Support Your Local Surfrider Foundation

Support your local Surfrider Foundation!  Whether it is volunteering or a small monetary donation every bit helps to continue to see more victories to come.  Here is a list of Surfrider Foundation Victories since 2006

Surfrider Foundation’s  131  Coastal Victories Since Jan. 1, 2006
[This page last updated: May 10, 2010]

The Surfrider Foundation chapter network works on a diverse set of coastal problems ranging from water quality, to wetlands protection, to fights against shoreline armoring and protection of surfing areas. However, the common thread is that all of these efforts are direct action organizing campaigns. In an effort to better support the chapter network, celebrate our local successes and to ensure the priorities at the National office remain focused on supporting your activism, together we have established a vision in the new Strategic Plan that states our goal to achieve 150 Coastal Victories by 2010.

A ‘Coastal Victory’ is defined as a decision made in favor of the coastal and ocean environment that results in a positive conservation outcome, improves coastal access, or both. [Here’s more on our definition of ‘Coastal Victories.’]

Chapter State Date Victory
Oahu HI Apr 2010 Turtle Bay Victory—Kuilima Resort Required to do SEIS
Using an old Environmental Impact Statement from 1985, the Kuilima Resort tried to push through a massive development plan for its Turtle Bay Resort on the North Shore of Oahu, refusing to consider how dramatically conditions had changed in the last 25 years. The Sierra Club’s Hawaii Chapter and the Keep the North Shore Country filed a lawsuit against the owners, and Surfrider’s Oahu Chapter filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court and donated $10,000 toward the cause. Though two lower courts sided with the Resort, the Hawaii Supreme Court finally announced its decision to force the owners to do a Supplemental EIS for its Turtle Bay Expansion Plan.
More info.
130. Surfrider Foundation WA Mar 2010 State legislation advances Marine Spatial Planning in Washington
WA Governor Gregoire signs into law legislation introduced by Ocean Champion and longtime Surfrider activist, Senator Kevin Ranker, to support Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) of Washington marine waters. MSP is a public process to better understand how our oceans are being used and to identify areas where certain uses may or may not make sense when considering ecological, economic, and social objectives. In short, this type of planning will help to protect the health of our oceans as well traditional uses, such as surfing, from the potential negative impacts of new ocean development projects. The Federal government is proposing to launch marine planning at a national scale. By taking early initiative, Washington State is in good position to design a planning process tailored to meet local needs and interests. Surfrider Foundation is working to advance MSP on multiple coasts, building grassroots support, supporting legislative champions and collaborating with stakeholders and agencies.
More info.
129. Surfrider Foundation OR Mar 2010 Oregon Oil and Gas Drilling Moratorium
Oregon State Legislature passed and Governor Kulongoski signed HB 3613- a bill to restore the moratorium on offshore oil and gas drilling within Oregon’s Territorial waters (0-3nm) through 2020. HB 3613 was championed by Representative Ben Cannon and originally began the legislative session as a permanent ban, but was compromised to sunset in 2020 to broaden support. A diverse coalition of conservationists, fishing groups, businesses, and legislators came together to support this bill and reaffirm Oregon’s commitment to statewide planning goal 19 to protect ocean ecosystems, conserve biodiversity and important habitats, and give preference to renewable uses of our ocean.

This bill was actively supported by the Siuslaw, Newport, and Portland Chapters with many letters of support, an op-ed piece in a local coastal newspaper, and assistance in getting businesses and organizations to sign on to the support letter. Although there are scarce known quantities of oil and gas in Oregon’s waters, the passage of this bill makes it crystal clear that offshore drilling off Oregon is not the answer. In a time when many other states are looking at opening up their coastal waters, Oregon is sending a strong message to its Federal delegation that the health of our coastline and environmental legacy is more important than short term economic benefits.
More info.

