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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Dolphin Slaughter in Japan

The following is from the Minds in the Water Visual Petition Web site:

Less than 24 hours after professional surfer Dave Rastovich led an international group of surfers, celebrities, and musicians on a peaceful paddle-out ceremony to honor the spirits of the over 25,000 dolphins killed each year in Japan, fishermen in the tiny village of Taiji resumed the slaughter that had been delayed by the increased worldwide media attention drawn by the group’s arrival in late October.

In response, this group, decided in solidarity to make a pre-dawn return to the killing cove to recreate the ceremony, albeit smaller, within a stone’s throw of the captive pilot whales, paddling through waters stained red with blood.

“The reason we surfers were there was to share the water, stained red with blood, at eye-level, with our ocean kin awaiting their execution,” said a dripping, visibly shaken Rastovich just after paddling in. “Despite the fishermen taking great pains to hide their acts of cruelty, we seized this as an opportunity to bring this travesty to the world’s attention”.

Area fishermen, who kill dolphins and whales for their meat, netted off the bay and constructed green tarps to shield the slaughter from prying eyes and front-line cetacean activists bent on shutting down the dolphin trade forever. When the surfers learned of over 30 pilot whales, including calves, being herded into the narrow rocky cove at Taiji, they did not hesitate to return despite the distinct possibility of violent resistance and police arrest.


Surfrider Australia Annual General Meeting Goes Off!

More than 75 people from around Australia and international destinations such as Hawaii and New Zealand attended the 2007 Surfrider Foundation Conference at the North Narrabeen Coastal Environment Centre on the weekend of 19-21 October. Special thanks to the Surfrider Northern Beaches Sydney Branch for organizing the fantastic event.

AGM participants listen to Claire Jackson's indigenous welcome.

In addition a paddle out was held to protest the near shore sewage outfall at Warriewood Headland that had around 70 starters, including Nick Carroll, Mayor of Pittwater, David James and local MP Rob Stokes, who arrived late after paddling down from Mona Vale. Click here for the full story.

- Writeup and photos by Don Norris (realsurf.com)

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Good News for Rincon

Rincon Septic-to-Sewer Plan Approved

The normally sleepy proceedings of the Carpinteria Sanitary District Board of Directors exploded this week as multimillion-dollar-home owners, their lawyers, and surfers descended on the scene looking to change what happens when toilets get flushed along Rincon Point.

For years, people have been getting sick after surfing the world-class waves of Rincon, often blaming their fevers, sore throats, ear infections, and stomach problems on the septic tanks that service the 72 homes in the gated Rincon Point community on the popular Carpinteria point break. Led by Santa Barbara nonprofit Heal the Ocean, a plan has been in motion for the better part of nine years to convert the individual septic tanks to a comprehensive sewage system under the jurisdiction of the Sanitary District. Tuesday, October 16, marked the final step in that long process: a tally of votes from Rincon Point homeowners as to whether or not they support the conversion.

According to the "unofficial" results, 41 of the 72 property owners voted in favor of the septic-to-sewer switch. Upon hearing the uncertified results, Heal the Ocean executive director Hillary Hauser was visibly emotional about what, to her, is a bittersweet victory: "After all these years I always imagined a big celebration on this day but instead, because of all this negativity and the accusations, it just seems so sad right now."


Monday, October 15, 2007

Munich Surfers

"I came across these guys on my recent trip to Munich. I'd walked through the Englischer Garten (English Garden - Munich's equivalent of New York's Central Park) when I saw a crowd gathered on a bridge. Where the small river spilled out of a tunnel it created this wave just downstream. There were seven or eight guys taking turns surfing the standing wave. They'd wait for someone to fall or get swept downstream, then expertly jump from the edge onto their boards on the face of the wave - almost like a skater hoping into a half-pipe. I saw a couple of guys ride for three minutes or longer, doing big roundabouts and cutbacks and occassionaly slapping the noses of their boards against the river wall.

"I couldn't tell if it was always ride-able or just after the recent rains - the river looked offcolor and swollen with runoff. I did hear it was illegal and that an Australian had died a few weeks earlier, but no one hassled the surfers while I was there."

--Paul Keltner


Bondi Beach, NSW – The Federal Environment Minister’s approval of Gunns’ Tamar Valley pulp mill has not resolved
uncertainties about the fate of toxic effluent in Bass Strait, the effect on the coastal environment, marine industries and
the potential health impact on recreational users of the coast, Surfrider Foundation Australia (SFA) Northern Tasmania
said today at a “Pulp Mill Public Meeting” held at Bondi Pavilion.

