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Save the date, on September 20th and 21st, the Surfrider Foundation – Sebastian Inlet Chapter will be hosting the Regular Joe Surf Festival! For all Surfrider Foundation members there is a special category- Keepers of the Coast AND you get $25 off of registration!
The Surfrider Foundation – Palm Beach County Chapter recently partnered with Nomad Surf Shop and Morgan Stanley to celebrate Int’l Surfing Day at Saltwater Brewery in Delray Beach.
Saltwater Brewery made a special batch using Sea Grape wood to create 6 kegs of “Surfrider Session Ale.” Pints sold for $5 and all the money was donated to the Chapter. Nomad Surf Shop donated a surfboard that was hand painted by Saltwater Brewery’s Peter Agardy and raffled off along with other items including concert tickets and local photography prints. The raffle tickets were sold for $1 each and raised approximately $1500 during the 3 hour party.
- ARTIKaL Sound System will be playing on the outside patio!
- 6’6 Nomad surfboard hand-painted by Peter Agardy being raffled off! PRICELESS
- Saltwater Brewery’s one time release of Seagrape wood aged “Surfrider Seesion Ale!”
- Everyone in attendance at 8pm receives a free Surfrider Session Ale for a toast
- And a long list of other raffles listed below…
AEG Live hooked us up with a pair of tickets to each of the following concerts coming to the Sunset Cove Amphitheater:
- 311 w/ Special Guest The Expendables on July 26th
- Soulshine Tour w/ Michael Franti & Spearhead, Soja, Brett Dennen & Trevor Hall on July 29th
- Slightly Stoopid , Stephen Marley and G-Love & Special Sauce on August 16th
Congratulations on a great event, Palm Beach County Chapter! For pics and additional info, click here!
Our June Volunteer of the Month is Susan Forsyth, the devoted Vice Chair of the Emerald Coast Chapter! Chapter Chair Mike Sturdivant writes,
“Every Surfrider chapter has a core of volunteers who, when asked, will step up and get things done. If a chapter is fortunate, like the Emerald Coast Chapter, they may also have a leader who understands what needs to happen and makes it so, long before most folks would even notice the opportunity. In the Emerald Coast Chapter, this person is Susan Forsyth.
Susan first joined our chapter at the very onset of the BP oil disaster. She found our chapter in a state of emergency, desperately attempting to learn about the disaster and hopeful that we could protect our friends, families and beaches. Like many, she was dismayed at the shortcomings of local, State, and Federal disaster response. Rather than simply worry, complain, or try to ignore the impending crisis, Susan immediately embraced the opportunity to engage.
To say Susan has done tremendous things for our chapter and our beaches would be an understatement. Her efforts have, at times, been Herculean. Physically, she has dug countless sampling ditches, patrolled many miles of beach on foot, endured storm wind and rain -and frequently, all of these occurred after midnight on isolated stretches of beach. No citizen in the State of Florida has documented more NRC oil reports than Susan. Beyond the numbers, the accuracy of her reporting has earned the respect of Coast Guard and local officials.
That Susan was willing and learned to do these difficult tasks is amazing. However, this is not even the tip of the skills that Susan brings to our efforts. Having personally done or witnessed nearly every task associated with the oil disaster response on our beaches, Susan has made herself uniquely qualified to interact with official responders, command, and political leaders.
And, wow does she interact! Public meetings, congressional offices, research symposiums, coffee shop meetings and even some, deep cover, late night rendezvous. Susan is a vital link. Not only does she link our chapter to the response, but she is constantly linking officials, scientists, politicians, and citizens. She goes way beyond getting things done. She makes sure all the heads are talking with each other. She asks the questions others are not allowed to mention. She disseminates the latest research findings. She gives praise and encouragement to everyone who is deserving, regardless of their affiliations. Susan has become a crucial link for the health and safety of the Gulf Coast and we are all better off for her efforts. Thank you Susan Forsyth!”
We’re super excited about the publication of Surfing Florida: A Photographic History by Paul Aho. Paul’s new book covers Florida’s unique surfing history, and we happen to know that the Surfrider Foundation and many of its Florida chapter founders are featured prominently! A portion of the proceeds will also benefit the Surfrider Foundation’s work in Florida. So check it out wherever books are sold or direct from the publisher: www.upf.com
Two of Florida’s most iconic surf breaks are threatened by the poorly planned and unnecessary expansion of the Lake Worth Inlet for the Port of Palm Beach.
There has been startlingly little discussion of potential damages to recreators and recreational resources impacted by the Port of Palm Beach expansion. The EIS only cursorily considers recreational impacts to boaters and some diving/swimming activities. In fact, the proposed expansion would allow ships to come within 100 meters of swimming areas on Peanut Island. Additionally, this area is home to some of the most treasured surf breaks in Florida. The Port of Palm Beach is bordered by Pumphouse and Reef Road, two iconic surf breaks that attract professional and amateur surfers from around the world.
