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Regardless of tumultuous political issues or party affiliation, the majority of Californians can agree on one thing: California’s oceans and beaches are important to the state’s future economy and quality of life.

Here are our four favorite takeaways from a July study released by the Public Policy Institute of California.

1. More than 70 percent of Californians see ocean and beach conditions as critical to our future

Survey participants across all political parties, ages and backgrounds agree. The health of our coastline is very important for California’s future economy and quality of life.

2. Two in three Californians oppose oil drilling off our coast

Drilling for oil off the coast of California disrupts wildlife migration patterns and introduces toxic chemicals to our native coastal environments. Exposure to these toxic materials threatens the health of marine life and causes long-term ecological impacts.

We are encouraged to see that a strong majority of Californians (67 percent) believes that the health of our coastal ecosystems is not for sale.

3. Majorities are concerned about ocean warming and sea level rise

As ocean temperatures rise, many of California’s native marine species are forced to migrate to other waters to feed and reproduce. This directly impacts California’s fishing industry and destroys protein food sources for native plants and animals.

Half of Californians say they are very concerned about the impact of ocean warming on marine and coastal life. The research found that coastal residents are more likely than inland residents to hold this view.

4. Strong majorities support national marine sanctuaries and marine protected areas

Orange County is home to seven Marine Protected Areas – or MPAs. These underwater areas are designed to protect marine ecosystems rather than individual species. MPAs restrict killing or harming marine life or habitat within its boundaries, thus creating a safe place for marine populations to grow and thrive.

Thanks to the help of our MPA Watch, volunteers, Orange County Coastkeeper has gathered several year’s worth of data to document human activity in MPAs to maximize the effectiveness of MPAs while minimizing harmful actions in the future. Click here to learn more.

Join us to defend swimmable waters.

As Californians, it is our duty to fight to protect our coast for future generations and to safeguard our state’s economic prosperity.

Join the fight by participating in Coastal Cleanup Day, this Saturday, September 15 –  the world’s largest trash cleanup.

For more information on what you can do to protect our coast, beaches and waterways please visit

To learn more, click here to view the full report.