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April 19, 2012

2012 Waterman’s Challenge Announced

The 2012 Surfrider Challenge at the Waterman’s Challenge

presented by
The Cocoa Beach Surf Museum and the Cocoa Beach Chapter of Surfrider Foundation

The Cocoa Beach Chapter of Surfrider Foundation hereby challenges all other Surfrider Foundation Chapters to a team surfing competition to be held during the 11th Annual Waterman’s Challenge in the Surfing Capital of the East Coast, Cocoa Beach, Florida.
When: June 2, 2012
Where: The International Palms Resort in Cocoa Beach, FL

Click here to find out more: 2012 Surfrider Challenge

Raffle Surfboard:

Drawing at Waterman’s Challenge Luau June 2, 2010.

Tickets $10 each only 300 will be sold.


Need not be present to win. email Joann to buy tickets: jmbathome@cfl.rr.com

April 19, 2012

First Coast Chapter Beach Access Restriction Victory

The official closing time in the summer months (April through October) is 8pm at Huguenot Memorial Park and Hanna Park. However, recently the parks have been closing at 6pm due to “budget cuts,” and parking citations are being issued to anyone that is in the park later than this. The Chapter was told that the Jacksonville City Council has the sole authority to change the park hours, but they haven’t. Not only does that question the legality of the change of hours, but also the citations many may have received from the JSO. It was a city-wide effort to save money in the least effective way while limiting recreation opportunities.

After numerous letters and complaints, the City Council voted on April 18th to ensure that starting April 28th the parks will be back to summer hours.

Recent Media Coverage

http://www.fox30jax.com/mostpopular/story/JaxParks-says-Hanna-and-Huguenot-hours-will-go/BQ57CNtttkGbZMGpcNiU3A.cspx

http://m.jacksonville.com/news/metro/2012-04-17/story/jacksonvilles-ocean-parks-soon-stay-open-later

http://www.actionnewsjax.com/content/actionlocal/story/JaxParks-says-Hanna-and-Huguenot-hours-will-go/BQ57CNtttkGbZMGpcNiU3A.cspx

April 16, 2012

Coastal Management: Insurance Reform Efforts

Surfrider Foundation was invited to a conference held in Orlando 4/12-4/13, dealing with insurance reform. As some of you may know, all of us in Florida are still paying assessments on our insurance (and not just homeowners, it’s on your auto , etc policies also) related to the 2004-5 hurricanes. Due to the strange way insurance operates in Florida, if there was true catastrophe we would all be socked with HUGE assessments for long periods of time.

The goal of reform is to make property owners right on the coast and in floodplain areas pay premiums (much higher) that would reflect their true risk. The upside for the environment is that this reform would discourage development in these environmentally sensitive areas, by making insurance costs sky-high. As it is, we’re all subsidizing insurance for those beachfront homes.

Here’s a synopsis of the conference:

Primary sponsor: RenaissanceRe (large re-insurance company), Co-sponsors NWF and FWF

Summary:
31 invitations-only participants (thanks for allowing me to represent Surfrider Foundation), discussion of how artificially low insurance rates – derived either from improper spread of risk or overhangs – encourage development in coastal and floodplain areas.

Nationally, the focus is on the NFIP (National Flood Insurance Program), and how it has evolved from its original goal of discouraging risk to actually facilitating growth in wrong places. Coastal Barriers Resource Act (1982, expanded 1990) protections are being corrupted.

In Florida, the focus is Citizens and its re-insurer Cat Fund. Private insurance (and their re-insurers) want back into the market at profitable rates. Free market conservatives and conservationists are finding common ground; the linkage between high risk and environmental sensitivity borders on a direct correlation.

Paths to reform are the objective. Avoiding paying the piper through huge post ‘’big storm ’’ assessments and inhibiting development in sensitive areas are the payoffs. Businesses also want to avoid the uncertainty of future assessments as they would be on the hook for some massive bills.

Current Actions:
Bills such as the Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2011 need our support in US Senate. In Florida, numerous bills have been advanced to reform Citizens and the Cat Fund, none successfully.

Future Actions:
Working on strategies for further legislative efforts to reform situation in Florida is the primary task moving forward. Also blocking current proposals to free up CBRA lands for development in panhandle is key, if we lose there it weakens the whole program and could set precedent for further erosion (pun intentional) of CBRA.

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