- Click here to read our most recent comment letter to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.
- Latest News: Council OKs $50K toward legal battle against port expansion
- Latest News: Lake Worth Inlet Dredging Controversy
Bag Bill Dies in Committee
This legislative session we were fortunate to have Senator Bullard sponsor a bag ban bill for the second year in a row. Last year, the bill didn’t get put on any committee schedules and therefore was never heard publicly. This year, Senator Dean, Chairman of the Senate Environmental Preservation & Conservation Committee, made sure the bill was given a stop in his committee. After being postponed due to scheduling concerns, the bill was finally heard on April 10th. Click here for specifics on the bill.
The bill was subject to rigorous debate with Surfrider Foundation, Sierra Club of Florida, Audubon of Florida and the City of Cutlter Bay providing comments in support of the bill. The Florida Retail Federation and Associated Industries of Florida opposed the bill.
Ultimately, although all the Senators that spoke for or against the bill agreed that it was an important issue worth discussing, the Committee could not reach consensus on the ten-cent surcharge on paper bags. In order to build consensus and craft an agreement on the paper bag surcharge, Senator Bullard agreed to temporarily pass (which is essentially postponing) his bill. Unfortunately, because the Legislative Session in coming to a close in a few weeks, this bill will not have time to be amended and make it through the committee process.
Although the bill is not going to pass this year, it has sparked an important debate and will definitely be back next year. For now, please take a moment to thank the sponsor Senator Bullard: (850) 487-5039 email@example.com for his leadership in sponsoring the bill and Senator Dean (850) 487-5005 firstname.lastname@example.org for placing the bill on the agenda.
Lastly, several legislators commented that their offices had been “inundated” with calls, Tweets, and emails asking for them to support SB830. Thank you to all of the Surfrider Foundation, Sea Turtle Conservancy, and Sierra Club members that took time to reach out to their legislators and encourage them to take action. With your support, we’ll be back next year to make sure this bill gets passed!
Bag Bill Action Alert!
The Senate Environmental & Preservation Committee is going to hear a good plastic bags bill this Thursday morning!
SB 0830 Carryout Bags by Sen. Bullard will allow local governments to adopt ordinances that prohibit stores from handing out free plastic bags, and will require a ten-cent charge for each recyclable paper bag. Customers are free to supply their own bags.
The bill sets uniform statewide standards for cities and counties that want to implement plastic bag rules. At least half of the 10 cent fee will go to education with the remainder to go to the store to cover expenses.
The bill provides that the bag ordinance can only apply to large stores meeting at least $2 million in gross annual sales, or that have at least 10,000 square feet of floor space.
- It is estimated that Americans go through about 100 billion plastic bags a year, or 360 bags per year for every man, woman, and child in the country.
- Plastics comprise up to 90% of floating marine debris, and up to 80% of the plastic in our oceans comes from land-based sources.
- An estimated 100,000 marine mammals and up to 1 million sea birds die every year after ingesting or being tangled in plastic marine litter.
- The bill will reduce litter and the problems caused by plastic bags in stormwater management systems (they clog them up).
- SB 830 gives authority back to local governments by allowing them to opt-in to these uniform standards.
- Support SB 830 and help Florida take the first step toward protecting our environment and wildlife from the harmful impacts of single use plastics.
Please CALL TODAY and urge Committee members to vote ‘YES’ on Carryout Bags.
YES ON 830 – CARRYOUT BAGS
Sen. Charles S. Dean, Chair
Sen. Joseph Abruzzo, Vice Chair
Sen. Thad Altman
Brevard, Orange, Seminole
Sen. Dwight Bullard
Collier,Hendry, Miami-Dade, Monroe
Sen. Jeff Clemens
Sen. Andy Gardiner
Sen. Denise Grimsley
Sen. Jack Latvala
Sen. Wilton Simpson
Sen. Darren Soto
Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of the Interior announced their decision to proceed with plans to expand seismic testing along the Atlantic Coast. While this is a disappointment, the good news is that there is still a final 30-day comment period to express our concerns. The comment period beings on March 7th and ends April 7th. Here are some resources to help your efforts:
- Check out our Coastal Blog Post on seismic testing.
- Hands Across the Sand is after the deadline for comments, but is still a great opportunity to show opposition to dirty fossil fuels and expanded oil/gas exploration. Click here for details on how to plan your own event and don’t forget to contribute to their fundraising campaign!
- Your chapter can author an op-ed or letter to the editor opposing seismic testing. Thank you to all the chapters that have already submitted op-ed’s, and big kudos to First Coast and Cocoa Beach for getting their op-ed’s published last week! Here’s a great example from the Cocoa Beach Chapter.
- Oceana has also created a sign on letter for elected officials to express their opposition to seismic testing.
- Watch and share the Pennywise PSA created by the First Coast Chapter.
- Finally, you can visit our Campaign Page for the basics on seismic testing.
This is our last opportunity to weigh in on this destructive proposal, so please take action today!