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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

New Surf Beach in NYC

The New York City Chapter scored a huge victory with the help of Rockaway Beach locals when the NY City Parks Department dedicated a second legal surfing beach in Rockaway on Friday.

NYC Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe and Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer were on hand to officially designate the new beach for surfing. Chapter activists Erik Johnson, Chris Wade, Kui Nakamura, and Alexi Remnek and others organized a beach clean up before the press conference, and then they taught the Parks Commissioner how to surf!

Yes, this is the NYC Parks Commissioner getting instruction and getting up on his first wave!
Special thanks to Boarders Surf Shop, NYNJSurf.com, and everyone in the community who helped work with the decision makers to establish this second surfing beach. The first designated surfing beach in New York City was established over two years ago.

Monday, July 30, 2007


The Salva Tres Palmas campaign in Rincon, Puerto Rico was key in establishing the Reserva Marina Tres Palmas designed to protect some of the healthiest Elkhorn Coral in US territorial waters and the Caribbean's classic big wave surf spot called Tres Palmas.

Sadly, there is a Rinconvenient Truth....

A proposed bike path threatens to destroy many of the coastal resources adjacent to the Reserva Marina Tres Palmas and other beaches in Rincon. Seawalls, gabions, concrete and pavement will harm beaches, threaten endangered species and reduce beach access.

You'd think the planners could learn from the mess at Surfer's Point in Ventura and the fortunate truth of a bad idea gone good in San Clemente.

Learn more about arinconvenienttruth

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Surfrider PSAs kick off in Florida

Caribbean Surf Travel TV Series
Premieres Aug. 10th, 6pm on Sun Sports
See the Surfrider "Pet Fish" Clean Water PSA during the show!
Local Surfrider members Rob Lyon and Lance-O have teamed together to create a new show about the search for surf, music and culture in the Caribbean Islands. Each episode will take viewers to a new island nation to experience the locals' way of life. The series will premiere on Sun Sports TV, available on cable and satellite in the entire state of Florida.

Island Hoppers will also include Surfrider's funny but serious Public Service Announcement "Pet Fish". If you haven't seen it be sure to watch. Big Props to Island Hoppers for generously promoting Surfrider to Statewide viewers of the show.

With the help of Florida Marketing Intern Tom Paterek numerous other stations across Florida will be showing Surfrider PSAs to raise awareness.

To see the "Petfish" PSA http://www.surfrider.org/media6.asp

Tuesday, July 24, 2007



Media enquiries:
Dr. Thomas Moore
P: +61 409681127
E: thomasmoore@netspace.net.au


July 23, 2007


Launceston, Tasmania
– Representatives from Surfrider Foundation Australia (SFA) travelled to Sydney last week to meet with the Shadow Minister for Climate Change, Environment and Heritage, Peter Garrett MP, to discuss the proposed Gunns Ltd Tamar Valley pulp mill. The trip was just one step in a long journey for Tasmanian surfers Dr. Thomas Moore and Peter Whish-Wilson who, along with a team of local and international volunteers, have been both campaigning for and conducting independent and transparent scientific assessments of the proposed pulp mill’s marine impacts for over two years.

"We were stoked Peter gave us 30 minutes of his time to listen to our concerns. As an outspoken champion of environmental issues he is a hero to our generation, and I told him so." said SFA Northern Tasmania President, Peter Whish-Wilson. "We let him know that Tasmanians would like to see him in the State very soon and that we feel there is an opportunity to show some leadership on the assessment process at a Federal level.”

SFA appreciated the opportunity to brief Mr. Garrett on our research into the proposed mill’s effluent discharge and highlight our concerns for potential impacts on the marine environment, marine industries, coastal amenity, and indeed human health.

SFA clearly expressed our lack of confidence in both the State and Federal assessment processes currently underway and our alarm at the apparent lack of probity, transparency, and scientific rigor in the wake of the proponent’s March 2007 exit from the Federally accredited Tasmanian Resource Planning and Development Commission (RPDC) assessment process.