SFA Northern Tasmania science advisor, Dr Thomas Moore, said the scientific report commissioned by Minister
Turnbull confirms what SFA, as well as government and independent scientific consultants, have been saying since
September 2006 regarding the inadequate and unrealistic hydrodynamic modelling undertaken by Gunns.

“Not surprisingly, the Peacock Panel report confirms that Gunns has not done its ‘hydrodynamic homework’, has not
provided the necessary baseline data and analysis that would enable the Federal Minister to make a fully informed
decision on the pulp mill. Even more alarming is that the Chief Scientist’s report clearly states that the Federal
decision ignores independent advice regarding the threat of pollution on Tasmania's beaches and in state waters.
“It is difficult to comprehend how the Minister could approve the Tamar Valley mill without a precise scientific
understanding of the effects of dumping over 23 billion litres of industrial effluent per year along our wild, pristine

“Minister Turnbull has granted Gunns’ approval to commence construction before the necessary hydrodynamic and
sediment modelling work has been done. The proponent has been given a passing grade, yet they haven’t finished
their homework. This is unacceptable to all Australians who value the marine environment and their right to clean
beaches and coastal waters,” Dr Moore said.

The Peacock Panel found that, “construction and operation of the proposed mill poses some residual risks and
uncertainties” and that, “aspects of the submitted preparatory biological and hydrodynamic assessments for mill
establishment and operation were inadequate.”

According to the report, the missing modelling is, “essential to reliably define the extent of mixing and dispersion of
dissolved and particulate contaminants, and any likely depositional zones in sediments where contaminants, in
particular dioxins and furans, might accumulate to levels of concern . . .”

Dr. Moore said, “Malcolm Turnbull has told Australians that construction of Gunns pulp mill can go ahead despite this
uncertainly and risk because he has imposed so-called ‘safeguards’. It is difficult to see how this could be the case.
“If the required modelling subsequently shows the mill will have unacceptable environmental outcomes - especially on
our beaches and in coastal waters - it beggars belief that any Federal politician would, or even could, shut down a
newly built $1.7 billion mill with the fate of a vast corporation at stake. Malcolm Turnbull is playing a dangerous game
with Tasmania’s coastal environment,” Dr Moore said.

This week, Australia’s Chief Scientist, Dr Jim Peacock, publicly confirmed that if Gunns chooses to begin construction
before they finish the required modelling they do so at their hazard and that “any major concern . . . could negate the

Dr. Moore said, “The prudent course of action available to the Minister was to simply require the work demanded by
Peacock be completed and assessed before approval. Why did we receive this ham-fisted approach instead?
“No credible person can claim ‘science alone’ justifies approval for this mill, when the science clearly has not yet been
completed,” Dr Moore said.

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 amenities, and
indeed our fellow Australians.

The proposed Gunns Ltd pulp mill in the Tamar Valley will discharge over 23 GL (“Giga-litres” = billion litres)
of process effluent per annum into Bass Strait, approximately 2.7 km off Five Mile Bluff.1 According to
Gunns’ own documents the discharged mill effluent will likely contain over 160 “chemicals of interest”
including chloroacetic acids, resin acids, ammonia, metals, phenolics, benzene, hydrocarbons, chlorinated
hydrocarbons, aldehydes, ketones, and highly toxic persistent organic pollutants such as dioxin.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 both State and Federal assessments. 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 Peacock Panel report.

On April 18th, 2007 SFA Northern Tasmania wrote to the Minister for the Environment, Malcolm 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 through public hearings, ensure the protection of the marine environment, and restore public
confidence. This red flag from SFA was 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.

Surfrider advocates 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

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/

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Port Orford, Oregon: Stewardship Area Planning


by Leesa Cobb and Pete Stauffer

Port Orford, Oregon (September 7th, 2007) – Commercial fishermen in Port Orford are moving forward with plans to establish a “Community Stewardship Area” through a bottom-up process facilitated by the Port Orford Ocean Resource Team (POORT). Thirty-four local fishermen have recently signed their support for the concept, goals, and principles of a stewardship area that will encompass local fishing grounds and adjacent watersheds. The overarching purpose is to preserve the biological integrity of local marine resources, while supporting and promoting sustainable fisheries.

The process of establishing a stewardship area began nearly two years during a series of public meetings with fishermen, community leaders, and other stakeholders. Participants recognized that existing state and federal management could be greatly enhanced through engaging local residents in collaborative science, development of local management proposals, and watershed stewardship. An inclusive and transparent planning process was soon initiated involving fishermen and other interested members of the community. Surfrider's role has been to provide support for this effort with respect to community organizing, policy development, and water quality monitoring.

