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February 22, 2018

P91- Ban nearshore drilling in Florida’s state waters!

Ban Oil & Gas Exploration in Florida’s State Waters

Proposal 91: Banning oil & gas exploration in Florida’s state waters

  • The Florida Constitutional Revision Commission (CRC) meets every twenty years to consider new amendments to the Florida Constitution. Amendments that the CRC approves are placed on the ballot for a vote of the people. The CRC is currently conducting their final round of public meetings before they vote on the proposals to determine what goes on the ballot.
  • P 91 proposes to constitutionally ban oil and gas exploration in Florida’s territorial waters (up to three miles offshore in the Atlantic and nine miles offshore in the Gulf, after that it’s federal waters).
  • Drilling in our state waters is already prohibited by state statue, but the Florida Legislature can easily change that. In fact, in 2009 the Florida Legislature nearly opened our state waters to oil drilling. The only thing that stopped them was the Deepwater Horizon disaster.
  • Offshore oil and gas development in new areas would require seismic surveys, drilling operations, oil transport by tankers, and the installation of platforms, pipelines, and other infrastructure. Collectively these activities would significantly damage the environment, marine wildlife, and coastal economies and ways of life.
  • Protect our coasts, our economy, our jobs, and our quality of life! Support P 91 and ban drilling off Florida’s coast!

You can support P 91 by speaking at one of the upcoming public hearings:

Feb. 27th: Pensacola, 1PM-7PM
University of West Florida
Conference Center & Ballroom
11000 University Parkway, Building 22
Pensacola, FL 32514

March 5th: Cape Coral, 1PM-7PM
The Westin
5951 Silver King Boulevard
Cape Coral, FL 33914

March 13th: St. Petersburg, 1PM-7PM
University of South Florida- St. Petersburg
University Student Center
200 6th Ave. S
St. Petersburg, FL 33701

For more information visit: https://www.flcrc.gov/Meetings/PublicHearings

You can also contact the CRC by emailing admin@flcrc.gov or calling 850-717-9550. You can also submit written comments and contact individual commissioners at flcrc.gov

 

January 29, 2018

Constitutional Revision Commission Weighs Nearshore Drilling Ban

Every twenty years the Constitution Revision Commission meets to propose amendments to the Florida Constitution. The Commissioners are appointed by the Governor, Senate President, Speaker of the House, and Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court. The Commission is currently meeting to consider over a hundred proposed amendments, including P 91, by Commissioner Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch. P 91 would prohibit drilling for oil or gas in Florida’s nearshore waters. If the proposal passes through its two committee stops, it will head to the ballot in November where it will need 60% voter approval to be implemented.

P 91 has already passed through its first committee stop in General Provisions, and is headed to its final committee stop in Declaration of Rights this Wednesday at 10AM. We encourage those concerned about the environmental, economic, and recreational impacts of offshore drilling to contact the committee members and ask for their support!

Declaration of Rights Committee

Chair Lisa Carlton, lisa.carlton@flcrc.gov, 941-218-0142
Commissioner John Stemberger, john.stemberger@flcrc.gov, 850-329-0805
Commissioner Erika Donalds, erika.donalds@flcrc.gov, 850-270-8283
Commissioner Emery Gainey, emery.gainey@flcrc.gov, 850-296-0898
Commissioner Marva Johnson, marva.johnson@flcrc.gov, 850-792-6574
Commissioner Arthenia Joyner, arthenia.joyner@flcrc.gov, 850-591-0625
Commissioner Dr. Gary Lester, gary.lester@flcrc.gov, 352-775-7890

-Ask Commissioners to vote YES on P 91
-Let Commissioners know why you think Florida’s coasts, tourism economy, and quality of life are too important to risk to oil and gas exploration!

January 24, 2018

Bad Beach Access Bill Vote Thursday

UPDATE 1/25: HB 631 passed the Judiciary Committee and will be headed to the full floor. Call your local Representative and urge a NO vote.

