing Resources Page (a continual work in progress) for useful information from past and current campaigns.
Reducing Plastic Pollution
A key area for our advocacy is the threat of marine debris and combating unnecessary pollution from single-use and disposable plastic in their many forms. Currently active campaigns include:
- HD.1553/SD.1123 ‘An Act to Save Recycling Costs in the Commonwealth’ is a producer responsibility bill that will reduce packaging waste and improve recycling by implementing a ‘polluter pays’ model for packaging and printed paper. (Fact Sheet)
- Statewide Plastic Bag Bill and Bag Charge. The chapter supports passage of a ban on film-plastic checkout bags and the establishment of a mandatory minimum bag charge on all new bags distributed, in order to properly incentivize a switch to bag reuse.
- Support for Local Efforts to Reduce Plastic Pollution: Our chapter has provided expert support to numerous local groups seeking to reduce the consumption of disposable plastic items, such as plastic bags, drinking straws, polystyrene food service ware, and single-serving bottled water. We bring both our local experiences and the Surfrider Foundation’s more than 30 years of work on these efforts nationwide. Please let us know if we can help you in your community!
We believe that free access to the coast for low-impact uses is a right for all people.
- HD.3191/SD.1381 ‘An Act Relative to Recreation in Private Tidelands’ updates the Commonwealth’s colonial-era beach access laws by adding recreation as a specifically allowed use of private tidelands.
- Surf Access Expansion at Good Harbor Beach (Gloucester, MA). In collaboration with the Cape Ann Surfer’s Union.
Offshore Oil and Gas Exploration
- Opposing the federal proposal to offer offshore oil and gas drilling lease sales and activity in its entirety, and explicitly opposing this activity off the coast of Massachusetts, as laid out in the 2019-2024 National OCS Oil and Gas Leasing Draft Proposed Program. Learn more and join our MA coalition to oppose offshore drilling by filling out this form: https://go.surfrider.org/NoNEdrilling/
Some Past Campaign Victories:
- Authorizing Town to Petition State Legislature for a Bag Charge in Sudbury, MA (2020)
- Polystyrene and Disposable Straws, Stirrer, and Splash Stick Reduction in Sudbury, MA (2020)
- Lifting the State COVID-19 Reusable Bag Ban (2020)
- Improving State Beach Reopening from COVID-19 (2020)
- Strengthening Existing Bag Law with Bag Charge and Better Definition of Reusable Bags in Newton, MA (2019)
- Single-Use Bottled Water and Bag Bans in Lincoln, MA (2018)
- Boston Plastic Bag Ban (2017) – Successfully passed!
- More here!
To learn more about our active campaigns, or to suggest new ideas for future Surfrider Campaigns in Massachusetts, please contact our Campaigns Coordinator.