128. DC DC Dec 2009 Unused Pharmaceutical Safe Disposal Act
The D.C. Chapter campaigned for legislation passed by D.C. Council seeking to curb pharmaceutical drugs released into the District’s surface waters, by creating a disposal program for consumers. Recent surveys had found elevated levels of several drugs and chemicals in the District’s waters.
127. Texas Upper Coast Chapter
Central Texas
South Texas
TX Nov 2009 Texas Opens It’s Beaches with a Constitutional Amendment!
After an organized and integrated effort on behalf of the Texas Chapters to promote our beach access goals on a statewide level, the people of Texas passed a constitutional amendment through a statewide vote. The “Prop 9” amendment created a constitutional “right” to beach access. The constitutional amendment protects “the right of the public, individually and collectively, to access and use the public beaches bordering the seaward shore of the Gulf of Mexico.” The people of Texas voted approximately 75% in favor of the amendment. Texas constitutional acts are very strong and require a two-thirds majority of the Texas state legislature to change (instead of a simple majority). The amendment also sends a strong message to developers and politicians about open beach access.

This constitutional amendment will help to support the Texas Open Beaches Act, which passed in 1959 to guarantee public beach access all of Texas’ 367 miles of coast. It will also help to defend the TXOBA in any litigation cases that challenge the law.
More info.

126. Curry County Organizing Committee OR Nov 2009 Port Orford Stormwater Ordinance Strengthened
the City of Port Orford amended its stormwater ordinance to strengthen protections for water quality in both freshwater streams and the nearshore environment. The successful campaign was part of implementation of the Port Orford Community Stewardship Area, a community-based approach to ocean and coastal stewardship. Partners in the effort included the Surfrider Foundation, the Port Orford Ocean Resource Team (POORT), New Wave Planning, the City of Port Orford, and the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development.

For over two years, project participants collaborated on research, public education, community outreach, and development of draft ordinance language. The shared goal, established through a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the city, was to address the Stewardship Area’s management objective to “protect water quality”.
More info.

125. Kauai HI Oct 2009 Kauai Bans Plastic Shopping Bags
The island of Kauai in Hawaii banned the use of plastic grocery bags. The hard fought win came at the culmination of a two-year campaign by the Kauai Chapter based on the Rise Above Plastics campaign toolkit. The ordinance will ban distribution from all non-biodegradable plastic bags from retail stores on the island. The bill goes into effect on Jan. 11, 2011, the same day that Maui County’s plastic checkout bag ban goes into effect. Retailers that violate this law will face charges of $250-$1,000 per day (depending on the number of offenses cited). The county will distribute 25,000 free reusable bags to assist the local community make the transition away from single-use bags.
124. Argentina International Affiliate Sep 2009 Stopped Seawall Construction at La Paloma/La Parena
Two pocket beaches with high-quality surf spots, at La Paloma and La Parena, were threatened with construction of massive seawalls in an attempt to protect a regional road. Surfrider Argentina partnered with local coastal scientists to demonstrate that construction of the seawalls was unnecessary and would have serious negative impacts on the beach and adjacent waves.
More info.
123. Palm Beach County FL Aug 2009 Lake Worth Surf and Reefs Protected
In a landmark decision, Florida Judge Robert E. Meale recently ruled against the town of Palm Beach in denying the town a permit to dredge and fill 1.8 miles of beach surrounding the Lake Worth Pier with 700,000 cubic yards of poor-quality sediment. In early 2008, the Palm Beach County Chapter, The Snook Foundation, and three individuals challenged the town and the State of Florida’s intent to issue that permit. The City of Lake Worth and Eastern Surfing Association also intervened in opposition to the project.

The petitioners proved the dredge-and-fill project would destroy the beach and coastal environment by directly burying seven acres of reefs. The silty material would have also killed marine life, including endangered sea turtles, and seriously harmed the surfing, fishing and diving.

This decision was upheld in August by the FL Dep’t of Environmental Protection when they threw out the project’s application.
More info.

122. Santa Barbara County CA Jul 2009 Goleta Beach Saved – Groin Defeated
On July 8, the California Coastal Commission overturned its staff’s recommendation and denied Santa Barbara County’s proposed groin project at Goleta Beach. The groin project would have trapped sand at Goleta Beach but in doing so would have prevented sand from reaching beaches to the east of Goleta causing erosion and damage to beach habitats.

The chapter worked closely with the Environmental Defense Center and several members of Surfrider’s Environmental Issues Team to provide technical reports and comments at and leading up to the Coastal Commission hearing.
More info.

