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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Surfrider Ensenada Beach Cleanup

Last weekend was a fun one! The Baja California Surfing Association ran their surf contest at 3m's and Surfrider Ensenada organized a beach cleanup. We gave out plastic bags, and while some surfers were competing others helped out by picking up trash along the beach. We picked up a good amount of trash considering how small the beach really is. In general, it was a great day!

Ricardo García
Surfrider Foundation Ensenada Chapter Organizing Committee

Raw Sewage Overflow Right to Know Act

As a Surfrider Foundation activist you should support the Raw Sewage Overflow Community Right to Know Act, a federal bill that would require a standardized public notification process for sewage spills in America’s waters.

A summary of the bill includes:

Raw Sewage Overflow Community Right to Know Act (HR 2452)
This bill is directed at preventing the sickness from waterborne illnesses that millions of Americans experience after coming into contact with water contaminated by sewer overflows. The bill mandates public notification of sewer overflows discharging waste into local waterways. The bill provides notification of sewer overflows by requiring sewage treatment operators to:
- Monitor their treatment works for sewer overflows using a management program or technology that will alert them of sewer overflows in a timely manner;
- Notify the public health officials, the general public and other affected downstream entities including drinking water suppliers of any sewer overflows that endanger human health; and
- Report to the state or the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on all sewer overflows within 24 hours of becoming aware of the overflow and follow-up with a written report explaining the duration and volume of the overflow and steps taken to mitigate the overflow and prevent recurrence.

If you want to learn more, the Act for Healthy Rivers coalition has a very informative webpage at http://www.healthyrivers.org/slog/2007/06/25/act-now-your-right-know# - be sure to watch the “Flushie” cartoon which truly brings to life (or “animates”) the gravity of the issue.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Pressure mounting on Gunns Pulp Mill...

As seen in The Australian

Printed August 27, 2007 10:36am AEST
Turnbull softens on pulp mill site
Sean Parnell | August 27, 2007

ENVIRONMENT Minister Malcolm Turnbull has for the first time declared he is "not unsympathetic" to calls for Gunns Ltd's controversial Tasmanian pulp mill to be shifted to a less-sensitive site.

In a sign the Government may pressure the giant timber company to come up with a more environmentally and politically acceptable site, Mr Turnbull yesterday reiterated he had not yet granted approval for the $2billion project, saying he had given its critics more time to comment. Businessman Geoffrey Cousins, a confidant of John Howard, is leading a campaign against the pulp mill, which is to be built in the heart of the Tamar Valley winegrowing and tourism region in northwest Tasmania.
There is a push to shift the mill from the marginal seat of Bass to an alternative site at Hampshire, near Burnie, about 100km to the west. Hampshire is in the seat of Braddon.

Asked at a public forum in Brisbane yesterday whether he was sympathetic to calls for the project to be moved, Mr Turnbull said: "I'm not unsympathetic." But he reminded the crowd of more than 500, who had turned out to hear him debate climate change with
Labor environment spokesman Peter Garrett, that his job was to assess the proposal in accordance with the relevant legislation -- or risk being sued.

Mr Cousins has vowed to campaign against Mr Turnbull in his eastern Sydney electorate of Wentworth in a bid to block the pulp mill. However, he was yesterday forced to deny a conflict of interest after it was revealed he held a 3.2 per cent stake in a baking business based in Launceston, up the Tamar River from the proposed mill
site. Mr Cousins angrily denied his stake in the 100 per cent owner of Cripps Nubake, June Investments, from which he is entitled to tens of thousands of dollars of dividends each year, represented a conflict.

Mr Turnbull's suggestion that he was not unsympathetic to a new mill site was a rare occasion during the 90-minute debate where he was cheered by the audience, which generally heckled and jeered the millionaire businessman and adored Mr Garrett like the rockstar he used to be. "Gunns has a proposal for a particular site, which we are assessing," Mr Turnbull said. "If they choose to abandon that, and put up a proposal for another site, we will look at that too. But it is not for me to tell Gunns, in
my capacity as Environment Minister ... where they should put their pulp mill. My job is to assess what they have put up and I am in the process of doing that. But I repeat, I have not given any approval (for), or made any decision to approve, on any basis, that pulp mill."

The debate showed that, even in Queensland, emotive issues such as the Tasmanian pulp mill project are potential vote-changers, and Labor -- which has a policy of supporting the state's forestry industry -- is not assured of the green vote.
When Mr Garrett was put on the spot and did not reject outright the proposal for a pulp mill in the Tamar Valley, saying only that it had to meet world's best environmental standards, his answers were met with hisses, cries of
"shame" and "you've sold out, Pete".