Mr. Garret welcomed the opportunity to listen to SFA, is acutely aware of the level of public concern, and is clearly examining this issue very closely. Mr. Garrett is already on the record (May 18, 2007 - “Need for More Transparency on Pulp Mill”) saying in part:

“The [Federal] assessment process for the pulp mill – an assessment on preliminary documentation – is one of the less comprehensive assessment options under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. Under the Act, the Minister could have requested further information from the proponent, but has chosen not to do so. This is disappointing given the scale of the project. It is not clear that the chosen assessment process will properly accommodate the very high level of public interest concerning this proposal. The Commonwealth and Tasmanian Governments have a responsibility to ensure public confidence is maintained in the planning system.”

Aside from the establishment of a new assessment mechanism and the restoration of public confidence, SFA’s position is that the only appropriate option for the proponent is to adopt a closed-cycle process, eliminating the need for disposal of 30 GL / year of mill effluent into Bass Strait coastal waters.

SFA is currently scrutinizing Gunns Ltd’s recently released “Response to EPBC Submissions Document” and we look forward to further communication with Mr. Garrett and his office on these issues of national environmental significance.

Peter Garrett, MP (Shadow Minister for Climate Change, Environment and Heritage) Media Statement, May
18, 2007 - “Need for More Transparency on Pulp Mill” - http://www.petergarrett.com.au/c.asp?id=343

SFA is not opposed to downstream processing of forest products in Tasmania but maintains we must be absolutely sure that any development is benign to the environment, other industries, coastal amenity, and indeed human health.
The proposed Gunns Ltd pulp mill in the Tamar Valley will discharge up to 30 GL (“Giga-litres” = billion litres) of process effluent per annum into Bass Strait, approximately 2.7 km off Five Mile Bluff.1

The discharged mill effluent will contain numerous pollutants including highly toxic and persistent compounds such as dioxins and furans.2 Hydrodynamic modeling, the numerical representation of the ocean and its fluid processes, wholly underpins our understanding of the possible fate of such pollutants and their potential impacts on the marine ecosystem, marine industries, coastal amenity, and human health.

Since November 2005 SFA Northern Tasmania has taken an active and constructive role on this issue, participating in good faith with the Tasmanian RPDC assessment of the proposed Gunns Ltd pulp mill in the Tamar Valley. In September 2006 SFA Northern Tasmania delivered a 48 page submission to the Resource Planning and Development Commission (RPDC) which, among other significant concerns, concluded that the Gunns Ltd. hydrodynamic modelling was inadequate. The SFA RPDC submission made a number of
recommendations for required analyses and revised modelling that are echoed in the Sweco Pic report released on July 5th, 2007.

The Sweco Pic report, and specifically the associated report from Patterson Britton & Partners Pty Ltd., state that the Gunns Ltd. modelling “appears to be producing unrealistically high daily flushing and dispersion of pollutants in the vicinity of the outfall” and that appropriate modelling of the long term fate of pollutants coupled to particulate matter from both the discharged effluent and natural Tamar River sediment plumes “has not been carried out” and “not been examined”.
On April 18th, 2007 SFA Northern Tasmania wrote to the Minister for the Environment, Malcom Turnbull, and his Department regarding the deficiencies in Gunns Ltd analyses and reports. SFA urged Minister Turnbull to therefore reject Gunns Ltd’s call for an EPBC assessment based solely on “desktop” analysis and “preliminary information”. SFA Northern Tasmania urged Minister Turnbull, in the strongest terms possible, to choose an EPBC assessment process that would provide an appropriate level of transparency and scrutiny, ensure the protection of the marine environment, and restore public confidence. This red flag from SFA was apparently ignored by Minister Turnbull.


Surfrider is a non-profit organisation dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of Australia's oceans, waves and beaches for all people through Conservation, Advocacy, Research and Education (CARE). We have 29 branches nationwide, international affiliates in the USA, Japan, Brazil and Europe, and over 100,000 members worldwide.