Stewardship area planning is embracing an ecosystem-based approach that prioritizes the sustainability of the entire nearshore system, including the resource users that are dependent upon it. The process is focused on integrating local knowledge to manage the marine environment at a finer scale that makes more sense for the community. As part of the planning effort, participants are also considering spatialmanagement approaches such as marine reserves that can help protect reproductive capacity of priority species, and provide insurance in the absence of detailed stock assessment information.

Additionally, the Port Orford Ocean Resource Team (POORT) is working to secure policy space for the community process at the state and federal levels.While current bottom- up efforts in PortOrford already provide significant benefits to both the resource and ocean users, the full benefits of such a process cannot be fully realized without formal recognition from government agencies. Accordingly, POORT is working to secure state-level endorsements of the process to support this bottom-up approach to ocean management.

Stewardship area planning has also benefited from strategic partnerships that provide support for community process. Project partners include Surfrider Foundation, Pacific Marine Conservation Council, Ecotrust,Golden Marine Consulting, and the Marine Resources Assessment Group. Engagement of these organizations is at the invitation of the POORT Board, and these groups add critical capacity for the process with respect to science, policy, and community organizing.

The plan for a Community Stewardship Area represents an unprecedented approach to managing marine resources. Through engaging fleet and community participation, the hope is to achieve an improvedmanagement scheme that will sustain and enhance traditional fisheries and the nearshore ecosystem,while avoiding the boom-and-bust cycle that has plaguedPortOrford and other fishing dependent communities in the past.

The Port Orford Ocean Resource Team is a local 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that involves commercial fishermen in the science, management, and marketing of its local fishery. For more information on stewardship area planning, please visit the Port Orford Ocean Resource Team(POORT) at their office, or on the website at oceanresourceteam.org.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Cape Fear 3rd Annual Clean Water Classic Huge Success

Wrightsville Beach-The weekend of October 6-7 marked the 3rd Annual Clean Water Classic Event for the Cape Fear Chapter. With over 200 people entering and watching the contest, the chapter was able to send their messages about water quality, beach access and the State of the Beach Report over the airwaves for 2 straight days.

Check out photos: http://www.curtis-photo.com/galleries/Recent/index.html

The Awards Banquet was attended by over 100 people and was held under the big top at Surf City Surf Shop (the Landing) on Wrightsville Beach, catered by K38 Inc and the Seapans steel drum band played again this year.

As usual a big thanks goes out to the ESA crew that always help make this happen and for Spy Sunglasses and Coastal Beverage for sponsoring the saturday night after party.