Gunns has chosen the site for the pulp mill because it is near two existing chip mills, the Tamar River, a port and all the required infrastructure. The company has promoted the economic benefits for the community and has sought to reassure the Tasmanian and federal governments the environmental impact can be minimised.
The company believes the Hampshire site -- where the company already has a chip mill -- would add to the cost and community burden of transporting logs because it is 100km inland.

The debate showed nuclear power and coal-fired power stations remain sensitive issues among green voters, and Mr Turnbull tried unsuccessfully to demonstrate flaws in Labor's anti-nuclear policy, with the crowd reacting more positively to Mr Garrett's rhetoric on the issue.

The proposed Traveston Crossing dam north of Brisbane was also a key point of discussion. Mr Turnbull is assessing the environmental impact of that project, but unlike with the Gunns pulp mill, was willing to criticise the Queensland Government for not looking at alternatives and failing to plan for population growth.
Mr Garrett said only that Labor was monitoring the Government's assessment of the Traveston Crossing Dam project.

Copyright 2007 News Limited. All times AEST (GMT +10).


Printed August 27, 2007 01:00am AEST
Proposed pulp mill needs a new home
August 27, 2007

IT is as if Tasmania is fated to be the stage on which Australians argue out the appropriate balance between economic growth and the environment. In the lead-up to the last election, then Labor leader Mark Latham's political suicide strategy included backing environmental activists over Tasmanian timber workers. Three years later, as another poll approaches, a similar high-stakes issue is in play that has the potential to make and break careers in state and federal politics and shape the direction of Tasmania's economy for decades to come.

This time the politician on the spot is federal Environment Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who must either approve or reject on environmental grounds a plan to build a $1.7 billion pulp mill at Longreach, on the Tamar River north of Launceston. This is more than a little unfair to Mr Turnbull. The project is primarily a state matter, which the Tasmanian Labor government supports. But the federal minister's ultimate authority over the environment means the final decision is his and Mr Turnbull's task is to find a way to end the present impasse between opponents of the mill, who do not want it any price, and supporters, especially Tasmanian Premier Paul Lennon, who has staked his political credibility on the plan. To have any hope of appeasing the legitimate economic and environmental arguments of both sides, Mr Turnbull's only option is to propose the plant goes ahead - at a different location.

There is no doubting the case for approving the Tasmanian conglomerate Gunns Ltd's plan for a plant that will turn 3.2 million tonnes of timber into paper stock. The company says the project will create 284 permanent jobs and expand the state's economy by $6.7 billion, or 2.5 per cent. Apart from deep Greens, for whom every tree is sacred, this is exactly the sort of value-adding project that opponents of wood chip exports should endorse. The mill will refine an Australian natural resource at home which could otherwise be taken offshore. And the company points to its own research to show that the mill will be "the world's greenest". These arguments have
convinced the state Government and leading Liberals, as well as forestry union bosses, who are all keen to see an end to the arguing. Even Labor leader Kevin Rudd, who, unlike Mr Latham, will want to avoid alienating Tasmanian voters, has made positive noises about the mill. (Although his environment spokesman, Peter
Garrett, is uncharacteristically quiet).

But none of the arguments in favour of the mill convince all of the people on the ground. The fishing industry worries about the impact of the mill's effluent, which would be pumped directly into Bass Strait. People growing grapes and in tourism fear for their future if their claim to be an area in touch with nature is contradicted by an enormous industrial site. There are suggestions that people in the nearby city of Launceston will be at risk from increased air pollution (although the CSIRO says this is not so). And the mill's opponents have their own economic modelling that presents the plant as a liability, costing jobs in agriculture and especially tourism,
which already employs three times more Tasmanians than the timber trades. These arguments are convincing enough to have attracted supporters of all political persuasions, including two of the Prime Minister's pals, the Government's man on the board of Telstra, Geoffrey Cousins and senator Bill Heffernan. It all goes to make the issue less a mill than a minefield, unless Mr Turnbull can find a way to keep both sides if not happy, then at least resigned to a compromise that sees the plant built in Tasmania but, as Senator Heffernan suggests, somewhere it
would be welcome.

Such as Hampshire, inland from the port city of Burnie, and 100km from the project's present site. Gunns says that Hampshire is not on, due to its distance from a dock. This is not an argument easily ignored. The present proposal includes a wharf on the Tamar River where the plant's one million tonnes of pulp would be directly loaded on to ships for export. In contrast, product produced at Hampshire would have to be trucked nearly 30km to Burnie's harbour. But this limitation is outweighed by one enormous advantage - a plant at Hampshire would be surrounded by forest, not vineyards and bed & breakfasts, and the Mayor of Burnie says his constituents would love what many of the people of Launceston and the broad Tamar region manifestly loathe.

