Advocacy

California State Parks Foundation is dedicated to advocating for legislation and policy changes to advance our mission of protecting and enhancing the California state parks system. To advance our policy goals, we work with policymakers at the state, federal and local levels. We also encourage our park partners, members and park supporters throughout California to become engaged in our grassroots advocacy efforts.

Citizen Action

California State Parks Foundation encourages our park partners, members and park supporters throughout California to become engaged in our grassroots advocacy efforts to advance our mission of protecting and enhancing the California state parks system.

Thank you to everyone that joined us in Sacramento for Park Advocacy Day!

See highlights from our 2019 Park Advocacy Day

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Legislative Agenda

As part of our role in advancing state parks issues for the last decade, California State Parks Foundation has provided leadership in lobbying the California legislature on relevant bills and budget actions as well as proactively sponsoring legislation. We have sponsored legislation to achieve park protection as well as facilitate fiscal sustainability for the state park system.

In addition to sponsoring legislation, we also maintain regular communication with key policy committee members and provides testimony to legislative hearings and coordinates with other like-minded organizations on policy priorities.

Current Legislative Bills

Assembly Bill 1067 (Bigelow) — Public lands: Department of Parks and Recreation: wildfire management plan: wildland-urban interface

Current Status: Failed to advance from Assembly Approporations Committee
CSPF's Position: Watching
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This bill would require the Director of Parks and Recreation, no later than January 1, 2023, to develop and implement a wildfire management plan for all property under the jurisdiction of the Department of Parks and Recreation that is in the wildland-urban interface.

Position Statement

The wildfire season is becoming longer and more intense each year due to hotter temperatures and wide scale tree death resulting from prolonged drought. Between 2010-2017 an estimated 129 million trees died, leaving behind massive amounts of highly combustible fuel. This phenomenon has led to the worst fires on record. Over the 13 months starting in October of 2017 the state endured four massive fires that caused 118 deaths, burned 700,000 acres, and destroyed 27,000 properties. In 2017 multiple state parks sustained fire damage and then again in 2018 more state parkland was destroyed by fires.

Senate Bill 8 (Glazer) — State parks: state coastal beaches: smoking ban

Current Status: Assembly Appropriations
CSPF's Position: Support
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This bill would make it an infraction punishable by a fine of up to $25 for a person to smoke on a state coastal beach, in a unit of the state park system, dispose of used cigar or cigarette waste on a state coastal beach or in a unit of the state park system unless the disposal is made in an appropriate waste receptacle.

Position Statement

The consequences of smoking are immense. Smoking is the leading contributing factor to lung cancer and heart disease. According to the American Lung Association tobacco still kills over 40,000 Californians every year, sickens thousands more and costs the state more than $23 billion in health care and lost productivity.

Eliminating smoking on beaches and parks will reduce the harmful cigarettes butt litter in these special places. Smoking in parks has adverse impacts on the environment. Containing more than 150 toxic chemicals, cigarette butts, though small in size, have a huge negative impact on the environment and ecosystem in California. Cigarette butts also lead to litter on beaches. The California Coastal Commission reported as part of the California Coastal Cleanup Day from 1989 – 2014. cigarettes / cigarette filters accounted for the highest percentage of trash picked up at 37%. With the next category of food wrappers and containers at 10.48%. 

Senate Bill 367 (Hueso) — State Coastal Conservancy: grants: educational projects and programs

Current Status: Assembly Appropriations
CSPF's Position: Support
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SB 367 enhances the State Coastal Conservancy’s authority to provide grants for the purpose of protecting state’s coastal resources and improving public access across the state and authorizes the conservancy to grant funding for technical assistance and the construction and improvement of onsite and distance learning facilities.

Position Statement

California’s coastline should be available to all Californians. With 840 miles of coastline, California’s coast welcomes visitors to surf world renowned breaks, build sandcastles, play in the surf, picnic with family and friends, explore tidepools, learn about California’s unique history, and so much more. Parks and outdoor places are intergral role in solving our youth’s health challenges now and for future generations. Parks, playgrounds, natural spaces, hiking trails and neighborhood green spaces help promote and maintain community health. Parks, beaches, and outdoor recreational opportunities are a clear public health solution supporting the health and wellness benefits that access to outdoor green spaces provides Californians of all backgrounds.

