Our 2011 report, "Leading the Way to a Clean Ocean," highlights the damage caused by plastic pollution and notes that more than 80 local and national governments worldwide have taken action to address the problem by banning or imposing fees on disposable plastic bags. Staff member Ben Davis released the report in at a Santa Barbara press conference with Mayor Helene Schneider and State Assemblymember Das Williams.
We helped save sharks from slaughter
Just a few months after Environment California Research & Policy Center launched a public education campaign about the cruel and dangerous practice of killing sharks for their fins, the state Legislature banned the purchase, sale and possession of shark fins in California. This is a huge victory for our ocean: According to the National Marine Fisheries Service, approximately 85 percent of dried shark fin imports came through California.
Keeping toxic mines away from the Grand Canyon
As the Department of the Interior debated whether to allow uranium mining on the borders of Grand Canyon National Park, we released research showing that every uranium mining site in the West has required some degree of toxic cleanup. Interior Secretary Salazar decided to ban new mining claims for 20 years – the maximum allowed by law.
New limits on carbon pollution
Environment California Research & Policy Center, in conjunction with our national federation of state-based environmental groups, released research that helped convince the Environmental Protection Agency to set smart new limits on the amount of smog-forming carbon pollution that new coal-fired power plants in neighboring states can emit – an important victory for the 2.1 million adults and 620,000 children in California who suffer from asthma, which is exacerbated by smog.
Tracking our progress toward a million solar roofs
Our 2011 report, “Building a Brighter Future,” found that California is on pace to build 3,000 megawatts of rooftop solar power by 2016, an important milestone toward our goal of a million solar roofs. A second study, “Building a Clean Energy Workforce,” documented green job training programs throughout the state, showing that California’s ground-breaking clean energy policies are creating benfits for both the environment and the economy.