1 Gunns Ltd Draft IIS (V18 A63), Hydrodynamic Modelling, GHD, July 2006 (incorrectly labeled March 2006)
2 BELL BAY PULP MILL PROJECT IMPACT ASSESSMENT for assessment under the EPBC Act 1999, Gunns Ltd.,

Gulf Dead Zone: Bigger than ever

U.S. farmers planted 92.9 million acres of corn this spring, a 15 percent-plus jump from last year. If you lumped all that land together -- not too hard to imagine, given that corn ag is highly concentrated in the Midwest -- you'd have a monocropped land mass nearly equal in size to the state of California.

The jump in corn acreage is excellent news if you own shares in mega meat-processing firms like Tyson and Smithfield. These firms have been complaining bitterly that the price of corn, driven up by the government-induced ethanol boom, will eat into their profits. (Corn is the preferred feed of CAFO operators, if not of the animals they confine.)

The California-sized corn planting is expected to deliver the largest corn harvest in U.S. history, which will likely drive corn prices down a little.

But the corn boom absolutely sucks if you live in a fishing community along the Gulf Coast -- or if you happen to be a fish who makes a home in those troubled coastal waters.

Researchers projected [PDF] Monday that the Gulf of Mexico's Dead Zone, like this year's corn harvest, will likely be the largest ever recorded.

Lots more after the jump

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


For two years running, Oxbow has collaborated with the Surfrider Foundation association on the “Plages Propres” program, where Oxbow helps finance the beaches cleaning.

In order to finance this, Oxbow has created a biological cotton based T-shirt. Sustainable development is a cause that Oxbow wants pioneer through eco-designed products.

For each T-shirt sold, Oxbow will pay back 10 euros to Surfrider Foundation. Money collected will allow us to finance the beaches cleaning. This T-shirt, sold at 29 euros, is available in two colours. You can find it in Oxbow shops or on www.oxbowshop.com.

This summer, the Surfrider Foundation team will organize the cleaning beaches on Anglet (from July the 21st to the 28th), Concarneau, Le Havre, Cap-Ferret and Mimizan spots. We will keep you updated…


Pro Surfers Support Surfrider!

Cooly kids pledge support for Surfrider Foundation Australia

Coolangatta surfing trio; Mick Fanning, Dean Morrison and Joel Parkinson have confirmed their support for beach protection by renewing their Surfrider Foundation Australia memberships. Dean has signed on as a regular member and Mick and Joel as Life Members.

While all WCT competitors have previously been automatic members of Surfrider Foundation in the USA, the Cooly kids join a growing band of high profile surfers who have proudly supported Surfrider Foundation here in Australia. Six world champions; Wayne ‘Rabbit’ Bartholomew, Mark Richards, Tom Carroll, Damien Hardman, Barton Lynch and Mark Occhilupo, all long time supporters of Surfrider in Australia, have joined forces to create a limited edition series of framed photos with proceeds helping to fund vital Surfrider Foundation programs in Australia.

Mick Fanning (pictured) is hoping to join the esteemed group in more ways than one. The current world number one ranked surfer is making a charge for the 2007 world title and would be the first Australian since Occy in 1999. “I’m really proud to be a member of Surfrider Foundation in Australia and join their efforts in keeping Australia’s beaches healthy, beautiful and clean” said Mick.

Stuart Ball, current president of Kirra Surfriders Club and General Manager of Surfrider Foundation Australia National Office in Coolangatta has seen his Kirra club mate rise through the surfing ranks. “I’m really proud of Mick. We all are. Not just for his mind blowing surfing but for the role model he’s become in our community. Mick’s a champion” said Ball.

Surfers from the Kirra and Snapper clubs and from the border community in general have banded together in unanimous support for the ‘Bring Back Kirra’ campaign. Visiting the Gold Coast for the first time in many years, South African legend Shaun Thompson, also a former world champ and long time Surfrider supporter, was visibly distressed by the loss of the iconic break. “I can’t believe it” he said and promptly donated $1000 to the cause.

