Florida Chapter Network

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March 26, 2015

Help Defeat SB 139 in the GA House!

Our friends and neighbors in Georgia need our help! The Georgia Legislature is considering a bill, Senate Bill 139, that would prohibit local governments from regulating “auxiliary containers” aka plastic bags and foam takeout containers.  This is just like Florida’s bag ban preemption, only more broad and more damaging! SB139 goes to the House floor for a final vote TOMORROW, Friday March 27th!

Please take a moment to contact the representatives on GA House Targets (highlighted)!

Sample Email:
Dear Representative [Name]:  As a concerned voter, I’m reaching out to you in hopes you’ll consider voting against SB 139.  This bill would prohibit local governments from regulating plastic bag use.

The environmental community opposes SB 139 because plastic bags end up in our state waters from the mountains to the coast.  Plastic bags can take up to 1,000 years to break down (and they never fully decompose, they just break into smaller and smaller pieces).  Since they do not decompose, plastic bags become a hazard to aquatic and marine life.  The bags can be swallowed, wrapped around the necks of animals, and poison the waters around them as they leach chemicals into the water.

Home Rule is a long-established policy in Georgia.  This bill would stop local communities from deciding SB 139 is expected to be voted on by the House THIS Friday.  I hope you’ll consider voting NO.

Suggested Twitter/Facebook Posts:
#BantheBag!  Urge GA House to vote No on #SB139.  #PlasticPollution!

Stop #PlasticPollution.  Defeat #SB139 in GA House.

Let Cities decide!  Defeat #SB139 in GA House.  #PlasticPollution.

Contact Stephanie Stuckey Benfield at or 404-964-7025 for more information!

March 13, 2015

Action Alert: Plastic Bag Bans

We’re entering week three of the 2015 Legislative Session and HB661/S966 still isn’t on the agenda! This bill gives local governments home rule/local control to enact plastic bag ban pilot programs. Please give Rep. Goodson a call today and ask him to put HB661 on the Agriculture & Natural Resources Subcommittee agenda: 850-717-5050. Please call Senator Dean and ask that SB966 be put on the Senate Environmental Preservation & Conservation Committee: (850) 487-5005.

March 4, 2015

Florida Coasts & Oceans Day

Join the Surfrider Foundation and Florida Coastal and Ocean Coalition on March 24th and 25th at the Florida Capitol for Florida Coasts & Oceans Day!

We’ll kick things off with a lobbying training session on March 24th from 6:00-7:30pm at 621 Gallery, followed by a reception and mixer at Grasslands Brewery!

On March 25th we’ll have educational displays from other environmental causes and will spend the day meeting with legislators and attending committee meetings, touring the capitol, and networking with other ocean champions from across the state!

RSVP here!

Find more info on Facebook!

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March 2, 2015

Join Hands on May 16th!

We need you to host an event for Hands Across the Sand!

Hands Across the Sand has officially launched our campaign for our gathering on May 16, 2015. The website is ready for you to post your local event – go to to register today! You can also click on a state or the globe on the home page.
On the web site in the Resources link they’ve included the resources and tips to help you make your event a success:
  • Helpful documents to generate media coverage and deliver talking points
  • Press materials, including sample press releases and letters to the editor
  • Posters and flyers to advertise your event
  • Designs for t-shirts
  • Logos, banner ads and images to use on your own promotional materials and websites
Check out all of these and more at
If you have questions, please contact
February 10, 2015

Bag Bill Filed!

The Florida Chapters of the Surfrider Foundation have been hard at work crafting a new bill to deal with plastic bags in Florida. Current state law prohibits local governments from banning, taxing, or limiting Bag Monsterplastic bags in any way. For the past two years we have worked to overturn that ban, but this year we’re trying something a little different! Representative David Richardson (Miami-Dade), has filed HB661, “Disposable Plastic Bags.”  The bill allows communities with a population of under 100,000 to establish pilot programs for the regulation or ban of single use plastic bags. This bill is a great first step in reducing plastic pollution in Florida. Click here to read the billIf you’re looking for ways to help, please take a moment to contact your State Senator and State Representative and ask them for their support of HB661. We’re looking for co-sponsors and advocates, to make sure this bill makes it into law this year! You can also ask your city commission to consider a resolution of support, and to consider becoming a pilot program community when the bill becomes law! Click here to learn more about our Rise Above Plastics campaign in Florida!

Bag Monster 1
January 22, 2015

Florida communities say NO to plastic bags!

