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Friday, July 31, 2009

Surfrider Foundation Commends & Comments on Obama’s Leadership on National Ocean Policy

On June 12, 2009, President Obama issued a memorandum to executive departments and agencies to establish the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force. The Task Force is charged with developing recommendations for a National Ocean Policy, as well as a framework for effective coastal and marine spatial planning.

Surfrider Foundation strongly supports this movement by the Obama administration. “Our coastlines are increasingly challenged by a growing number of human use”, says Jim Moriarty, Surfrider Foundation’s CEO. “A National Ocean Policy will help promote smarter management decisions, and ensure that we prioritize the health of our ocean ecosystems and coastal communities.”

This proclamation also calls for increased coordination among all federal, state, local, and tribal authorities with jurisdiction over our oceans – a major recommendation of both the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy and Pew Oceans Commission five years ago. “As a grassroots environmental organization, we are excited to support a more comprehensive approach to management”, says Moriarty. “We believe our chapter network can really enhance this effort through our many grassroots campaigns, volunteer programs, and outreach events”

“Our coastlines represent almost $138 billion dollars to the nation’s economy, that magnitude would rank it as a “Fortune 10” company, what we’re seeing with this federal movement is that we’re starting to understand we need to manage our coastlines in a way that reflects their enormous value to this nation.”

A first round of comments to the Ocean Policy Task Force on their broad agenda were due today. We are honored to join the American Canoe Association and American Whitewater in commenting on this exciting first step towards better protection of our ocean and coasts.

Learn more about the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force here.

Read our joint comments here.

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Monday, July 06, 2009

Long Beach has Surfing Potential After Removal of the Long Beach Breakwater

Written by the Long Beach Chapter:

The Surfrider Foundation has released a new report on the effects of removing the 2.5 mile Long Beach breakwater (Read full report here) . Prepared by *Sean Collins of Surfline, one of the worlds leading surf forecasters, the report examines the potential for surfing waves and increased surf tourism to the typically deserted four mile shore of Long Beach. In classic Surfline fashion, the twenty-four page document contains detailed graphs of swell windows, bathymetry, currents, and "surfability indexes".

Amongst the more notable statements in the report is one regarding erosion in the controversial peninsula area: “There is very strong evidence that removal of the (Long Beach) breakwater would improve long term erosion by allowing more equally balanced wave action along the beach.” The peninsula area has for many years utilized “beach nourishment” measures at taxpayer expense to counter their ongoing erosion problems.

He also concludes that Long Beach would have a surfing environment similar to that of neighboring Seal Beach, and notes, “…great surf isn’t mandatory to bring lots of surfers to the beach as there are currently lots of beginning and intermediate surfers looking for smaller, more manageable surf.”

“However,” he continues,Of special note is the area closest to the Downtown Marina where an excellent quality surf spot could be located during a strong south swell.”

Increased tourism

Through Sean’s extensive record keeping of nearby beaches, he’s concluded that the potential increase of surfing visitors to Long Beach would be near 400,000 per year. “It is also important to note that the focus of this report is specifically on surfers, and the number of surfers that would be in the water during the four to five hour period between sunrise and noon.” Those numbers don’t take into account windsurfers, swimmers, bodyboarders, sunbathers, or anyone who goes to the beach after noon, when surfers typically leave due to wind.

The Surfline report makes a good case – in terms of waves and commerce – for once again opening Long Beach to the living pulse of the ocean.

*Sean Collins – Through his website Surfline.com, Collins has provided weather and wave forecasting services to lifeguard agency’s, the Coast Guard, National Weather Service, multiple domestic and international governmental agencies and nearly every surf company in the world. With over thirty years of experience, he has developed a sophisticated, proprietary system of wave forecasting that has become a standard on most every surfer’s desktop.

Long Beach has 3 breakwaters protecting the Long Beach harbor.
The Long Beach Breakwater is the eastern-most section.

Go to LBSurfrider.org