121. Surfrider Foundation OR Jul 2009 Oregon Marine Reserves
The Oregon State Legislature voted to support HB 3013 (unanimously in the House, 3 nays in the Senate), which puts into practice the recommendations of the Ocean Policy Advisory Council (OPAC). These recommendations were to implement two marine reserve projects this year, one at Redfish Rocks in Port Orford and one at Otter Rock near Depoe Bay, as well as the further evaluation and collection of baseline biological, social, and economic information over the next 18 months for sites proposed off Cape Falcon, Cascade Head, Cape Perpetua and to support a proposal from the Coos County area. The bill also directs communities adjacent to the proposal areas to form teams composed of diverse and balanced stakeholders for the on-going collaborative efforts surrounding rule making, research, monitoring, and marine reserve implementation. Funding for this bill over the next two years is provided in part through funds left over from the salvage of the New Carissa, as well as the ability to secure outside funding through either grants or private donations.
More info.
120. Siuslaw OR Jun 2009 Oregon Nutrient Reduction
Oregon State Legislature passed SB 631, which reduces the amount of phosphorus contained in automatic dish soap to no more than 0.5% by volume. This effort was led by Siuslaw Chapter Blue Water Task Force Coordinator Mark Chandler. Mark worked in his community of Dunes City to pass the first phosphorus reduction ordinance in the State after seeing large algal blooms in Siltcoos and Woahink lakes that led to impacts on drinking water, recreational use, and aquatic health. This effort was helped by many written letters to Representatives and Senators by the chapter and local citizenry.
More info.
119. Seattle WA Jun 2009 Plastic Bags Banned in Edmonds, WA
The Edmonds City Council approved a ban on plastic shopping bags following a successful campaign by the Seattle Chapter. The campaign received solid support from the community and local businesses.
118. Lake Michigan IL Jun 2009 Surfing is Not a Crime in Chicago
After 9+ months of letters, emails, phone calls and meetings, activists from Surfrider Foundation’s Lake Michigan Chapter succeeded in making surfing officially legal at 4 beaches in the City of Chicago!

* Memorial Day – Labor Day – Montrose Beach and 57th St. Beach
* Labor Day – Memorial Day (off season) – Montrose, 57th, Osterman & Rainbow Beaches are open to surfing at your own risk.
More info.

117. DC DC Jun 2009 Anacostia River Cleanup and Protection Act
Starting in January 2010, virtually every retailer in DC that sells food will charge 5 cents for each single-use paper and plastic bag distributed. Proceeds from the fee will create the Anacostia River Cleanup Fund, a dedicated trust to pay for restoration of one of the ten most polluted rivers in the country. The fund will also pay for an education campaign and reusable bags to be distributed for free to low-income and elderly residents. The DC Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation led the public outreach effort, coordinating several partner groups to mount a citywide postcard campaign that generated over 1200 signatures from supportive residents. Chapter representatives also presented at the public hearing, met with council members and staff, spoke to local school children, created a PSA for YouTube distribution, printed stickers for supporters to wear at hearings, and designed the coalition’s logo.
More info.
116. Suncoast May 2009 Suncoast Chapter “POWW” Waterfront Preservation
The chapter was involved with the POWW Coalition (Preserve Our Wallets and Waterfront) to preserve both waterfront parks and habitat and taxpayer dollars from the Tampa Devils Rays’ proposed development of an open-air stadium in downtown St. Petersburg. The area has now been protected as a designated city park.
115. Santa Barbara County CA Apr 2009 Judge Invalidates Water District Annexation of Gaviota Coast Lots
A lawsuit filed by the Gaviota Coast Conservancy and Surfrider Foundation resulted in a decision invalidating a 2008 action by the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) annexing prime Gaviota Coast parcels into the Goleta Water District. Without water service, development of the lots is more challenging.

“This is a second significant ruling in two weeks for the Gaviota Coast” explained Gaviota Coast Conservancy President Mike Lunsford. “The laws and policies protecting the Gaviota Coast, mean very little if they are not followed by local decision makers. This decision restores reason and fair play in the permitting process, and puts Orange County developers on notice that this community will not stand by and allow them to play fast and loose with the Gaviota Coast.”
More info.