Meanwhile Joel Parkinson, currently ranked number 5 in the world, has offered his support to the organisation saying “ Let me know if I can ever help. I am more than happy to support the Foundation and offer my assistance whenever needed. I am happy to promote the good work that is done and would be eager to be a spokesman.” There’s a growing tide of support for this and many coastal conservation issues both locally and around the world. Check the Surfrider Foundation Australia website for details of how to support by donation or becoming a member.

Media Enquiries:

Mr Stuart Ball, General Manager, Surfrider Foundation Australia
Ph 0424 352792


Surfrider Foundation Australia has just released their Winter newsletter. It gives complete details about the amazing work their branches are doing around the country. Check it out here.

Monday, July 16, 2007


Check out some of the footage showing Surfrider volunteers prepping for the Live Earth Rio de Janeiro concert...

Testify, Testify!! Bicoastal Influence...

This past Thursday the Surfrider Foundation testified on both coasts in support of issues near and dear to us.

Mara Dias, Water Quality Coordinator, spoke in DC to the House Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment regarding the reauthorization of the Beaches Environmental Assessment and Coastal Health Act (BEACH Act). According to the Press Release the reauthorization will provide more funding for states to test beaches and look for the sources of pollution, as well as for developing rapid testing methods. Mara also spoke the previous week to the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.

On the same day the South Orange County Chapter Chair and Vice Chair, Rick Erkeneff and Brian Alper, accompanied Save Trestles Coordinator Stefanie Sekich to a meeting of the California Coastal Commission (CCC). Their goal was to provide information on Trestles and the proposed Toll Road to the Commissioners in preparation for an upcoming hearing in October. The crew provided customized tickets valid for one surf lesson at Trestles. Several commissioners have already taken them up on the offer.

Great job on everyone's behalf!!

-Mark Rauscher
Asst. Enviromental Director

Saturday, July 14, 2007

LNG Terminal in Astoria, Oregon?

Surfrider volunteers on the north coast are working to oppose development of a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminal, pipeline, and other facilities within the Columbia River Estuary. There are currently four different proposals to establish import terminals. The proposed sites include Bradwood Landing, located on the Oregon side of the Columbia River at approximately River Mile 38 (see photo); Tansy Point, within the City of Warrenton, Oregon; and the east and west banks of the Skipanon River mouth, also within the City of Warrenton. A number of concerns about LNG have been raised including threats to: water quality, shoreline access, public safety, local economics, salmon populations, etc. On July 17, the Clatsop County Planning Commission will accept public comments on the Bradwood Landing proposal. To read comments submitted to Clatsop County by local activists, please see first comment to this post. If you are interested in getting involved in this campaign contact pstauffer@surfrider.org. For more info on the proposed project see http://www.co.clatsop.or.us/index.asp

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Blog on Blogs

Surfrider Foundation is of course not the only environmental organization to have a blog. Another good one is Ocean Conservancy's blogfish.

And if you're really a science blogaholic, check out the selection at Science Blogs, where you can find one of our all-time favorites, Shifting Baselines, as well as Deep Sea News and many others.

Rick Wilson

Marine Ecoregions of the World

As demands on oceans grow, it is important to ensure that their resources are being conserved and carefully managed worldwide. A new study led by The Nature Conservancy and the World Wildlife Fund (published in BioScience) — Marine Ecoregions of the World — takes an important step toward that goal by presenting the first-ever classification system of the world’s coastal waters.

This new set of classifications will help conservation scientists recognize gaps in protection and set priorities for action, such as establishing marine protected areas. More than 12 percent of terrestrial areas are protected compared to less than one percent of marine habitats.