Senate Bill 719 (Hueso) — Veterans: exemption from reservation fees to use state park facilities

Current Status: Failed to advance from Senate Appropriations Committee, may be acted upon in January 2020
CSPF's Position: Support
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Existing law requires the Department of Parks and Recreation to issue a park pass for free use of all park facilities in the state park system to veterans. This bill would additionally exempt these veterans from any requirement to pay a reservation fee.

Position Statement

AB 150 (Olsen) Chapter 688, Statutes of 2013 allows veterans or active duty and reserve military personnel of any state to have free day use of any state park on Memorial Day and Veterans Day. Providing free access for veterans and active military personnel on dedicated days in California was a first step toward increasing access for Californians, and recognizes the contributions of military personnel and families.

Senate Bill 45 (Allen) — Wildfire, Drought, and Flood Protection Bond Act of 2020

Current Status: Senate Appropriations
CSPF's Position: Support
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This bill would enact the Wildfire, Drought, and Flood Protection Bond Act of 2020, which, if approved by the voters, would authorize the issuance of bonds in an amount of $4,300,000,000 pursuant to the State General Obligation Bond Law to finance projects to restore fire damaged areas, reduce wildfire risk, create healthy forest and watersheds, reduce climate impacts on urban areas and vulnerable populations, protect water supply and water quality, protect rivers, lakes, and streams, reduce flood risk, protect fish and wildlife from climate impacts, improve climate resilience of agricultural lands, and protect coastal lands and resources.

Position Statement

Climate change is increasing the frequency of natural disasters and the associated destruction. To ensure that California can meet these challenges, it is critical to address the ongoing and continued threat of climate change and important plan for future threats to the state park system. 

The wildfire season is becoming longer and more intense each year due to hotter temperatures and wide scale tree death resulting from prolonged drought. In fact, between 2010-2017 an estimated 129 million trees died, leaving behind massive amounts of highly combustible fuel. This phenomenon has led to the worst fires on record. Over the 13 months starting in October of 2017 the state endured four massive fires that caused 118 deaths, burned 700,000 acres, and destroyed 27,000 properties. In 2017 multiple state parks sustained fire damage and then again in 2018 more state parkland was destroyed by fires.

In California, frequent coastal flooding exacerbated by sea-level rise is expected to threaten nearly half a million people, $100 billion in property, and 3500 miles of roads within the next 80 years. The number of hazardous sites, like wastewater plants, which are susceptible to 100-year flood events is expected to increase by nearly 2.5 times over a similar period, drastically increasing the risk of pollutant disasters if adaptation measures are not taken. 

Droughts are an expected feature of California’s arid climate, but the four-year period between fall 2011 and fall 2015, which correlated with the hottest two years on record in 2014 and 2015, was the driest since record keeping began in 1895. The winter of 2017 provided only a brief respite before historic rainfall lows again in the winter of 2018.

Senate Bill 576 (Umberg) — State Coastal Conservancy: coastal climate change adaptation, infrastructure, and readiness program

Current Status: Assembly Appropriations
CSPF's Position: Watching
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This bill would require the State Coastal Conservancy to develop and implement a coastal climate adaptation, infrastructure, and readiness program designed to, among other things, improve the climate change resiliency of the state’s coastal communities, infrastructure, and habitat, as prescribed, and host an international conference on coastal climate change not less than once every 2 years.

Position Statement

One third of California’s over 800 miles of coastline are state parks. California’s beaches are beloved by residents and out of state tourists alike. The need to address climate change is clear. The impacts are immense, ranging from increaseing temperatures, wildfires are increasingly more common and destructive, worsening drought conditions, and poor air quality impacts all our communities, sea level rises, loss of snowpack melt, extreme weather, continued drought, increased fire risk and damage, coastal erosion, and more. Now is the time to make investments in our coastal areas to ensure the challenges of climate change can be addressed. Addressing climate change and investing in solutions is needed to ensure that California’s environment is preserved for future generations and that are open spaces and public lands are available and welcoming to future vistiors.