Did you know that the Florida Legislature prohibits local communities in Florida from regularing, taxing, banning or limiting plastic bags? That’s right- it’s against the law for a town to ban bags in Florida! RAP BOTTLE AND BAG design

To show the Florida Legislature that the bag ban preemption is NOT the will of the people, volunteers all over the state have been diligently gathering resolutions of support from their home towns. To date, twelve communities had passed resolutions asking for the ability to regulate bags at the local level. The communities range from St. Augustine to Miami Beach to Melboune Beach to Key Biscayne!

Will your town be next? Visit our campaign page to find out how you can help get a resolution passed by your city or county commission!

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November 3, 2014

November Volunteer of the Month: Jayson Koch

Congratulations to Jayson Koch, Miami Chapter Executive Committee member, RAP Coordinator, and our November Volunteer of the Month! Jayson Koch PicMiami Chapter Chair Scott Stripling writes, “Jayson joined Surfrider Miami 4 years ago and immediately focused his passion & energy on RAP. He was a quick study taking in our chapter’s existing efforts and digging in on developing a comprehensive plan to share RAP goals and initiatives with the Miami area community. Jayson quickly realized we had to go beyond consumer education and on to the business community who puts the plastic in consumers hands. Business initiatives include the US Bartending Guild initiative: “Skip the straw + hold the napkins + rinse/reuse my glass” and getting our chapter involved with the Greater Miami & Beaches Hotel Association. We are members of GMBHA now involved in their Sustainability Committee and attending networkers to bring the RAP message to business owners/operators.

He recognized the potential of  the Bag Monster and pushed us to order one … that we broke out on Ocean Drive for former Surfrider CEO Jim Moriarty’s visit in 2012, and remains a huge success and highly desired special guest in Miami. Hope you all saw the picture of Jayson, the Bag Monster & Kelly Slater.

Jayson has negotiated deals for reusable SF Miami bags which have 3 SF logos. He has also negotiated a deal with Method plastics and we now have 3 method containers to store collected ocean and coastal plastics from our cleanups.

And his most important contribution & leadership effort – lobbying local governments to reduce plastics. In the last 2 years Jayson has managed outreach to several municipalities to push plastic bag and polystyrene bans. He successfully pushed a Plastic Bag Surfrider Foundation Volunteers Cnavass The Beach In Miami During Swim Week To Remind People Not To Leave Any Trash Behind, And To Trade Out Plastic Bags For Reusable Shopping Bags. Surfer Kelly Slater Was Happy To Support The Cause And Pose With The Bagresolution in the Village of Pinecrest (his ‘hood) and leveraged Mayer Cindy Lerner into an introduction to the South Florida League of Cities. We attended their large gathering and now the Resolution efforts will gain momentum throughout South Florida! The City of Miami Beach will sign next and Surfside is on board to sign shortly!

Jayson’s persistence has made Surfrider Miami a major player in the environmental movement in south Florida!

He is presently reaching out to local state legislators to make sure a bill to overturn the current Bag Ban preemption law is passed in Spring 2015 session.

Jayson manages all these accomplishments while being a husband and raising two young sons. Naturally, Jayson has spoken at and influenced his kids’ Pinecrest school to have the cafeteria go polystyrene free and promote plastic free school fairs and festivals. Recently, Jayson has received his state accredited realtors license and is an agent with EWM. Somebody give this man a CEO position! Holy cow!”

“Jayson is an inspiration! His enthusiasm and determination to reduce single use plastics in his community and in the state he loves should serve as a model to all of us! I can’t wait to see what Jayson and the rest of the outstanding Miami Chapter volunteers are able to accomplish.” writes Surfrider Foundation’s Regional Manager Holly Parker.

Thank you, Jayson, for everything that you do to protect our oceans, waves and beaches!

2014 Save the Date
October 31, 2014

Surf Stomp Chapter Conference Party!

Surf stomp

October 23, 2014

RAP Resolutions

In 2008, the Florida Legislature adopted a bill prohibiting local governments from banning plastic bags until the Department of Environmental Protection creates recycling recommendations, and they are adopted by the Legislature. The Department of Environmental Protection drafted those recommendations in 2010, but the Florida Legislature STILL hasn’t adopted them! So, the Surfrider Foundation is working with local governments across the state to pass resolutions asking the Legislature to give them the authority to regulate, tax, limit or ban plastic bags. In the past few months, we’re successfully partnered with a number of cities and municipalities:

To learn more about our Rise Above Plastics efforts, or for help getting a resolution passed in your city or county contact Holly Parker at

September 4, 2014

Regular Joe Surf Fest!

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!

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Register Here Today!

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