You can read an interview with the report’s lead author Mark Spalding, a senior marine scientist at The Nature Conservancy, here

Check out more information on the Marine Ecoregions of the World study—including interactive maps—here

Rick Wilson

Something Else to Worry About

It doesn't have the cachet of bird flu or SARS.

But the number of cases of Vibrio vulnificus, a bacteria found in warm seawater that can cause severe gastrointestinal illness, skin lesions and even death, reportedly is increasing in parts of the country.

Some researchers are pointing to increased water temperature and salinity where shellfish are harvested in summer as a reason for higher contamination rates in states around the Gulf Coast and Chesapeake Bay.


And as an addendum to this, a Nacogdoches, Texas man who was infected by flesh-eating bacteria while swimming off Galveston County's Crystal Beach still faces the threat of losing a leg — and possibly his life — despite three surgeries.

Steve Gilpatrick is fighting necrotizing fasciitis, a tissue-destroying disease caused by Vibrio vulnificus. The retired oil company marketing consultant also is suffering from multiple organ failure because the disease has caused a blood infection.


Rick Wilson

Resident-Only Beaches?

Rhode Island residents deserve special treatment to ensure they don't get turned away from state beaches, as some did Sunday afternoon, July 8 when the state closed beaches to newcomers because of overcrowding.

That’s one repeat sentiment in projo.com’s survey asking what the state can do to keep the beaches open.

Here's a sampling of suggestions:

-- Some beaches reserved only for Rhode Islanders.

-- Cheaper entry fees for Rhode Island residents.

-- Distant parking lots with shuttle service set up for nonresidents, so Rhode Islanders have access to the parking lots at the state’s beaches.

Rick Wilson

Friday, July 06, 2007


Volunteers to Help Educate Concertgoers to Keep Rio de Janeiro Beaches Clean

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (July 6, 2007) – Surfrider Foundation announced today that it has partnered with Live Earth for their Rio de Janeiro concert event, which is scheduled to take place on the famed Copacabana Beach on Saturday, July 7th.
According to Sergio Mello, Executive Director of Surfrider Foundation Brazil, the organization was approached by Live Earth event organizers, who were concerned about the potential environmental impact of the huge numbers attending the beach concert.

Local activists will work to inform the expected 700,000 concertgoers on the importance of keeping Rio’s Copacabana Beach clean. Over 350 Surfrider volunteers will be stationed around the venue, educating concertgoers about Surfrider initiatives and passing out portable cigarette butt ash cans and trash collection bags to the public so everyone can participate in making an immediate difference in the coastal environment.

“It was clear that we would need a coordinated effort to help care for the beach during the concert,” said Mello. “Our local volunteers were more than happy to pitch in and be named the official volunteers of Live Earth Rio.”

Surfrider Foundation Brazil has secured several hundred thousand biodegradable trash bags for the public to use for impromptu beach clean ups at the concert and recruited the volunteers to distribute them. Volunteers will also be posting educational materials around the site, reminding concertgoers to “respect the beach.”

“Live Earth and Surfrider Foundation are both about pushing culture toward an environmentally conscious ethic. The Rio event is the dead center of that intersection; one of the world’s top beaches, music that will draw masses and real, on-sand beach clean ups to give people an onramp to get involved. The message won’t be abstract in Rio, it will be ‘here’s a bag, help us clean this beach up’” stated Jim Moriarty, the CEO of the Surfrider Foundation. “We know concertgoers are there to hear music from their favorite musicians. But we also know those musicians are involved in this event for more than the music. This event is a platform for global change. It’s a way for all involved to nudge our collective will towards an environmental ethos.”

About the Surfrider Foundation
The Surfrider Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection and preservation of our world’s oceans, waves and beaches. Founded in 1984 by a handful of visionary surfers, the Surfrider Foundation now maintains over 50,000 members and 64 chapters across the United States and Puerto Rico, with international affiliates in Australia, Europe, Japan and Brazil. For more information visit www.surfrider.org.