Senate Bill 54 (Allen) — California Circular Economy and Plastic Pollution Reduction Act

Current Status: Assembly Appropriations
CSPF's Position: Support
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This bill would establish the California Circular Economy and Plastic Pollution Reduction Act, which would require the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery, in consultation with the State Water Resources Control Board and the Ocean Protection Council, to adopt regulations to source reduce and recycle 75% of single-use packaging and products sold or distributed in California by 2030.

Position Statement

Every day, single-use packaging and products generate tons of waste in California. Many of these products, which are designed to be used just once and then discarded, are made out of plastic. This comes with a tremendous cost to individuals, communities, wildlife, ecosystems, and to the state all along the supply chain. Roughly two-thirds of all plastic ever produced has been released into the environment and remains there in some form. Plastic pollution affects every street, park, stream, river, coast and ocean in California as evidenced by single-use products being amongst the top littered items consistently found at cleanups throughout the state. As these items fragment into smaller particles, known as microplastics, they concentrate toxic chemicals and increasingly contaminate our food and drinking water sources. Microplastics have been found in tap water, bottled water, table salt, fish, shellfish, and agricultural soils. The preseravation of our state parks and their natural environment are at risk with the continuation of single-use packaging and products.

Assembly Bill 782 (Berman) — California Environmental Quality Act: exemption: public agencies: property transfers

Current Status: Senate Appropriations Committee
CSPF's Position: Support
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This bill would exempt from California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) the acquisition, sale, or other transfer of property by a public agency for certain purposes, or the funding of that acquisition, sale, or other transfer by a public agency, if the public agency conditions those transactions on compliance with CEQA before making physical changes to the transferred property.

Position Statement

CEQA provides a process for evaluating the environmental effects of applicable projects. There is a need to strengthen and clarify the existing regulation that a public agency can fund and acquire property to preserve open space, habitat, or historical resources without first going through a CEQA analysis.

Assembly Bill 556 (Carrillo) — Outdoor experiences: community access program: grant program.

Current Status: Senate Appropriations
CSPF's Position: Support
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This bill would require the Natural Resources Agency to develop and implement a community access program focused on engagement programs, technical assistance, or facilities that maximize safe and equitable physical admittance, especially for low-income and disadvantaged communities, to natural or cultural resources, community education programs, or recreational amenities. The bill would authorize the Natural Resources Agency to develop a grant program for innovative transportation projects that provide disadvantaged and low-income youth with access to outdoor experiences.

Position Statement

California is home to some of the most unique and world-famous natural resources and state and national parks that draw thousands of tourists annually. Yet many California residents have not experienced these treasures in their own community. Outdoor experiences provide many positive outcomes and benefits. Park experiences are essential for health, happiness and quality of life and by ensuring all youth the opportunity to experience parklands, we foster the next generation of empowered parks stewards who, in return, have an appreciation for the significant benefits of parks.

Assembly Bill 1111 (Friedman) — Outdoor recreation: Office of Outdoor Recreation: California Outdoor Recreation Account

Current Status: Senate Appropriations
CSPF's Position: Support
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This bill would establish the Office of Outdoor Recreation in state government and would require the office to undertake certain activities, including supporting the outdoor recreation economy and working toward equitable access to outdoor areas of the state. The bill would also require the office to create an advisory committee to provide advice, expertise, support, and service to the office.

Position Statement

According to a 2017 report conducted by the Outdoor Foundation, the outdoor industry supports over 690,000 California jobs. In California, the impact of state and visitor spending is especially significant given the rural nature of many communities near state parks. State park visitors spend on average of $42 per day on items such as food, gas, gear, overnight accommodations, and equipment and the total economic impact increases to $6.41 billion annually when visitor spending, operating expenses and purchases of goods and services that support parks and related businesses are included. This translates into $289 million in state tax revenue and approximately $145 million in local tax revenues are on average generated annually.