Popular opinion is not a consideration that seems to have weighed heavily with either Gunns or Mr Lennon in the way the pulp mill was pushed through the planning process. But what is good for Gunns is not always best for Tasmania. It is time for Gunns and Mr Lennon to have another look at the Hampshire site, or any other appropriate location, unless they want to risk having the decision on the plant made for them from Canberra.

Copyright 2007 News Limited. All times AEST (GMT +10).

Activist Pic

Check out this cool pic sent in by Surfrider Foundation Activist, Warren Overman.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Cape Fear Chapter Makes Wrightville Beach "Barefoot Friendly"

After competing with 9 other beaches in the Barefoot Wines "Beach Rescue Vote," the Cape Fear Chapter won the opportunity to team up with Barefoot Wines, Luscious Jackson singer Jill Cuniff, and Sophia Bush from the television show "One Tree Hill" in Wrightsville Beach this past weekend. This beach rescue project was the 6th of 7 nationwide events.

More than 100 volunteers showed up to the beach clean up and after party @ Tower 7 Baja. Other chapter activists from Volusia/Flagler and Charleston Chapters were able to participate since they were in town for the East Coast Wahine Championships.

The Cape Fear chapter's current campaigns include Saving Beach Access 33 and Stoping the Discharge of Sewage into their rivers.

Check out all the media:

WWAY-TV, the ABC affiliate in Wilmington, NC. http://www.wwaytv3.com/students_surfers_celebrities_pick_up_beach_trash/08/2007

Splash News Online

Huffington Post



Ninja Dude

Gossip Rocks


Fatbacks and Collards


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Fuel spill threatens killer whale habitat

Fuel was spilled at Robson Bight, an area frequented by orcas.
Photograph by : Marc Furney, Times Colonist

Two-kilometre-long slick spotted at Robson Bight off Island's northeast coast

Judith Lavoie, Times Colonist
Published: Monday, August 20, 2007

A barge loaded with logging equipment, including a fuel truck carrying diesel fuel, turned turtle yesterday and dropped its load into the water at Robson Bight, the protected area where threatened northern resident killer whales feed and rub their bellies.

An oily sheen, about two kilometres long, could be seen on the water shortly after the accident and environmental groups say it is almost inevitable some of the 60 whales known to be in the immediate area will come in contact with the fuel.

"There couldn't have been a worse place for this to happen. It's the only protected rubbing beach on the coast of B.C.," said Jennifer Lash of the Living Oceans Society.

Complete Article

Posted by T. Armstrong

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


Last night, Australia's ABC 730 evening news program had a five minute segment on the Gunns Pulp Mill battle that our N. Tasmania Surfrider Branch has been fighting. Branch chair Peter Whish-Wilson appears several times commenting on the project and gets the last word!



Media enquiries:
Peter Whish-Wilson, President
P: 0410 754 728
E: pwhish-w@bigpond.net.au

MEDIA RELEASE August 17, 2007

Launceston, Tasmania – The global resources of the Surfrider Foundation were engaged last week to successfully assist in an international pulp mill tour by Tasmanian parliamentarians, visiting Chile as part of a global “fact finding” trip.

This tour was conducted prior to Tasmanian parliament voting at the end of August on a controversial proposal to build one of the worlds largest Kraft Pulp Mills in the Tamar Valley, Tasmania, which has been proposed by timber company Gunns Ltd, and has strong support from the Tasmanian Labour Government. The proposed mill site is located in a tourist sensitive area and would dump up to 30 billion litres of industrial effluent into Bass Strait per annum, close to key surfing breaks on the north coast of Tasmania.

One member of the visiting delegation, Ruth Forrest, MLC for the seat of Murchison, was hosted by Joshua Berry, surfer and director of marine conservation group “Save the Waves Coalition", for a one day, overnight tour of the areas surrounding the recently established Nueva Aldea Pulp Mill in Chile. During the visit she met local vineyard owners, agricultural workers, fisherman, health professionals, marine scientists and the local Mayor and tourism board of the fishing town of Cobquecura located in Southern Chile.

“There are two sides to every story,” said Peter Whish-Wilson President of the Surfrider Foundation Australia Northern Tasmanian Branch, who helped organise this tour. “This day of meetings was deliberately designed to show different perspectives on the potential impacts of this proposed Pulp Mill in Tasmania that Ms. Forrest may not have received on the official tour with the other parliamentarians.”

Ms. Forrest was able to meet with local vineyard tourism operators who expressed their concern over foul odours and the negative impacts the mill was having on their businesses, health professionals who treated health problems from these odour emissions within local communities, as well as fisherman and town officials who expressed concern over the Mill’s negative social and economic impacts on their local communities.