On Thursday, the House Judiciary Committee will vote on HB 631, which attempts to take away existing beach access ordinances and prohibit all local governments from passing customary use ordinances in the future. Click here to learn more! Please take a moment to call the members of this committee and politely ask the to vote no on HB 631. Click here for talking points!

 

HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE:

Rep. Chris Sprowls, Chair- 850-717-5065
Rep. Shawn Harrison- 850-717-5063
Rep. Cynthia Stafford- 850-717-5109
Rep. Ramon Alexander- 850-717-5008
Rep. Danny Burgess- 850-717-5038
Rep. Cord Byrd- 850-717-5011
Rep. John Cortes- 850-717-5043 (Note-Rep. Cortes was the only member who opposed this bill when it was up in its first committee. Please thank him for voting no!)
Rep. Ben Diamond- 850-717-5068
Rep. Heather Fitzenhagen- 850-717-5078
Rep. Joseph Geller- 850-717-5100
Rep. Julio Gonzalez- 850-717-5074
Rep. Erin Grall- 850-717-5054
Rep. Bill Hager- 850-717-5089
Rep. Larry Metz- 850-717-5032
Rep. George Moraitis- 850-717-5093
Rep. Daniel Perez- 850-717-5116
Rep. Scott Plakon- 850-717-5029
Rep. Sharon Pritchett- 850-717-5102
Rep. Emily Slosberg- 850-717-5091
Rep. Ross Spano- 850-717-5059
Rep. Jay Trumbull- 850-717-5006

January 3, 2018

2018 Florida Coasts & Ocean Day

Join the Surfrider Foundation and partner organizations in Tallahassee for our citizen advocacy day on January 16th! This is your opportunity to speak out for clean water and healthy beaches. We’ll be supporting the plastic bag bill, water quality monitoring, and beach access. Don’t worry- we provide training, schedule your meetings and even feed you! Get registered today! 

 

SCHEDULE:

JANUARY 15th:
6:30PM-8PM: Citizen Advocacy Training @ Grasslands Brewing* (603 W Gaines St #7, Tallahassee, FL 32304)
8PM-9PM Social @ Grasslands Brewing, food from Midtown Pies

JANUARY 16th:
8:30AM-9:30AM: Briefing & Breakfast @ Capitol (Room 316)
9:30AM-3:00PM: Legislative Visits @ Capitol

*Please note, if you can’t make the training on the 15th, we’ll have a mini-training session and briefing over breakfast on the 16th.

LODGING: If you’re looking for lodging, please contact Holly Parker hparker@surfrider.org or 850-567-3393. Local Surfrider Foundation members have opened their homes for those who need a room for January 15th. Also, if you have a hotel room with an extra bed and would be open to sharing a room- please let me know! If you’re not into sharing space, check out hotels.com- there are still a few rooms available in the area.

CARPOOLING: If you have room in your vehicle or you’d like to carpool to Tallahassee, please contact Holly Parker at hparker@surfrider.org ASAP.

ATTIRE: We recommend business/professional attire for the lobby day. If you’d like, wear something blue so we stand out! Please wear comfy shoes, we will be covering a lot of miles!

MEALS: We’ll provide dinner at our training on the 15th and breakfast on the 16th. You’re on your own for lunch that afternoon. There are lots of local restaurants or you can stay within the capitol and visit the cafes located on the 10th floor and lower level.

SECURITY: You will have to go through a security screening at the capitol so leave your weapons at home!

Please contact Holly Parker if you have any questions/comments/concerns!

November 20, 2017

2018 Florida Legislative Session

The 2018 Legislative Session is almost underway! We’re monitoring legislation and making sure that our ocean, waves, and beaches are protected!

Support

Recyclable Materials: SB 1014(Sen. Stewart) & HB 6039 (Rep. Richardson):

Deleting a preemption of local law relating to regulation of single-use plastic bags.

Disposable Bags: SB 348 (Sen. Rodriguez)

Allow coastal municipalities to create a pilot program to regulate or ban disposable plastic bags.

Coral Reefs: SB 232 (Sen. Book) & HB 53 (Rep. Jacobs)

Establish the Southeast Florida Coral Reef Ecosystem Conservation Area.