Californians enjoy a wide range of recreational opportunities and benefits from state parks. Yet, the opportunities to visit, explore and play in state parks is not available for all Californians. There are both the physical and virtual barriers and constraints that contribute to both the ability to visit parks, but to also have a meaningful experience once there. The demand for affordable, safe, and quality outdoor opportunities provided by California state parks will only increase in the future, especially as California’s population increases and residents recognize the value of state parks in their communities.

Assembly Bill 467 (Boerner Horvath) — Competitions on state property: prize compensation: gender equity

Current Status: Senate Floor
CSPF's Position: Support
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This bill would require prize compensation offered at competitive events to be identical between the gendered categories at each participant level that are held on state property.

Position Statement

The reality is that income inequity exists for women in the work place. Reported by the California Budget Center, women’s to men’s medium earning for individuals at full time employment from 2010-2014 in California was 85.4%. Equal pay for athletes is a real issue when addressing pay equity. All Californians should feel welcome in parks and outdoor spaces. Addressing pay inequitiies for women would help welcome women and girls in outdoor park competitions and equal prizes is vital to this.

Assembly Bill 1718 (Levine) — State parks: state coastal beaches: smoking ban

Current Status: Senate Appropriations
CSPF's Position: Support
View Full Text

This bill would make it an infraction for a person to smoke, as defined, on a state coastal beach or in a unit of the state park system or to dispose of used cigar or cigarette waste on a state coastal beach or in a unit of the state park system, with certain exceptions, as specifically provided.

Position Statement

The consequences of smoking are immense. Smoking is the leading contributing factor to lung cancer and heart disease. According to the American Lung Association tobacco still kills over 40,000 Californians every year, sickens thousands more and costs the state more than $23 billion in health care and lost productivity.

Eliminating smoking on beaches and parks will reduce the harmful cigarettes butt litter in these special places. Smoking in parks has adverse impacts on the environment. Containing more than 150 toxic chemicals, cigarette butts, though small in size, have a huge negative impact on the environment and ecosystem in California. Cigarette butts also lead to litter on beaches. The California Coastal Commission reported as part of the California Coastal Cleanup Day from 1989 – 2014. cigarettes / cigarette filters accounted for the highest percentage of trash picked up at 37%. With the next category of food wrappers and containers at 10.48%. 

Assembly Bill 454 (Kalra) — Migratory birds: Migratory Bird Treaty Act

Current Status: Senate Appropriations
CSPF's Position: Support
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Existing federal law, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, provides for the protection of migratory birds. The federal act also authorizes states and territories of the United States to make and enforce laws or regulations that give further protection to migratory birds, their nests, and eggs. Existing state law makes unlawful the taking or possession of any migratory nongame bird, or part of any migratory nongame bird, as designated in the federal act, except as provided by rules and regulations adopted by the United States Secretary of the Interior under provisions of the federal act. This bill would instead make unlawful the taking or possession of any migratory nongame bird designated in the federal act as of January 1, 2017, any additional migratory nongame bird that may be designated in the federal act after that date, or any part of those migratory nongame birds, except as provided by any provision of the Fish and Game Code, or any rule, regulation, or order made or adopted pursuant to the code, that is consistent with, or more protective than, rules and regulations adopted by the United States Secretary of the Interior under the federal act.

Position Statement

Migratory bird protection and conservation is needed, given the decline of many migratory bird populations due to human activities. A the federal government rolls back federal protections for birds and other wildlife. Protecting California’s biodiversity, including its migratory birds, must be a priority to ensure our lands are protected for future generations to come.

Assembly Bill 1680 (Limón) — Coastal lands: coastal access plan: Hollister Ranch

Current Status: Senate Appropriations
CSPF's Position: Support
View Full Text

This bill would require the California Coastal Commission, in collaboration with the State Coastal Conservancy, the Department of Parks and Recreation, and the State Lands Commission, by April 1, 2020, to develop a new coastal access plan for Hollister Ranch in the County of Santa Barbara that will replace the existing coastal access program for Hollister Ranch that was adopted by the commission in 1982, and would require that the coastal access plan include specified components.