Dr. Sandor Mulslow, an experienced marine scientist and member of the UN Seabed Authority, also met and travelled with Ms. Forrest and briefed her on
the many ecological and environmental problems encountered at another recently commissioned Chilean Pulp Mill in Valdivia. The Valdivia mill has been shutdown several times since it was recently commissioned due to technical difficulties and pollution problems, and has been the subject of significant independent scientific marine studies at the University of Valdivia.

“We have considerable respect for Ms. Forrest’s decision to agree to take this tour, and for not being afraid to meet and listen to genuine, concerned people in Chile, who have no corporate interest in Pulp Mills. The Surfrider Foundation are happy to provide her with any feedback or follow up on concerns raised during her many meetings,” commented Peter Whish-Wilson. “We are especially pleased with the way the Surfrider Foundation and its global marine conservation partner Save the Waves Coalition have been able to co-operate and share resources on such an
important opportunity, with such short notice”.

Ms. Forrest’s meetings were filmed with her permission during the tour, and may feature as part of a documentary made by independent Californian film maker Sachi Cunningham. Due to be released in 2008, this documentary focuses on the impacts of forestry businesses on South American communities and ecology.

More specific detail on this tour can be found below, for additional information contact Peter Whish-Wilson on 0410754728. /ENDS

The tour started at 2.00pm on Monday 6th August with a visit to a small vineyard directly bordering the Nueva Aldea mill. Victor Rabanal, proprietor, showed the group his largely abandoned salesroom whose drop in sales he directly blames on the giant mill's proximity and its odors. The group walked the fields and spoke with agricultural workers trimming vines about the mill's strong odors and its negative effect on tourism, wine sales, and visitors.

The group then visited the town council of Nipas, a small riverside town 12 kilometers West of the mill. Two town council members, a health professional and a dentist, recounted to Ms. Forrest their medical experience with the mill's odor problems and its impact on local residents. Sandor Mulsow, a visiting scientist from Valdivia, was present to recount his experience in Valdivia from a similar pulp mill.

The tour then left Nipas and followed the Itata River out to its mouth at the Pacific Ocean, where the mill company is building a large pipeline to evacuate the mill's liquid effluents directly into the Pacific Ocean less than 2km offshore.

Later in the evening a dinner was hosted by Julio Fuentes, the mayor of the small coastal village of Cobquecura and leader of the opposition to the mill's waste pipeline. Also present at the dinner were local fishermen, opposition members of Salvemos Cobquecura and tourism operators. The town of Cobquecura is dependent on fishing and tourism and the mill's pollution directly threatens that livelihood, so opposition is fierce.

The next morning a breakfast meeting between local tourism operators, Ruth Forrest and Sandor Mulsow clarified the town's concerns over water pollution and the science of the waste pipeline.

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.
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.

Surfrider advocates for the sustainable management and use of the coastal zone, including coastal river catchments and offshore activities. Our opportunities to enjoy the coast: its clean water, its biodiversity and its spectacular landforms, are influenced by the actions of individuals, the aspirations of business, and the policies of all levels of government. Surfrider aims to increase awareness of many issues impacting on our enjoyment of the coast, and to ensure that our children have similar opportunities to enjoy it as we have today.

Surfrider is part of a larger, international Pacific Rim Pulp Mill Coalition, advocating responsible and effective coastal environmental management standards from pulp mill operators. In 1991 Surfrider Foundation USA won the second largest Clean Water Act suit in United States history against two pulp mills in Humboldt County, California. As a result of the legal action the Louisiana Pacific’s Samoa pulp mill was converted to a closed-cycle, totally chlorine-free (TCF) process.

For further information visit the SFA website at: http://www.surfrider.org.au/

Save the Waves is an environmental coalition dedicated to preserving the world's surf spots and their surrounding environments. Their goal is to preserve and protect surfing locations around the planet and to educate the public about their value. Save the Waves works in partnership with local communities, foreign and national governments, as well as other conservation groups to prevent coastal development from
entering the surf zone.

Monday, August 20, 2007


Gustavo Huici, President of the SF Argentina Affiliate Organizing Committee was in today's Mar del Plata daily newspaper, La Capital, asking people to participate in a survey of beach trash happening on September 2 in partnership with the Natural Patagonia Foundation.

"Nosotros somos la causa y la solución de la contaminación", aseguró Gustavo Huici, presidente de la entidad ecologista Surfrider Argentina. Convocó a participar del censo de contaminación costera, que se realizará el 2 de septiembre.

"We are the cause and the solution of contamination," said Gustavo Huici, President of Surfrider Argentina. He is asking people to participate in a survey of coastal contaminiacion to be held on September 2.

