It was a packed house Monday evening as the Newport City Council held a public hearing to consider a new agreement with Georgia-Pacific for the use of city rights-of-way for G-P's treated effluent pipeline. Newport volunteer coordinator Beth Wiley and activist Katie Trautman fashion thier concerns. Thanks to all those who came out in support of our recommendations!
City of Malibu bans both regular and biodegradable bags
The City of Malibu proved to be a leader in local ordinances by banning both regular and biodegradable bags in all retail stores at their City Council meeting last night (5/12/08).
Zuma Lagoon in Malibu - dotted with floating plastic bags - May 2008 - Photo by: N. Hastings
Ordinance 323 was passed unanimously by the Malibu City Council members after a presentation by the local Boys and Girls Club and Heal the Bay. West LA/Malibu Chapter Executive Member Andrea Boccaletti presented testimony on behalf of the Chapter describing the prevalence of plastic bags at the beach clean up in Zuma Beach last weekend. Angela Howe spoke on behalf of Surfrider to tell about our Rise Above Plastics campaign efforts and the need for local leadership on a municipal level, especially in Malibu where Surfrider began in 1984.
A lot of people questioned the reasoning behind banning biodegradable bags? Well, the conditions required for these bags to biodegrade - heat, pressure and bacteria - are not the same in the ocean as on land... and bottom line... biodegradable bags kill marine life.
This is an important win in the fight against plastics. Several members of the West LA/Malibu Chapter were on hand to support the plastic bag ban, and residents thanked Surfrider Foundation for our testimony.
A tale of a young girl who finds out about our world's dependence on the ocean, and the beauty and life we would forsake if we lost its bounty...
"Working with award-winning filmmakers (Sea Studios Foundation) and animation studio (LAIKA/house) the Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard Medical School produced a 10-minute film that reconnects its audience to the importance of the marine environment for all life on Earth, including human life. Unlike conventional natural history documentaries, the film title Once Upon a Tide, is a fictional narrative that blends the moral and visual elements of a fairy tale to inspire us to recognize the importance of ocean conservation. This modern day fable is an innovative educational approach that will be shown in aquari-ums, museums, theaters and schools nationally and internationally. Film distribution includes educational ‘take-away’ guides for viewers."
This Monday, The Oregon Coast Aquarium’s Youth Volunteers, as part of their collaborative project with Newport Chapter of Surfrider Foundation, presented their winter project to Newport City Council on their findings and recommendations for Nye creek water quality issues. Through the creation of a youth volunteer group, Nye – Awareness, Research, Monitoring and Stewardship (ARMS), the Newport Chapter was aiming to get some better public messaging about the water quality issues facing Nye Beach and creek.
Renee Rensmeyer, youth volunteer coordinator, worked with local chapter members to mentor the Nye ARMS winter project. The kids, over the course of the winter project, helped increase monitoring and source ID efforts, tracked storm drain pollution and helped direct the city’s smoke and dye testing of the storm drain lines for sewage misconnections (helping to identify 5 sewer lines connected to the stormdrains…yuck!). Additionally the group did stewardship cleanups, mapping and finalized their project with a powerpoint presentation and ordinance recommendations for the Newport City Council.
Kelly Slater Partners with Eddie Vedder for Event to Support Trestles
On April 19th Kelly Slater launched his new foundation with an evening event featuring an acoustic performance by Eddie Vedder. They raised over $350,000 dollars to benefit several environmental groups, including the Save Trestles Campaign. Read the full story at Surfline and check out the highlight reel below..
Florida Chapters Go Big in the 2008 Legislative Session
When it rains, it pours! This 2008 Florida legislative session was a heavy one for the 10 chapter and 1 planning committee in Florida. This year it seemed the environment finally become a HOT TOPIC that everyone want to supportive of! The Florida chapter network was able achieve four out of the five proposed pieces of legislation they were either leading or supporting. These including the following efforts:
Clean Oceans Act - After a difficult 3 year campaign, the law will now require owners and operators of day-cruise gambling vessels to implement sewage and other wastewater pump-out systems at ports, or adopt closed-loop system technology. (Sponsor: Sen. Haridolopos/Rep. Mayfield)
South Florida Outfall Closures - The bill will prohibit construction of new ocean outfalls, expansion of ocean outfalls for specified purposes, and initiate specific requirements for domestic wastewater treatment & management for certain facilities & activities relating to ocean outfalls. The six South Florida outfalls, dumping over 300 million gallons of wastewater into the sea and squandering 100 billion gallons of freshwater every year, are now mandated to wastewater reuse by 2025. (Sponsors: Sen. Saunders/ Rep. Mayfield & Natural Resource Council)
Inlet Management - The bill redirects the state’s beach management efforts to truly address beach erosion caused by Florida’s inlets since about 80% of the problem starts here. It includes recommendations to mitigate the erosive impacts of the inlet, cost estimates necessary to take corrective measures, and recommendations regarding cost sharing among the beneficiaries of such inlet. (Sponsors: Sen. Jones / Rep. Mayfield)
Beach Water Quality Testing Funding - In a year of super heavy budget cuts across the board, efforts to minimize impacts to the water testing funding was only cut in half versus entirely, as proposed by the House. On a positive note, it has opened a new relationship with the Dept of Health and the opportunity to help with testing in areas that will be cut.
Beach Access Signage - Unfortunately this language was a little late out of the gate. The removal of illegal signage along the beachfront and the creation of a specific Part V within Chapter 161, just on beach access, will be pushed again next year. This should not be confused with the perpendicular definition language added last year.
The statewide member effort included attending Oceans Day, Action Alerts, making personal calls the sponsors or their local legislator, and holding media events.
Florida chapters would especially like to thank the bill sponsors and cosponsors, long time Clean Oceans supporter Rep. Tony Sasso, our hardworking-diehard Tallahassee Coordinator Doug Bell and TJ Marshall, FSU Professors Donna Christie & Robin Craig, and other coastal stakeholder groups that made this possible!