Public Financing of Construction Projects: SB 542 (Sen. Rodriguez)

Prohibiting state-financed constructors from building in certain coastal areas without first conducting a sea level impact projection study.

Regulation of Smoking: SB 562 (Sen. Mayfield) & HB 627 (Rep. Altman)            

Authorizes municipalities and counties to restrict smoking in public parks.

Gulf of Mexico Range Complex: SR 550 (Sen. Broxon) & HR 319 (Rep. Ponder)

Resolution supporting an extension of the current moratorium on drilling in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico.

Florida Healthy Beaches Program- Restore funding to monitor beaches for dangerous bacteria and water pollution. Appropriate $525,000 to the Florida Department of Health expressly for the Florida Healthy Beaches Program.

Oppose

Possession of Real Property: SB 804 (Sen. Passidomo) & HB 631 (Rep. Edwards)

Prohibiting Customary Use ordinances, requiring a judicial determination customary use claim be determined by a court on a parcel-by-parcel basis.

Tree Trimming, Removal, and Harvesting: SB 574 (Sen. Steube) & HB 521 (Rep. Edwards)

Preempting the local regulation of trimming, removal, or harvesting of trees on private property.

Click here to download!

 

April 17, 2017

Earth Month Events Around the State!

It’s Earth Month and the Surfrider Foundation Florida Chapters have TONS of awesome events coming up! These are just some of the great events happening across Florida this month!

Wednesday, April 19th:

Cocoa Beach Chapter Monthly Meeting, 6PM @ The Surfinista MORE

Sebastian Inlet Chapter Monthly Meeting, 6PM @ Standard Collective Studio MORE

Suncoast Chapter 24 Hours of Cleanup Power, 4:30PM @ Cage Brewing MORE

Thursday, April 20th:

Broward County Chapter Monthly Meeting, 7PM @ Atlantic Surf Club MORE

Suncoast Chapter “A Plastic Ocean” Movie Night, 5:30PM @ St. Pete Museum of History MORE

Saturday, April 22nd:

Central Florida Chapter Earth Day, 10AM @ Lake Eola MORE

April 22nd:

Miami Chapter Earth Night 2017, 7PM @ Concrete Beach Brewery MORE

Palm Beach County Chapter Earth Day Fashion Show, 6PM @ Honey MORE

Sunday April 23rd:

First Coast Chapter Beach Cleanup, 9AM @ Surfside Park MORE

Wednesday April 26th & Thursday 27th:

Honey Miller Amongst the Boxes Surfrider Foundation Benefit Concert MORE

Saturday, April 29th:

Bands, Boards, and Brews Festival, 1PM @ Intracoastal Brewing Company MORE

People’s Climate March MORE

March 6, 2017

Volunteer of the Month: Gray Foster

This February the Town of Palm Beach passed a resolution of support for banning single-use plastic bags in their community. The Town took up the issue because of the hard work and environmental advocacy of a local 9th grader, Gray Foster. Gray is a student at Palm Beach Day Academy and is passionate about protecting our ocean, waves, and beaches. At the Surfrider Foundation, we were so inspired by his advocacy that we decided to interview him as our March Volunteer of the Month!

What are some local issues that are affecting your ocean or beach?

The sand washing away seems to be what people talk about most here in Palm Beach. The town is always talking about how to get the sand back, but they never seem to talk about getting the dunes back. Pumping the sand around makes no sense because the ocean is going to put sand where it wants to. Town leaders say they need to pump sand to protect from storms, but they should never have let there be buildings on the dunes in the first place. Every time they pump sand they ruin it for surfers, but eventually the ocean takes back over and we get our breaks back. Also, plastic bags and fishing tackle are a big problem on our beaches.

What got you concerned about the impact of single-use plastics on our ocean? 

I am involved in a few different beach clean-up groups and we have a lot of trouble getting the tiny bits of plastic off the beach and I know that is what turtles and fish will eat. Plastic bags turn into clear spaghetti and is just so hard to pick up. All the water bottles and caps and other trash are gross, but at least we can pick them up and I’m pretty sure a turtle isn’t going to eat a flip flop floating in the ocean, but I know they will eat a baggie and it might kill them.