Read the full article here in Spanish and click here for an English translation.


MP's mill trip reveals woes
Article from: The Sunday Tasmanian

August 19, 2007 12:00am

A SPIKE in nausea, vomiting and headaches in children and a downturn in sales at local vineyards were among the impacts of a Chilean pulp mill, Murchison MLC Ruth Forrest said yesterday.
Ms Forrest recently returned from a 10-day tour of pulp mill operations in South America and Scandinavia funded by the State Government.

Meetings with mill operators were facilitated by Tasmanian timber company Gunns Limited, the proponent of the proposed $1.7-billion pulp mill development in the Tamar Valley.

The delegation of five independent MLCs and two Liberal MHAs delivered a largely glowing report of their visit to three modern mills in Chile, Brazil and Finland.

But when Ms Forrest left the official tour for just 24 hours, she discovered a very different picture.

The Australian Surfrider Foundation used its global contacts to arrange her visit to towns around the Nueva Aldea mill in Chile, commissioned in 2005.

The other delegates were invited but did not attend because of time constraints. On the official tour, the mill's operators boasted the mill had created 10,000 direct and indirect jobs.

But residents of the extremely poor surrounding regions told Ms Forrest very few locals made up that number.

By contrast, she was told the local wine industry, which was started by Jesuit monks in the 1500s and employed 6000 people, had suffered since the mill was built.

"I spoke to two vineyard operators who were within hundreds of metres of the fence and they both reported significant odour problems during the commissioning phase," Ms Forrest said.

"They produced wine for the domestic market and relied heavily on cellar-door sales and said there had been a drop off when the wind was blowing steam from the mill across the highway."

One operator had abandoned plans to add a cafe and wine-tasting centre to his business since the mill had been built.

Local doctors said many children presented with nausea and headaches on days of high odour.

However, they said it was too early to determine whether emissions had contributed to an increase in chronic disease and respiratory problems.

During the commissioning phase, concluded only in October last year, a school had to be closed for a day and Catholic mass at a local church cancelled because of the unbearable stench.

Odour incidences had decreased, but not disappeared since October, community representatives said.

The local fishing industry was also concerned about plans for the mill to discharge effluent 2km off a popular surf beach.

Ms Forrest acknowledged the odour-abatement technology of the Gunns pulp mill was more advanced, but said her experiences highlighted the need for tough permits and guidelines to govern emissions during the start-up phase.

She said it was disappointing her colleagues did not join the side-trip. "I just hope they are willing to believe what I tell them," she said.

La Herradura, Peru - 24 Hours after the Quake

This just in from friends in Lima, Peru who are poised to launch a Surfrider Chapter Organizing Committee there. We checked in with them after the quake and this was what they sent back.

Submitted by Raul@PeruSurfGuides.com

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Teens Go Green- Teen Choice Awards Beach Clean Up This Friday

The theme of the Teen Choice Awards this year is "Teens Go Green" and in an effort to promote environmental responsibility to the younger generation, the Surfrider Foundation has partnered with FOX to help promote the 2007 Teen Choice Awards.

"Teen Choice 2007: A Beach Clean Up"
Friday, August 17th 2007 from 8a.m. - 10a.m.
Santa Monica Pier
380 Santa Monica Pier
Santa Monica, CA 90401
Park in lot 1N and look for the Surfrider tent just north of the Pier.

The first 40 people to sign in at the clean up will receive a pair of tickets to the 2007 Teen Choice Awards. Everyone who participates will receive a free Teen Choice T-Shirt. Trash bags and gloves will also be provided. Good Day L.A. and KIIS FM will also be broadcasting live from the event.

The Teen Choice Awards will take place on Sunday, August 26th, 5p.m. at the Gibson Amphitheater. While we don't have all the details, we know this much. Hilary Duff and Nick Cannon will be co-hosting. Other stars that are scheduled to appear include Jessica Alba, America Ferrera, Megan Fox, Emmy Rossum, Lauren Conrad, Miley Cyrus, Anna Paquin, Eve, Dane Cook, Taylor Kitsch, Ryan Reynolds, Zac Efron, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Rob & Big, and Ashlee Simpson. Kelly Clarkson and Avril Lavigne will be performing. But that's just for starters -- we're hearing that new celebs are still yet to be announced. And lots of others will surely be in the audience.

If you have any questions, or would like to RSVP email us at info@surfrider.org. We hope to see all of you there!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

More Tweed Coast Development - Another nail in the coffin?

This just in from Surfrider Foundation Australia:

Media Release - 15/8/07

Seaside Development on the Tweed Coast - NSW
Final Piece of the Puzzle – Or Another Nail in the Coffin ...