Position Statement

California’s coast should be available to all Californians. With 840 miles of coastline, California’s coast welcomes visitors to surf world renowned breaks, build sandcastles, play in the surf, picnic with family and friends, explore tidepools, learn about California’s unique history, and so much more. We need to safeguard access to the outdoors and beaches, not just because it’s what Californians deserve, but because of the integral role parks play and outdoor places in solving our youth’s health challenges now and for future generations. Parks, playgrounds, natural spaces, hiking trails and neighborhood green spaces help promote and maintain community health. Parks, beaches, and outdoor recreational opportunities are a clear public health solution, supporting the health and wellness benefits that access to outdoor green spaces provides Californians of all backgrounds.

Assembly Bill 1578 (Rivas, Luz) — School Pavement to Parks Grant Program

Current Status: Senate Appropriations
CSPF's Position: Support
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The bill would establish the School Pavement to Parks Grant Program under the administration of the State Department of Education for purposes of providing grants to applicant school districts maintaining schools in disadvantaged communities to convert portions of existing pavement at those schools to parks. The bill would require the State Department of Education to establish processes and procedures for administering the grant program. As a condition of receiving a grant, the bill would require each grant recipient to implement a gardening program at participating schools maintained by the school district.

Position Statement

The notion that children today play outside at the same rate as generations before them is a is misconception. Research shows children are spending half as much time outside as they did 20 years ago, with the average child playing freely outside for just four to seven minutes a day according to a recent report, The Path Ahead. Reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found nearly 80 percent of American children do not engage in the recommended amount of physical activity. Addressing lack of outdoor time must be a priority when considering the overall health and wellness of California's youth and solutions are needed to connect youth to the benefits of outdoor green spaces.

Assembly Bill 1426 (Boerner-Horvath) — State beaches: San Onofre State Beach: report on encroaching state or local agency infrastructure project

Current Status: The bill failed to advance from the Assembly Appropriations Committee and is now considered a two year bill and can be considered in 2020. We remain committed to the protection of San Onfore State Beach and will let you know how you can make your voice heard to protect the beloved park.
CSPF's Position: Support
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AB 1426 would require the California Department of Parks and Recreation to report to the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee and the Assembly Water, Parks, and Wildlife Committee about any proposed state or local agency infrastructure projects that would encroach or interfere with the operation of San Onofre State Beach.

Position Statement

San Onofre State Beach hosts more than 2.5 million visitors annually and is home to the last remaining wild and undeveloped watershed in southern California, the San Mateo Creek watershed. The 2,100-acre park contains upland habitat, trails, and the popular San Mateo campground, which provides affordable coastal accommodations for Californians. The coastal portion of the park is home to the world-famous Trestles Beach, which was immortalized in the Beach Boys’ song “Surfin’ USA.” The park also contains an ancient sacred village, Panhe, which was used by native Acjachemen people and is still used as a sacred ceremonial and cultural location by the Acjachemen. 

For almost the last two decades, the park had been threatened with a proposal to build a multi-lane toll road that would have bisected San Onofre State Beach and ruined the San Mateo Watershed. Park supporters fought that proposal, which was denied by the California Coastal Commission, federal Department of Commerce, and state Regional Water Quality Control Board. Those decisions recognized that building the proposed road through the park would cause very significant environmental impacts and would be contrary to law. 

In late 2016, a legal settlement was reached between environmental groups, the California Attorney General, and state agencies that had fought the proposal and the transportation agency that had proposed it. However, the park continues to be threatened by proposals for new or expanded transportation infrastructure.

Assembly Bill 552 (Stone) — Coastal resources: Coastal Adaptation, Access, and Resilience Program

Current Status: Senate Appropriations
CSPF's Position: Support
View Full Text

This bill would establish the Coastal Adaptation, Access, and Resilience Program to help the state prepare, plan, and implement actions to address and adapt to sea level rise and coastal climate change. AB 552 would authorize the California Coastal Commission and specified state agencies to expend moneys in the fund based upon the best scientific information that are designed to address and adapt to sea level rise and coastal climate change. 

Position Statement

One third of California’s over 800 miles of coastline are state parks and are beloved by residents and out-of-state tourists alike. The need to protect these places is clear, especially when addressing climinate change. The impacts of climate change are immense, ranging from increaseing temperatures, wildfires are increasingly more common and destructive, worsening drought conditions, and poor air quality. Now is the time to make investments in our coastal areas to ensure the challenges of climate change can be addressed to ensure that California’s environment is preserved for future generations.

