Over the weekend of Oct. 3, 2021, a massive oil spill in Huntington Beach, the homeland of the Tongva and Acjachemen peoples, devastated local coastal habitats including Talbert Marsh and threatens the protected Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve (better known locally as the Bolsa Chica Wetlands), both of which provide invaluable habitat for migratory birds and are among the few remaining wetlands left along the Southern California coast. Following Governor Newsom’s visit, community and environmental organizations working on 30×30 efforts in the Southland Region — including Orange, Los Angeles, Riverside, and San Bernardino Counties — call on the governor, state leadership, and state agencies for the phaseout and decommissioning of oil and gas production off California’s coast and throughout the state and take actions towards conserving and restoring lands and waters by implementing Governor Newsom’s Executive Order (E.O.) N-82-80, to conserve 30 percent of California’s land by 2030 (30×30) in a way that advances equity and facilitates Tribal stewardship and management.
“Acjachemen and Tongva People have maintained respectful, reciprocal and sustainable relationships with the coastal lands and waters of what is now known as Orange County since time immemorial,” states Angela Mooney D’Arcy (Acjachemen), Sacred Places Institute for Indigenous Peoples. “We are heartbroken to witness the environmental devastation in our ancestral lands and waters as a result of oil extraction in our homelands. The recent oil spill in our homelands makes it clear that the time to end offshore oil drilling and rematriate tribal lands and waters is now. We call upon Governor Newsom to support tribal land rematriation throughout California as part of the 30×30 Initiative and acknowledge land return as a necessary step in the process of reconciliation and healing promoted by the Governor in his 2019 apology to California Native Americans.”
“Our coastal environment will suffer an immeasurable loss due to this oil spill, and the impact will affect our wetland and shoreline habitats for decades,” states Kim Kolpin, Executive Director of Bolsa Chica Land Trust. “BCLT urges that the health of our coastal environment and the needs of our coastal ecosystems be prioritized in the 30×30 initiative effort. We support Senator Min’s call for a federal offshore drilling ban which is needed to ensure that this offshore oil spill is California’s last.”
“Our dependence on fossil fuels and continued investment in oil infrastructure development ensures that spills like this are not a matter of ‘if’ but ‘when,’” states California Environmental Voters Regional Organizer, Resa Barillas. “As a wildlife refuge, the Bolsa Chica Wetlands are a community and biodiversity landmark of Southern California — when my son was a toddler, we’d take walks on the trails to watch the herons and sandpipers. Now it faces ruin because of offshore oil pipelines. If we are serious about protecting our state from the worst impacts of climate change, our leadership needs to take bold action: we must prevent further fossil fuel extraction in California.”
The organizations assert that fossil fuel extraction and new oil and gas leasing and permitting is counterproductive to the stated climate goals of Governor Newsom’s Executive Order (E.O.) N-82-80, to conserve 30 percent of California’s land by 2030 (30×30), as well as the biodiversity and equity goals of the EO. California has already lost over 90% of its wetlands statewide, and off-shore extraction has again proven itself a direct risk to coastal wetlands and other habitats. Coastal wetlands protection and restoration are a key tool for achieving the climate and biodiversity protection goals of the EO–simply put, we cannot afford to lose any more.
About the 30×30 Southland Coalition
The 30×30 Southland Region represents a diverse cohort of community and environmental leaders and organizations from Los Angeles County, Orange County, west Riverside County, and west San Bernardino County, collaborating to advance California’s efforts to implement Governor Newsom’s Executive Order (E.O.) N-82-80, to conserve 30 percent of California’s land and coastal waters by 2030. The coalition aims to advance an actionable 30×30 process that prioritizes biodiversity, equity and addressing climate change.
Sacred Places Institute for Indigenous Peoples
Angela Mooney D’Arcy, Executive Director & Founder
Bolsa Chica Land Trust
Kim Kolpin, Executive Director
Hills For Everyone
Claire Schlotterbeck, Executive Director
California Environmental Voters
Resa Barillas, Inland Empire Regional Organizer
Robert Redford Conservancy for Southern California Sustainability at Pitzer College
Susan A. Phillips, Director
Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust
Tori Kjer, Executive Director
Nature for All
Belén Bernal, Executive Director
Los Angeles United Methodist Urban Foundation & Kid City Hope Place
Anne Hawthorne, Executive Director
Contact: Refugio Mata, [email protected], (805) 428-4075