If you could tell your elected officials anything about our ocean or environment, what would it be? 

Here in Florida if we don’t keep the ocean clean there will be no tourism. The beaches are the main reason people come so if you are an elected official and you aren’t doing something about trash on the beaches then you don’t care about Florida at all. Of course there is golf, but if there was as much trash on every golf course as there is on every beach, maybe our elected officials would do something about it.

Why is it important for young people to get involved in protecting the ocean? 

Young people are the ones who are going to have to deal with the problem when it gets too big for individuals to handle. We are the ones who have to remind people that their trash doesn’t go away even when you die. My grandfather tells me stories of finding conch and lobster everywhere on our shallow reefs when he was a boy. I have never seen that. I’ve also never, ever seen him use a plastic grocery bag or a plastic water bottle and he would never walk past a piece of trash and not pick it up. He’s 80 and if he cares enough to do his part, we have to also. I don’t want to explain to my grandchildren that we knew about the Pacific plastic trash gyre, but plastic bags and water bottles were just too convenient to give up.

What was something that you learned while writing and researching your report on plastics? 

Florida has a law to prevent towns and small cities from doing anything about single use plastic bags. That makes absolutely zero sense when you think of how much coastline we have and how important our beaches are to our economy. It also means that Florida doesn’t think individual citizens should be able to make local government decisions. Who exactly does this law benefit? Even if you don’t care about plastic bags trashing our beaches and killing sea turtles, you should be worried that the state made a law that only benefits a small, specific group like plastic grocery bag makers instead of protecting the main industry of our state.

Is there anything else we should know about you? 

I do every sport I possibly can on the ocean: bodyboard, paddle surf, kite board, windsurf, fish, free dive, sail, basically anything that means I can be in the water. Ocean conservation is a passion for me because it’s my whole life out there even when it’s cold or rough and not just a sunny beach day. I’ll keep doing whatever I can to protect the creatures out there and keep our ocean healthy.

March 1, 2017

Florida Coasts & Ocean Day

Join the Surfrider Foundation at the Florida Capitol on March 14th for Florida Coasts & Ocean Advocacy Day. Take a stand to protect our ocean, waves, and beaches! This is your opportunity to meet with lawmakers in person and to advocate for the bag bill, an end to the Lake Okeechobee discharges, water quality monitoring for our beaches, and more! Click here to learn more!

We’ll also be hosting a citizen advocacy training session on March 13th, 7pm. If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to be an effective advocate for the issues that impact you, now is your chance! Click here to learn more!

Click here to register today!

February 1, 2017

February Volunteer of the Month: Scott Stripling

Meet our February Volunteer of the Month, Scott Stripling! Scott is a long-serving Miami Chapter Executive Committee member and past Chapter Chair. By day (and often by graveyard shift night), he’s a NOAA weather forecaster stationed at the National Hurricane Center in Miami. He brings this expert knowledge to bear on many of the coastal issues we face. The Miami Chapter members are lucky to benefit from his wave forecasting and deep insider hurricane warnings!

At the National Hurricane Center, Scott created a comprehensive recycling program for their facilities on the campus of Florida International University in Miami, FL. To augment limitations in the Waste Management recycle collection process, Scott volunteered to personally deliver collected polystyrene and plastic bags to the local recycling facilities.

January 17, 2017

January/February Surfrider Events Around Florida

Looking for something awesome to do this month? Check out a Surfrider event near you! Don’t see something nearby? Contact us to get in touch with your local chapter!

Tuesday January 17th:

Miami Chapter Smoke Free Beaches Celebration MORE

Wednesday, January 18th:

Cocoa Beach Chapter Meeting MORE

Thursday, January 19th:

Broward County Chapter Meeting MORE

Sebastian Inlet Chapter Move Night, “A Plastic Ocean” MORE

Sunday, January 22nd:

Suncoast Chapter Community Kickoff Party MORE


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