About Live Earth
Live Earth is a monumental music event that will bring together more than 2 billion people on July 7, 2007 to combat the climate crisis. Live Earth will stage concerts in New York, London, Sydney, Tokyo, Shanghai, Rio de Janeiro, Johannesburg and Hamburg, and will feature more than 150 of the world’s best music acts – a mix of both legendary music acts like The Police, Genesis, Bon Jovi and Madonna with the latest headliners like Kanye West, Kelly Clarkson, Black Eyed Peas and Jack Johnson.

Live Earth’s 24 hours of music across 7 continents will deliver a worldwide call to action and the solutions necessary to answer that call. Live Earth marks the beginning of a multi-year campaign to drive individuals, corporations and governments to take action to solve the climate crisis. Live Earth is partnering with the Alliance for Climate Protection, The Climate Group, Stop Climate Chaos and other international organizations in this ongoing effort. Live Earth was founded by Kevin Wall, CEO of Control Room, the company producing the concerts globally. Former Vice President of the United States Al Gore is the Chair of the Alliance for Climate Protection and a Partner of Live Earth.

Exclusive online media partner MSN is helping Live Earth reach people in every corner of the globe. Official Live Earth concerts will be streamed live at http://liveearth.msn.com. MSN’s 39 localized web portals worldwide attract 465 million monthly users.

Click here for broadcast times and channels.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Water Quality Partnership in Oregon

Original Article

Printed in Newport News-Times on July 3, 2007

Surfrider partners with local agencies to promote clean water

In early 2007, the Surfrider Foundation was approached by the Lincoln Soil and Water Conservation District about participating in a joint water quality monitoring program.

"It just made a lot of sense," commented Charlie Plybon, Surfrider Foundation Oregon Field Coordinator. "They were looking for folks who are invested in their community's watershed and could offer support in field sampling and lab work for a volunteer monitoring project."

It was a perfect match: Surfrider already had the lab and the project funding would support other supplies needed for testing additional water quality parameters. "The partners and expertise of the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) made this project move forward quite smoothly," Plybon noted. "We developed a framework for cooperation bringing Surfrider Foundation, Lincoln Soil and Water Conservation District, DEQ, and the Oregon Coast Aquarium into a formal partnership."

Using DEQ training and expertise, volunteers across the Mid-Coast Basin familiar with local watersheds "are able to test for different water quality parameters and engage as a community in this statewide process," Plybon continued. "Surfrider had been doing very similar testing on beaches in the area, so they fit well with the model for local partners."

Although water quality sampling occurs upstream and not on the beaches, it is still of great interest for Surfrider. "What happens in the river will eventually make its way downstream to the ocean. Making land-sea connections is extremely important in assessing our coastal water quality," said Plybon.

The Mid-Coast Basin is located on Oregon's central coast from Cascade Head, located north of Lincoln City, to Siltcoos and Tahkenitch Lakes south of Florence. The basin contains a combination of urban communities, privately owned agricultural lands, and public and industrial forest land and has approximately 2,765 stream miles in the Siletz-Yaquina, Alsea and Siuslaw sub-basins.

About 500 miles have been identified as violating water quality standards for fecal coliform or E. coli bacteria.

Historically, the Mid-Coast Basin estuary systems have been monitored extensively by the DEQ and the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) for benefit of commercial shellfish production, Plybon noted. The estuaries support a commercial shellfishery, as well as many recreational shellfish opportunities. Bacteria loads in the Mid-Coast Basin are potentially from multiple sources including wildlife, sewage treatment plant upsets, on-site septic systems, urban area runoff, and agricultural practices.

"Water quality improvement now requires a comprehensive watershed approach to solving pollution problems. This reflects the combined effects that all the activities in a watershed have on overall water quality," said Plybon. "To solve water quality problems in a stream, river, lake or estuary, we need to consider the cumulative impact from all upstream sources. Surfrider takes this same approach to water quality on the beaches."