3rd Annual Cape Fear Clean Water Classic Results, 2007

Surf Shop Team Challenge
1st place Sweetwater Rippers

2nd place Surf City Crew

3rd place Aussie Island In the Eye

4th place Surf City Posse

5th place Aussie Island Nut Jobs

6th place Aussie Island East

Surf Shop Team Challenge Grom
1st place Dylan Kowalski, Sweetwater Rippers

2nd place Dalton Gilly, Surf City Posse

3rd place Zack Bland, Surf City Crew

4th place Corey Crist, Aussie Island Nut Job

Surf Shop Team Challenge Female
1st place Airlie Picket, Aussie Island East

2nd place Liz Hauser, Aussie Island #1

3rd place Margie Cox, Surf City Posse

4th place Darsha Pigford, Sweetwater Rippers

Surf Shop Team Challenge Longboard
1st place Tony Silvagni, Sweetwater Rippers

2nd place Tim McAuliffe, Surf City Crew

3rd place Randy Sellers, Surf City Posse

4th place Bryan Goodwin, Aussie Island Nut Jobs

Surf Shop Team Challenge Adult
1st place Will McEachern, Surf City Crew

2nd place Thomas Waldkarch, Aussie Island #1

3rd place Jesse McCrery, Aussie Island Nut Jobs

4th place Ben Powell, Sweetwater Rippers

Surf Shop Team Challenge Master
1st place Tony Butler, Sweetwater Rippers

2nd place Cain Faircloth, Surf City Crew

3rd place Daniel Sacchi, Aussie Island #1

4th place David Rydderch, Aussie Island Nut Jobs

Division Open Grom
1st place Cam Richards

2nd place Eric Kirby

3rd place Dylan Kowalski

4th place Evan Barton

5th place Weston Williams

6th place Alec Graves

Division Open Longboard
1st place Tony Silvagni

2nd place Drake Courie

3rd place Weston Williams

4th place Bill Curry

5th place Jeremy Robinson

6th place Josh Curry

Division Open Female
1st place Jassett Umbel

2nd place Jo Pickett

3rd place Airlie Pickett

4th place Kristen Kornegay

5th place Megan Goodwin

6th place Britany Gomulke

Division Open Guppie
1st place Nash Connor

1st place Nick Randise

1st place Malia Spear

1st place Conrad Andree

1st place Noah Connor

1st place Brandon Barrett

1st place Finn Howard

Division Open 18+
1st place Erik Schub

2nd place Richard Gilligan

3rd place Tony Silvagni

4th place Jimmy Mendello

5th place Slater Powell

6th place Nick Bland

Highest Scoring Wave Erik Schub $100

Best Air Slater Powell $100

College Tag Team

1st place UNCW Alumni

2nd place UNCW A

3rd place University of West Florida

4th place University of Central Florida


Bittersweet Victory for Bonaire Beach

On Tuesday, October 2, under a looming deadline imposed by Congressman Tim Mahoney, the Martin County Commission voted 3 to 2 in favor of a new inter-local agreement hastily amended in the final hours by the Town of Jupiter Island. The agreement was so late in coming, in fact, that it didn't even make it on Tuesday's agenda and the vote had to be scheduled for the very end of the day.

ON THE UP SIDE: Thanks to the efforts of the Surfrider Foundation and concerned Hobe Sound residents, the "No Trespassing" signs have been permanently removed from Bon Air Beach, the walking path has been cleared, and public beach access has been granted "in perpetuity." Of course, You'll have to hoof it or ride a bike a mile to enjoy Bon Air Beach, but at least you won't get arrested.

This may seem like an insignificant victory, but getting any kind of concession from the power brokers of Jupiter Island is a HUGE accomplishment. Perhaps for the first time ever, the foundation of the Jupiter Island Town Hall was shaken, just a little.

And thanks to YOUR petition with over 1,000 signatures, Congressman Mahoney has promised to amend his bill to allow for reasonable public access to the property for customary recreation use of the beach. This is our only insurance policy to protect public access to Bon Air Beach in case the inter-local agreement takes a dirt nap.

ON THE DOWN SIDE: The proposed parking plan is totally lame. The town of Jupiter Island has agreed to allow the the public to utilize 54 parking spots on weekends and holidays at the Jupiter Island Town Hall, but with a loooong list of restrictions, including no parking for bicyclists. (Just how are we supposed to get to Bon Air Beach?) The most disturbing part of this agreement is that there is a built in escape clause for Jupiter Island to back out of the deal with six months notice if they can cut a deal with the Feds to transfer their 54 parking spots to the Wildlife Refuge. While under this deal, the first 54 visitors to the refuge will get to park at no charge, it will negate any gain in parking spots on the island.

Martin County also tossed in a plan drafted in 2001 to expand the parking at Hobe Sound Public Beach by 20 to 30 spaces; however, there is currently no funding available, and according to Commissioner Weberman, the work is not scheduled to begin until 2013. Congressman DiTerlizzi, who negotiated the deal, has promised to come up with a source of funding within two years (but where will he be in two years to see that it is carried out?)

Ironically, while three of the Martin County Commissioners repeatedly stated that their biggest concern was to create new parking on Jupiter Island, they signed off on a deal that fails to ensure any gain in parking spots.

So, what has Jupiter Island given to Martin County to compensate for denying public parking at Bon Air Beach... a very slippery handshake. It's pretty obvious that the citizens of Martin County are getting the rough end of the pineapple on this deal.

HUGE THANKS to everyone that attended our public forums, spoke up at the commission meetings, wrote letters, collected signatures and and lent moral support to help Save Bon Air Beach for the public.

BIG UPS in particular to: Val Martin, Guy Hill, Joe Klosek, Nancy Odoardi, Juan Ayala, Doug Macrae, Greg Gardner, Janet Church, Drew Baker, Russ Gilbert, James Jolly, Dave Bernardini, Tom Fucigna, Mark Hill, Jordan and Tara Schwartz.

PROPS TO Martin County Commissioners Weberman and Valiere who had the good sense not to support a bad deal.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Cool Activist Pic!

Dear Surfrider,

I am a dedicated ocean activist from Florida but residing in (and current member of) the NYC Chapter of Surfrider Foundation. I frequent the NYC events almost every time they come through and I get the newsletter Making Waves. I read it all. This has to be the most well executed efforts for ocean activism and awareness-raising to date. I have surfed for 14 years and the past 4 years of cold city life has changed my appreciation for surfing altogether.

I just went on a great road trip through California. I surfed alot of San Diego County, and drove past a bunch of remote breaks in the Central Coast on my way to Sacramento. I have attached one of my favorite photos from the trip. Its a coldwater spot somewhere north of Pismo. It's surrounded by cliffs, it was macking and if you look close you'll see a couple brave guys on it. I'd love to share it with Soup!

-Albert Shelton

Brooklyn, NY