Assembly Bill 1300 (Kamlager-Dove) — State Coastal Conservancy: Explore the Coast Program

Current Status: Failed to advance in Assembly Appropriations Committee, may be acted upon in January 2020
CSPF's Position: Support
View Full Text

This bill would create the Explore the Coast Program in the California Coastal Conservancy to expand opportunities for all Californians to access and enjoy the state’s coastal resources. The bill would authorize the conservancy to award grants to public agencies, including federally recognized Indian tribes and other nonfederally recognized California Native American, and nonprofit organizations to carry out projects that increase the recreational, educational, and stewardship opportunities for people to explore California’s coastal resources, especially people from communities that face barriers to accessing and enjoying coastal resources. The bill would require the conservancy, when awarding grants under the program, to prioritize projects that provide students and youth with an opportunity to visit the coast for the first time.

Position Statement

Children are spending more and more time indoors than generations before; simultaneously, experiencing higher rates of mental health issues with a decline in accessing services. We know that being outdoors is essential role for health, happiness and quality of life. Yet our younger generations are spending more and more time indoors, with the average child playing freely outside for just four to seven minutes a day, according to the recent report The Path Ahead. Additional research shows that children are spending half as much time outside today as they did 20 years ago. Couple that with the fact that 40% of U.S. School Districts have eliminated recess, and outdoor education programs and field trips have declined significantly over the years. Increasing access to state coastal beaches will enhance outdoor experiences for youth that expereince the greatest barriers.

Assembly Bill 209 (Limón) — Parks: environmental education: grant program

Current Status: Senate Appropriations
CSPF's Position: Support
View Full Text

This bill would establish the Outdoor Equity Grants Program to increase the ability of underserved communities to participate in outdoor environmental educational experiences at state parks and other public lands where outdoor environmental education programs take place. The bill would give priority for funding to outdoor environmental education programs that primarily provide outreach to and serve students who are eligible for free or reduced-price meals, foster youth, or pupils of limited English proficiency.

Position Statement

Parks offer incredible places for play – to explore, gain appreciation for the treasures around them, imagine and peek curiosity. Yet many Californians, especially those from disadvantage communities, do not experience these treasures in their own backyard. This is especially true of the younger generations who are spending more and more time indoors. Research shows that children are spending half as much time outside today as they did 20 years ago accoridng to The Path Ahead report. Couple that with the fact that 40% of U.S. School Districts have eliminated recess, and outdoor education programs and field trips have declined significantly over the years. It is important that California’s youth have the opportunity to have enriched, meaningful experiences in the outdoors, fostering the future generation of empowered park stewards.

Assembly Bill 1080 (Gonzenz) — California Circular Economy and Plastic Pollution Reduction Act

Current Status: Senate Environmental Quality
CSPF's Position: Support
View Full Text

This bill would establish the California Circular Economy and Plastic Pollution Reduction Act, which would require the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery, in consultation with the State Water Resources Control Board and the Ocean Protection Council, to adopt regulations to source reduce and recycle 75% of single-use packaging and products sold or distributed in California by 2030.

Position Statement

Every day, single-use packaging and products generate tons of waste in California. Many of these products, which are designed to be used just once and then discarded, are made out of plastic. This comes with a tremendous cost to individuals, communities, wildlife, ecosystems, and to the state all along the supply chain. Roughly two-thirds of all plastic ever produced has been released into the environment and remains there in some form. Plastic pollution affects every street, park, stream, river, coast and ocean in California as evidenced by single-use products being amongst the top littered items consistently found at cleanups throughout the state. As these items fragment into smaller particles, known as microplastics, they concentrate toxic chemicals and increasingly contaminate our food and drinking water sources. Microplastics have been found in tap water, bottled water, table salt, fish, shellfish, and agricultural soils. The preseravation of our state parks and their natural environment are at risk with the continuation of single-use packaging and products.

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California State Parks Foundation

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