DEQ's comprehensive watershed approach for protecting water quality includes developing Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) affecting both point and non-point sources. "DEQ is diligently working to have federally-approved TMDLs on all water bodies listed in 1998 for not meeting standards by the end of this decade," Plybon said. "This timeframe takes into account the urgency to save declining salmon runs, the desire of landowners to begin working on restoration efforts, and the desire of communities to safeguard their drinking water sources. The goal of this project is to acquire sufficient data to develop a TMDL for bacteria in the Mid-Coast Basin."

The Oregon DEQ will use this bacteria data, together with flow data, to develop load duration curves to establish TMDL Load Allocations and Wasteload Allocations on bacteria-listed streams and others streams where bacteria violations are found.

The Surfrider Foundation is a non-profit grassroots organization dedicated to the protection and preservation of the world's oceans, waves, and beaches. Founded in 1984 by a handful of visionary surfers, the Surfrider Foundation now maintains more than 50,000 members and 63 chapters across the United States and Puerto Rico, with international affiliates in Australia, Europe, Japan, and Brazil.

The Lincoln Soil & Water Conservation District works to improve and conserve natural resources on agricultural, forested, private, urban and rural lands in Lincoln County, Oregon by providing information, education, and outreach; technical assistance to private landowners to develop and implement conservation plans on their property; an interface between agencies and landowners; and collaborating with federal, state, and local government agencies and groups.

For more information and to become involved with the Mid-Coast Basin data collection, contact Plybon at 867-3982.

Surfrider Europe Buries a Beach

Surfrider activists held a funeral on June 24 for St. Jouin Bruneval Beach to protest the decision by the Le Havre Port Authority and several private companies to condemn the beach in order to build a new port for tankers carrying gas.

Despite the poor weather, over thirty windsurfing activists solemnly gathered with their boards draped in black. After purifying the sand, they held their boards to the sky, crying out in anger, and then observed a minute of silence.

Read more here.

Submitted by Surfrider Foundation Europe

Surfrider activist training for solo transatlantic crossing

Fred Donot the fearless skipper of the Amazon Surfrider (a small class sailboat measuring 6.5 meters) is hoping to qualify for the 2009 Mini TransAt, a solo crossing of the Atlantic, without any escort, that is held every two years.

Starting out at La Rochelle, in France, the race ends at Salvador la Bahia in Brazil 30 days later. The sailors can not have any support, personal or technological, needing to find their way using the art and science of traditional navigation techniques. In order to qualify for this insane test of seamanship, Fred will have to prove himself in shorter distance preliminary races during 2007-2008.

Surfrider Foundation Europe is one of Fred’s proud supporters. “Over the next two years I will have to train extensively to understand the tricky Atlantic weather patterns and how to manage getting enough food and sleep while sailing solo,” said Fred. “This is the race that has launched several of the world’s top sailors, as it tests all your nautical skills and knowledge, and more importantly, the strength of the human character.”

Submitted by Surfrider Foundation Europe

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

News from the North Shore regarding Turtle Bay Resort

Church Pressures Oaktree
The owner of Turtle Bay also manages funds for the United Methodist Church

By Kristen Consillio
Honolulu Star Bulletin

The pension and benefits arm of the United Methodist Church is pressuring the owner of Turtle Bay Resort to resolve its dispute with opponents of the resort's planned expansion.

Owner Oaktree Capital Management LP, which manages some of the $15 billion in assets of the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits of the United Methodist Church, has come under fire after Hawaii parishioners voiced concerns about whether the company is adhering to the church's strict social principles that deal with fairness, equity and the environment.

"We're aware there is a problem and encouraged Oaktree to find a resolution on those issues, so they know we're putting pressure on them from that standpoint," said Colette Nies, managing director of communications for the pension and benefits board. She added that the church has no economic interest in Turtle Bay.

Nies said that the board screens investment managers to ensure they are complying with the stringent social policies governing the church. The church could vote to remove Oaktree as a money manager if the company doesn't resolve the disputes surrounding the proposed expansion.

