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Just the FACTS

Californians and the Coast

    • Most Californians see ocean and beach conditions as very important.
      Three in four Californians (77%) say the condition of the ocean and beaches is very important to California’s future economy and quality of life. Across regions as well as age, education, income, and racial/ethnic groups, about seven in ten or more express this view. While solid majorities across parties say ocean and beach conditions are very important, Democrats (84%) and independents (75%) are more likely than Republicans (61%) to hold this opinion. When asked about rising sea levels as a possible impact of global warming, seven in ten Californians are very (42%) or somewhat (29%) concerned. Across racial/ethnic groups, African Americans (66%) are the most likely to be very concerned, followed by Asian Americans (45%), Latinos (42%), and whites (38%). Concern is higher among Democrats (56%) than among independents (41%) and Republicans (17%).

Importance of the condition of the ocean and beaches for California’s future

figure - Importance of the condition of the ocean and beaches for California’s future

SOURCE: PPIC Statewide Survey, July 2019. The margin of error for all adults is ±3.4%.The margins of error for subgroups are larger.

    • Overwhelming majorities see plastics and marine debris as a big problem.
      An overwhelming majority of Californians see plastics and marine debris as a big problem (72%) or somewhat of a problem (18%) along the part of the coast closest to them. Solid majorities across age, education, income, and racial/ethnic groups say plastics and marine debris are a big problem. Across racial/ethnic groups, African Americans (80%) and Latinos (79%) are the most likely to say this is a big problem, followed by Asian Americans (72%) and whites (65%). Younger Californians are slightly more likely than older Californians to hold this view. Democrats (80%) and independents (69%) are far more likely than Republicans (44%) to see plastics and marine debris as a big problem.

Seriousness of plastics and marine debris along the coast closest to you

figure - Seriousness of plastics and marine debris along the coast closest to you

SOURCE: PPIC Statewide Survey, July 2019. The margin of error for all adults is ±3.4%.The margins of error for subgroups are larger.

    • Most see urban development that harms wildlife habitats and overfishing as a problem.
      About eight in ten Californians say urban development that harms wildlife habitats and endangered species is a big problem (44%) or somewhat of a problem (34%) along the coast closest to them. Across racial/ethnic groups, Latinos (56%) and African Americans (53%) are the most likely to say this is a big problem, followed by Asian Americans (42%) and whites (34%). When asked about commercial overfishing, most residents say it is a big problem (35%) or somewhat of a problem (35%) along the part of the coast closest to them. Residents of the south coast (35%) and the north and central coast (33%) are about equally likely to say overfishing is a big problem. On both of these issues, Democrats and independents are more likely than Republicans to see this harm as a big problem.

Seriousness of urban development harming wildlife habitats along the coast closest to you

figure - Seriousness of urban development harming wildfire habitats along with coast closest to you

SOURCE: PPIC Statewide Survey, July 2019. The margin of error for all adults is ±3.4%.The margins of error for subgroups are larger.

Seriousness of overfishing along the coast closest to you

figure - Seriousness of overfishing along the coast closest to you

SOURCE: PPIC Statewide Survey, July 2019. The margin of error for all adults is ±3.4%.The margins of error for subgroups are larger.

    • Two in three Californians oppose drilling off the California coast.
      A strong majority of Californians (67%) oppose allowing more oil drilling off the California coast. Only 28% favor allowing it—this is close to the lowest level of support for offshore drilling (25% in July 2017) since PPIC began asking about it in 2003. An overwhelming majority of Democrats (81%) and a strong majority of independents (69%) oppose more drilling, while a majority of Republicans (57%) are in favor. Residents of the north and central coast (74%) are somewhat more likely than those in the south coast (65%) to oppose more offshore drilling (63% of inland residents oppose). Solid majorities across regions and across age, education, income, and racial/ethnic groups are opposed.

Support for oil drilling off the California coast

figure - Support for oil drilling off the California coast

SOURCE: PPIC Statewide Survey, July 2019. The margin of error for all adults is ±3.4%.The margins of error for subgroups are larger.

NOTES: “North and central coast” refers to the coastal counties from San Luis Obispo County northward to Del Norte County, including all San Francisco Bay Area counties. “South coast” includes coastal counties from Santa Barbara County southward.

    • Overwhelming majorities favor wind power and wave energy.
      An overwhelming majority of Californians (72%) support allowing wind power and wave energy projects off the California coast. A similar share of residents (73%) held this view in a 2017 PPIC survey. An overwhelming majority of Democrats (80%) and independents (81%) and a strong majority of Republicans (66%) are in favor of this proposal. Residents of the north and central coast (77%) are somewhat more likely than those in the south coast (69%) to favor wind power and wave energy projects off the California coast (73% of inland residents favor). More than six in ten across regions and age, education, income, and racial/ethnic groups are in favor.

Support for coastal wind and wave energy

figure- Support for coastal wind and wave energy

SOURCE: PPIC Statewide Survey, July 2019. The margin of error for all adults is ±3.4%.The margins of error for subgroups are larger.

NOTES: “North and central coast” refers to the coastal counties from San Luis Obispo County northward to Del Norte County, including all San Francisco Bay Area counties. “South coast” includes coastal counties from Santa Barbara County southward.


Related Content

PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and the Environment, July 2019

Supported with funding from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and the Dirk and Charlene Kabcenell Foundation

Authors

Mark BaldassareMark Baldassare
President and Chief Executive Officer
Dean BonnerDean Bonner
Associate Survey Director and Research Fellow
Photo of Alyssa DykmanAlyssa Dykman
Research Associate
Rachel Lawler
Research Associate
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