Richtech Pty Ltd have announced the commencement of the next stage of development of the Tweed Coast between the Casuarina and Salt communities, and have described the ongoing development of this treasured section of the NSW North Coast as, ‘the final piece in the jigsaw puzzle’. Surfrider Foundation Australia believes that this is a very serious matter, not a game, as the Developers have chosen to promote it.

Chris Tola, Chairman of Surfrider Foundation Australia said, “In this age of climate change awareness, severe storm warnings and ongoing coastal degradation, it is inappropriate for developers to see the unsustainable development of the Tweed Coast as a “jigsaw puzzle”.

Surfrider Foundation Australia reminds the Developer and Tweed community that beaches adjacent to the Seaside development area are a recorded turtle nesting site, and the beach should be protected for this reason. The development and associated pedestrian activity may disturb sea turtle nesting behaviour, a problem highlighted on the same stretch of beach during assessment of the Casuarina and Salt developments.

“It is encouraging to see the developer using environmental rehabilitation commitments as a marketing tool, however, the public must be aware that they are forced to do so by conditions applied in the planning approval process.” Said Mr Tola. As with Salt and Casuarina, the Developer has had to comply with approval conditions by funding the rehabilitation of degraded coastal vegetation adjacent to their site.

‘The Seaside subdivision plan is an insensitive design that is merely repeating the mistakes of the Gold Coast’ Mr Tola said. Highlighting the historic nature of the developments original application, Mr Tola commented, “If the plans were approved in 1920, surely the planning approvals should be revised, as they are no longer valid today. If the same logic was held across the board, we would still be driving cars without seatbelts and smoking in the office!” Chris went on to say.

Another disturbing feature of this coastal ribbon development is the fact that the opportunity to live close to and enjoy coastal amenity is increasingly being denied to those who cannot afford multi million dollar resort style accommodation. “The Tweed Region is known to be one of the most difficult places in NSW to find affordable homes or rental accommodation. We can rest assured that this development will not contribute answers to this problem.”

Surfrider Foundation Australia opposes the ongoing destruction of the Nation’s coasts and marine environments, and the Seaside development is close to a perfect example of how not to do things.


Media enquiries: Mr Chris Tola, Chairman, Surfrider Foundation Australia 0438 203964

Monday, August 13, 2007

Fetch A Wave

Saint, having just gotten a start-off push from his owner, Kathleen Yeung, shows his fine surfing form on a wave at Morro Bay. San Luis Obispo Tribune/Jayson Mellom

Check Out This Cool Article!!!!

A golden retriever with hot-dog moves is a surfing star on the Central Coast
By Patrick S. Pemberton - San Luis Obispo Tribune

On a foggy morning in Morro Bay, a 3-year-old golden retriever named Saint is so stoked he can hardly stand it.

It's not just because there are birds he can chase -- though Saint certainly likes to chase birds. It's more because his owner is prepping his board and the conditions today are glassy.

At first, Saint leaps down the boulders that lead to the beach. Then he runs in circles on the sand before bolting into the water. He charges a few birds, and when he sees a photographer nearby, the now-wet pooch makes a beeline to the man with the cameras.

"His favorite thing to do is to go up to a photographer and shake," says Saint's owner, Kathleen Yeung. And he does just that.

But the real excitement comes when Yeung connects the 71-pound dog to a 7-foot, 2-inch surfboard and heads for the water, as if beckoned by the spirits of Duke Kahanamoku, Mickey Dora and Max the surf dog.

Saint was given to Yeung, a 27-year-old phlebotomist at French Hospital Medical Center in San Luis Obispo, by a co-worker when Yeung's father was dying of cancer.

Whenever Yeung would take Saint to the beach, he wanted to do whatever she did. So when she and her friends took surfboards into the water, Saint followed, eager to (dog) paddle out.

"He wasn't afraid at all," says Yeung, who lives in Atascadero.

Saint's first few attempts at surfing ended with wipeouts. But those early attempts seemed to give him inspiration to keep trying, and soon he looked more comfortable in the lineup.

Then he got good.

"He's better than a lot of my friends," Yeung says. "He's better than me, that's for sure. He'll catch waves I can't even catch. He's gotten barrels. I've never gotten barrels."

Typically, Yeung gives Saint's board a little shove just before the wave arrives, then the standing canine takes over.

Favorite of photographers
But one of his best waves, in Santa Cruz, was all Saint.

"He sometimes catches his own waves," Yeung says. "He just bends down a little. And he caught this one that just barreled him. I thought he wiped out. But a photographer was on the beach taking pictures of everyone, and he said Saint caught that barrel and jumped off just before the close-out."

