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Florida Chapter Network

Dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of Florida's ocean, waves and beaches More Details
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.

Scott Stripling and volunteers from the Miami Beach Ecology Club restore dunes!

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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January 1, 2017

2017 Legislative Priorities

The Surfrider Foundation is working hard to promote positive change through legislation in the Florida House and Senate. Here are some of the important issues that we’re working on in the 2017 Legislative Session. Want to learn more? Contact us to find out how you can get involved!

Disposable Bags- Allow coastal municipalities with populations under 100,000 to create a pilot program to regulate or ban disposable plastic bags.

  • Plastic is the most common type of marine litter worldwide.
  • An estimated 100,000 marine mammals and up to 1 million sea birds die 
every year after ingesting or being tangled in plastic marine littler.
  • Up to 80% of the plastic in our oceans comes from land-based sources.
  • In 2009, about 3.8 million tons of waste plastic “bags, sacks, and wraps” 
were generated in the U.S., but only 9.4% of this was recycled.
  • Approximately thirty municipalities have passed resolutions requesting the home rule authority to regulate single-use plastics bags locally.
  • Support HB93/S162

Fund Florida Healthy Beaches Program- Restore funding to monitor beaches for dangerous bacteria and water pollution.

  • The program samples for fecal coliform and enterococci bacteria, which are bacterial indicators of poor water quality.
  • Exposure to contaminated water can lead to gastroenteritis, respiratory illness, rashes, eye and ear ailments, and more.
  • State funds were cut in 2011 and never restored. Now, Florida relies on federal funding for the program.
  • Fund the Florida Healthy Beaches Program to protect human health and our coastal economy.
  • Appropriate $525,000 to the Florida Department of Health expressly for the Florida Healthy Beaches Program.

Stop Lake Okeechobee Discharges- Purchase land to allow for adequate water storage south of Lake Okeechobee, restore flows to the Everglades and Florida Bay, and stop discharges into the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee Estuaries.

  • The impacted estuaries rely on a delicate mix of salt and fresh water to sustain sea grass, oyster beds, and a multitude of species that inhabit their waters.
  • Inundated by releases of polluted freshwater, the estuaries have suffered tremendous damage. Toxic algal blooms have suffocated over 30,000 acres of seagrass, threatened human health, and killed countless seabirds, manatees, and dolphins.
  • Skin contact with cyanotoxins can cause irritation of the skin (rash or skin blisters), eyes, nose and throat, and inflammation of the respiratory tract. Swallowing water containing high concentrations can lead to nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and diarrhea. Effects on the liver and nervous system of animals and people have also been documented in severe cases.
  • At the southern end of the state, the lack of freshwater has caused a “near catastrophic” seagrass die off due to hyper salinity.
  • Support Senator Negron’s proposal to acquire 60,000 acres south of Lake Okeechobee.

Adaptation PlanningPromote policies that help Florida incorporate adaptation and resiliency planning into all beach and coastal programs.

  • Florida is the most at-risk state for sea-level rise, yet there is no reference to these issues in any of the state’s coastal development and beach management laws, and there is no statewide plan to mitigate the impacts of climate change and sea-level rise to our beaches.
  • Three-fourths of Florida’s population resides in coastal counties that generate 79% of the state’s total annual economy.
  • A resilient coastline will protect our infrastructure, ecosystems, recreation, and economy for generations to come.
October 1, 2016

REGISTER: Our Ocean’s Future Forum

Join the Sierra Club Marine Action Team, Surfrider Foundation, and Florida Coastal & Ocean Coalition for a public forum on National Ocean Policy in the Gulf of Mexico. Speakers will discuss oil & gas exploration, seismic testing, fisheries, coastal communities, adaptation and sea level rise, and more! There is no cost and the event will include lunch.

What: Public Forum on Our Ocean’s Future
When: November 4rd, 8:30AM-1:00PM
Where: West St. Petersburg Public Library @ St. Petersburg College
(6605 5th Ave. N.  St. Petersburg, FL 33710)
Who: All are welcome!