Oaktree is one of 46 investment managers for the pension and benefits board, which oversees the retirement, health and welfare benefits of more than 66,000 clergy and church employees nationwide, including roughly 8,000 workers in Hawaii.

But some local church leaders and parishioners believe that although the church has no interests in Turtle Bay, simply allowing Oaktree to manage their money conflicts with their beliefs.

"How do you make the distinction when you're engaging a firm that is violating the principles?" said Stanley Bain, a retired Methodist minister who lives in Kailua. "We are still using an investment manager which owns Turtle Bay. It's a gray area."

A local entity that represents 44 churches in the Hawaii district, which includes Guam and Saipan, sponsored a resolution to tighten guidelines for investment managers, after opposing Oaktree's plan to develop up to 3,500 hotel and condominium units on Oahu's rural North Shore.

The resolution was approved last week by a larger body of the church representing Southern California and the Pacific and will move on to the church's top governing entity next year.

"If a company is so bent on making money that they can't consider the needs of the people who live there, that's against our social principles," said Barbara Grace Ripple, pastor of a United Methodist church in Kaaawa and former superintendent of the Hawaii district. "I don't think Oaktree has the interest of the people of the Koolau region at heart. Oaktree is in this to make as much money as they can and get out."

Representatives of Oaktree Capital were not available for comment yesterday.

Suncoast Chapter Celebrates Surf Shop's 41st Anniversary

By Julie Pappas (Suncoast member)

As afternoon thunderstorms built in the east, and the Gulf lapped sadly lake like against the balmy white beaches to the west, members of the newly formed Surfrider Foundation Suncoast Chapter, came to chill with Joe Nuzzo and family, on Saturday, July 30th, in the cool atmosphere of DK’s Bouy on Blind Pass, St. Pete Beach, Florida to help them celebrate Suncoast Surf Shop’s 41st Anniversary.

In 1966, Suncoast Surfshop opened with not much more than a few hundred bucks , some beach sundries , and a few boards. It’s reported, on the net, that at the time it was illegal to surf in the Gulf. The original shop burned to the ground in 1995 and was thereafter replaced by the 2 story board-house of bright blue that stands today on Gulf Boulevard, Treasure Island, Florida.

Joe, 64, a lifetime surfer of these waters, and a long time Surfrider member, is a fixture to the beach community in and out of the water. Those who know Joe can spot his hair as white as his smile from shore and find him as warm as his deep tan.

In birthday tradition we ate cake! Thanks to Greg and Robyn of Surf Shack on St Petersburg Beach, they gave a giant sheet cake decorated as a surfy kind of day on the Gulf beaches. In laid back western Florida style we sipped icy drinks and mellowed to the sounds of Gail Tripsmith and Friends, while meshing with friends old and new over tasty eats. The pool table jammed on occasion, but Rachael and crew at DK’s did an A+ job catering to our insatiable thirst and kept us nibbling into the evening. All the while our lovelies moved the sand bucket around, first at the door, defying the heat outside to collect donations for our chapters needs, then bringing it indoors to make the rounds. At last count they collected $136.67.

At the height of the celebration Joe accepted leis from two of our loveliest members as his young son rode atop his shoulders and led the crowd in a round of “Happy Birthday” . Mike Meehan, the Suncoast Chapter Chairman presented a singing greeting card signed by all the chapter members present, wishing congratulations, many thanks for service and leadership over the years, and cheers for many more years to come. The tune? “Shining Star” by Earth Wind and Fire. Fitting.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Surf Sampling In Hawaii

Nearly all beach water sampling is done in ankle to knee-deep water along the shore. But what is the water quality like out in the waves and just beyond the surf line where surfers sit?

The answer is - we don't know. But thanks to a collaborative effort between Hawaii's Department of Health, the University of Hawaii Medical School and Surfrider's Oahu Chapter, we're about to find out. This may be the first systematic sampling of actual surf zone water quality anywhere.