So many people photograph Saint that Yeung has loads of pictures without having to take any herself (which is good, because she's usually on the other side of the wave and can't see what happens).

One photo, taken by Morro Bay resident Mike Baird, was used for a flier when Saint was briefly dog-napped in Baja California. Yeung was careful not to post fliers of Saint surfing, figuring thieves would be less likely to return a dog with such skills. Saint eventually was returned, and Yeung shaved his name into his fur to prevent more abductions.

A multisport hound
Baird also photographed Saint on his best day. In those photos, Saint is pictured coolly dropping into 6-foot waves -- or triple overhead, in dog surf-speak.

In addition to surfing, Saint likes soccer, moving the ball with his nose. He's also into hiking and climbing, and he's a certified therapy dog, trained to provide affection and comfort as a volunteer at French Hospital and a women's shelter.

A well-traveled pet, he's hit the surf in places such as Jalama Beach in Santa Barbara County, Black's Beach in San Diego and Ocean Beach in San Francisco.

Whenever he's in a car near the beach, Yeung says, Saint quickly jumps toward the windshield, seemingly scoping out the swell.

While he has been featured on Web sites and a local television station, more stardom could be coming. Yeung and her friends are making a "Karate Kid"- like movie called "The Tao of Saint," starring Saint as the sage mentor (with an Italian accent, it turns out) who teaches a young man to surf. And Saint plans to compete in the Surf Dog Surf-a-Thon in Del Mar next month.

Yeung thinks he'll be heads and tails above the rest.

"I know he'll win," Yeung says. "He's just really, really chill on the board."

Riding a doozy
As Saint and Yeung paddle out, a surfer walks by, amused. He points his thumb toward the beach and with a grin says, "A surfing dog."

On Saint's first wave, a 2-footer, he starts out in the yogi-preferred downward-dog pose -- a hot-dog move if there ever was one -- and rides it until a shore breaker clears the deck. Saint runs to the beach, his board still attached, and gallops on the sand.

The second takeoff is a little steeper. Saint makes the nice drop but eats it soon after. Again, he frolics. The third wave results in a wipeout that sends him slightly airborne.

"He wipes out about half the time," Yeung says, smiling.

But the fourth ride is a doozy -- a ride that would parallel the best at any surfing hot spot. Steady all the way, Saint rides this one to the beach, ending nonchalantly with a lick of the lips.

When his leash is detached, Saint again takes off running. Because when you're a surfing pooch, the dog days of summer are all good.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

GoodSearch.com & Volcom Join The Movement To Help Surfrider Foundation

GoodSearch.com is a new search engine that donates half its revenue to the charities its users designate. Just click here and start searching. Just 1,000 of us searching four times a day will raise more than $14,000 in a year without any of us spending a dime (the money comes from the GoodSearch advertisers)! In addition, Volcom and GoodSearch have teamed up to help raise awareness and funds for Surfrider Foundation. So, be sure to check out GoodSearch on August 8 as we are going to be featured as the Charity of the Day!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007


This just in from Surfrider Australia. It's a press release from the government of the State of Queensland discussing the strengthening and addition of layers to the current laws protecting iconic areas including Noosa, pictured here, courtesy of Surfline.

Joint Statement:
Premier and Minister for Trade
The Honourable Peter Beattie

Minister for Local Government, Planning and Sport
The Honourable Andrew Fraser


The State Government will introduce new laws to give even greater protection to the state's internationally-recognised natural icons located in areas of new regional councils.

Premier Peter Beattie said the Iconic Queensland Strategy would give the force of state law to already existing planning schemes in such environmentally significant and important areas as Noosa, Port Douglas, the Whitsunday region and the Fraser Coast area.

"The current planning schemes in areas like Port Douglas and Noosa work well and have been administered by councils which largely stick rigidly to the plans," Mr Beattie said.

"What the government will do is legislate to ensure those planning schemes now have more grunt and the clout to ensure icons like the Daintree and the Great Sandy Straits and the Great Barrier Reef and the environmentally sensitive areas of the Sunshine Coast are given even more protection.

"Councils come and go but by doing this, the government gives legislative protection to safeguard our icons for future generations.

"Of course, appropriate development will continue but with the new laws, planning schemes in these areas become more powerful than ever.

"Since we announced the reforms to local government, we've heard the message and people are worried that the planning schemes of areas like Noosa and Port Douglas will be a thing of the past.

"I can assure them today that this will not be the case - we understand that these are international icons and we are just as determined as residents to ensure they remain that way."

Local Government and Planning Minister Andrew Fraser said the government would nominate the key regions of Noosa and Port Douglas but other councils were also encouraged to nominate for iconic status.

He said the government would then determine if iconic status was warranted.