Note- this event will also include an optional field trip to explore Tampa Bay ecosystems following the forum. When registering, please indicate your interest in attending a field trip. Details to follow.

Online registration has closed. Please contact Holly Parker directly to register: 850-567-3393, hparker@surfrider.org

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August 19, 2016

Save the Date: International Coastal Cleanup Day

Join the Surfrider Foundation on September 17th for International Coastal Cleanup Day! Last year, volunteers across the world cleaned up over 18 million pounds of trash!

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August 2, 2016

Florida’s Carcinogenic Waters

The Surfrider Foundation is opposed the the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s proposed Human Health Based Water Quality Criteria. The criteria decreases protection for Florida’s most vulnerable by increasing allowable levels of carcinogens and chemicals in our surface waters.

Take action by contacting the EPA TODAY! Ask the EPA to:

  1. Please hold multiple hearings and opportunities for public comment across Florida. The proposed revisions to Florida’s Human Health-Based Water Quality Criteria have far reaching impacts, and as such, are deserving of adequate forethought and deliberation.
  2. Regardless of the risk assessment method utilized, please direct the FDEP to adopt the most stringent criteria for Florida’s human health-based water quality criteria. It is unacceptable that Florida is increasing allowable levels of over two dozen chemicals.
  3. Please utilize Florida-specific seafood consumption data. Floridians eat large qualities of locally caught seafood- much more than the national average. Utilizing the best available data for fish consumption rates will help protect more Floridians.
  4. Email the EPA here: floridahhc@epa.gov

Click here to read the Surfrider Foundation’s full comments to the FDEP and the ERC.

Click here to read a letter from Florida lawmakers to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy.

July 11, 2016

Save the Date: Florida Chapter Conference

Save the Date: The Florida Chapter Conference will be held in St. Petersburg at the Hilton St. Petersburg Bayfront, November 4th-6th. Stay tuned for registration details!

What: Surfrider Foundation Florida Chapter Conference
When: Nov. 4th-6th, 2016
Who: All current Surfrider Foundation members!
How: Registration open on ChapterNET August 1st

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April 4, 2016

April Volunteer of the Month

Congratulations to our April Volunteer of the Month, Marilu Christina Flores! Marilu currently serves as the Treasurer of the Miami Chapter- but does much more than crunch numbers and keep the books! Miami Chapter Chair Jayson Koch writes,

“Since Marilu relocated back to Miami in 2015 from Vermont, she has taken on the Surfrider Miami Treasurer role and overall, has gone above and beyond! Marilu attends all Surfrider events- most of which she was also a key lead in planning and executed advance work and detail. She is a fearless fundraiser and is always eager to ask local businesses for donations or support for the Miami Chapter. In November 2015, Marilu worked with Volcom to give us the Miami premier rights for their Psychic Migrations film, to show at our fall fundraiser event. She always reaches out to get food/drink donations for clean-up events and meetings, and secures the best raffle donations for our fundraiser events.

 

March 8, 2016

Guest Blog: 2016 Florida Coasts & Oceans Lobby Day

Lobby Day was quite the interesting and informative experience! I had never been to the Florida capitol before, let alone been lobbying. Myself, and two other UF students were there representing the Surfrider Quad club at the University of Florida, and we were definitely all newcomers to the political arena! After meeting with the other activists for a quick briefing and breakfast at 9am, Holly split us into groups and gave us each a schedule which detailed the meeting times she had previously scheduled with various representatives and senators, as well as other relevant information about the three bills we would be speaking about. 
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February 15, 2016

Legislature once again blocking local governments

Legislature once again blocking local governments
Tallahassee Democrat
Saturday, February 13th, 2016

Florida legislators quickly fault the federal government for overreaches, mandates and for just generally being “big government.” Yet last week, without public input or scrutiny, the Florida House of Representatives moved to strip cities and counties of their ability to regulate polystyrene foam foodware. Click here to read the full story.

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