Mr Fraser said iconic status could include:
Areas of state or national significance
Areas of historical significance
Areas of unique natural environment
World Heritage areas like the Reef, Daintree & Sandy Straits
"Internationally, Queensland is environmentally unique and there are very few other places who could match our areas of iconic importance," Mr Fraser said.

"Councils with areas of iconic significance like Douglas and Noosa have strong planning schemes in place and with the new laws they become stronger under the new regional councils for these areas."

Further inquiries: Premier's Office: 3224 4500



Rio de Janeiro – The "Marvelous City" was host to one of the LIVE EARTH shows, a worldwide event with the objective of calling the world’s attention to environmental concerns, with special focus on global warming. Surfrider Foundation Brazil was invited by the direction of LIVE EARTH to participate in the event on Copacabana Beach.

A large recruitment, training and coordination scheme was put together for approximately 350 volunteers with enlistment being made through the official LIVE EARTH website. Surfrider tents were mounted on the sand of Copacabana Beach to receive and sign up the volunteers as well as giving general support for the activity.

The main environmental objective of SRF’s participation was to greatly minimize the disposal of rubbish on the sand during the event illustrating to the public that it is possible recycle and reutilize the great majority of waste generated by the event.

Also participating in the event were FEBRACOM (Recycling Cooperative Federation) and COMLURB (Municipal Waste Collection Agency) who collected, separated and later sent to recycling industries the solid waste generated by the event. Coordination of the process was by Seven Star, an American company specialized in environmental administration of events.

The action began at 10:00 in the morning with all of the Surfrider volunteers gathered at the main Surfrider base, where they received training, discourse given by the Surfrider coordinators and the plastic bags, bandanas and official LIVE EARTH T-Shirts where given out.

Immediately after this training and distribution of material the 350 volunteers gathered on the beach, all holding hands in the formation of a giant SOS which could be clearly seen from on top of the tall beach side buildings. “We are going to send a message. A giant message - Send an SOS to the World”, commented Glenn Suba, one of the SRF coordinators who put together the message.

The educational activities approaching the public began around 12:00 at the principal access points to the show. Volunteers handed out biodegradable plastic bags, explaining to the public and street sellers about the problems caused by accumulation of rubbish on the beach and the necessity that we recycle. The distribution of these bags was a solution to the fact that it is difficult and risky to spread rubbish bins throughout a packed half million audience therefore the idea was that each person takes care of his own and drop it off at one of the many clearly visible recycling points spread throughout the event area.

Some of the volunteers also carried signs with high impact educative phrases such as “Just leave your footprints on the beach” and “Remember, today is show tomorrow is beach” among others. Another activity was created by the Ad Agency Script, partner of Surfrider, a three meter high sign with a red mark indicating where the sea level could be in the future with the following phrase -“In a few years sea level could be at this point. Help us fight Global Warming“.

In the VIP area a Surfrider poster was distributed to the guests with the “Stupid Cycle” campaign and printed on the back was a translated and contextualized version of the LIVE EARTH consumption habit changes that each and every one of us can and should do. The art was created by Script an advertising agency and partner of Surfrider Brasil.

The enthusiasm of the volunteers was infectious and a large march was organized on the spur of the moment when the show began, down the Copacabana board walk through the crowd, signs held high, dancing and cheering, attracting a lot of attention, snaking through the packed audience to the front and into the reserved area in front of the stage. Then in Indian file passed with 15-20 signs facing the crowd from one side of the show to the other, provoking a massive cheer and ovation of approval.

What we saw at LIVE EARTH was not just a collection of national and international pop music stars, united toward a noble cause, we also witnessed the force that each of them have in mobilizing, educating and sending the message to the world, that the planet really needs help, needs attitude and the commitment of everyone.

This event served as an important warning for us to re-evaluate our relationship with the planet. That we need to change, now!!!

Watch the video of Surfrider’s participation at Live Earth.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Surfrider teams up with Basque coast surf schools

This summer, Surfrider Foundation Europe is partnered with Basque coast surf schools in an effort to educate their students with regards to coastal environmental issues. Students who participate in the program will receive a limited edition t-shirt, a sticker and a Surfrider membership.

Surfrider public awareness campaign on train between Paris and Marseille

Surfrider Paris and Marseille Chapters have teamed up with IDTGV to launch a beach friendly public awareness campaign on the train running between Paris and Marseille during the month of August.

1000 Activists To Jump in the Ocean

Surfrider Europe's Girond Chapter will team up with the Sooruz Lacanau Pro on Monday, August 13, to organize 1000 surfers and coastal enthusiasts to form a floating human chain in a public awareness stunt to demonstrate their solidarity in the need to protect the ocean, waves and beaches. Click here for more info.