114. New York City NY Apr 2009 New York Passes Bigger Better Bottle Bill
Environmental groups from across New York successfully passed the Bigger Better Bottle Bill as part of the 2009-10 state budget. This momentous achievement is the first major overhaul of the state’s bottle deposit law since it was created in 1982, and caps a grueling nine-year campaign to expand and update the law. The update expands New York’s bottle return law to include water bottles, which comprise nearly a quarter of all beverages sold in New York. The law also requires beverage companies to return 80 percent of the unclaimed bottle and can deposits to the state, generating upwards of $115 million annually for the General Fund.

“The Surfrider Foundation looks forward to cleaner beaches as a result of the improved bottle bill in NY. Thank you to the legislators who championed this cause and the ones who compromised to allow this,” said Steff Zellinger, volunteer with the New York City Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation.
More info.

113. Santa Cruz CA Mar 2009 Watsonville Bans Styrofoam Food Containers – Last in County
SANTA CRUZ COUNTY NOW STYRO-FREE The Santa Cruz Chapter is excited to announce that all jurisdictions in Santa Cruz County now have polystyrene food container take-out bans in place, banning the use of foam take-out containers in businesses selling food for immediate consumption, such as restaurants, ice-cream parlors and coffee shops. With the recent addition of Watsonville and Scotts Valley to the list, joining the City of Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz County and City of Capitola, Santa Cruz County is now the first and only multiple-jurisdiction county in California to have a styro-ban in all jurisdictions within the county limits. The Santa Cruz Chapter has engaged in this campaign for several years, so we see it as a strong win!
112. Surfrider Foundation WA Mar 2009 Washington State Year-Round Rescue Tug
On March 24th, Washington State Governor Chris Gregoire signed a measure that requires shippers, tankers and other large vessels to pay for a year-round rescue tug at Neah Bay. The bill’s primary sponsor was long-time Surfrider activist and past regional manager, State Senator Kevin Ranker. For Washington chapters, it is hard to imagine a better way to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Exxon Valdez oil spill than by winning this long-fought campaign. Not long after the tragedy in Prince William Sound, Surfrider members and activists began advocating for a rescue tug to be stationed at Neah Bay. The tug aids ships in danger of spilling oil, forming a strong defensive line against oil spills in the Strait of Juan de Fuca and on Washington’s outer coast. All of Washington’s Surfrider Chapters worked hard on this issue for several years.
More info.
111. Monterey CA Feb 2009 Polystyrene Banned in Monterey
The City of Monterey follows Carmel and Pacific Grove in Monterey County in passing this important ordinance to help alleviate the amount of marine debris entering our coastal waters. With Monterey subjected to vociferous opposition from the American Chemistry Council, the City Staff was compelled to write a Negative Declaration addressing the California Environmental Quality Act. This was a long but critical process in assuring that the ordinance was indeed environmentally sound and the best choice for the city and the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

Throughout the process the Monterey Chapter was instrumental in garnering community and business support, addressing the myriad issues which City Staff had questions about, and amassing a strong coalition of 18 community and environmental organizations to support the ordinance. City residents were resoundingly in favor of the switch to recyclable and compostable alternatives, and the city council’s vote was unanimous.

110. South Bay CA Jan 2009 Massive Playa Vista Development Stopped
Surfrider Foundation’s South Bay Chapter, and their partners Ballona Wetlands Land Trust and the City of Santa Monica signed a settlement agreement that sends the controversial Phase 2 of the development back to the drawing board. The settlement terms establish that the Environmental Impact Report inadequately informed the public of the foreseeable harm to the local environment from the project. Consequently the City Council’s decision to grant development permits and entitlements have been reversed.

This decision opens an opportunity for public acquisition of the property to fulfill the long held dream of restoring this relatively small, but critically important part of Southern California’s network of coastal wetlands. The Chapter has advocated using the space for “treatment wetlands” since the project’s inception.

109. South Orange County CA Dec 2008 Toll Road Stopped at San Onofre State Beach / Trestles
The US Commerce Dep’t upheld the CA Coastal Commission’s decision to deny a permit for the Toll Road proposed to be built through San Onofre State Beach near Trestles. This 6-lane highway would have impacted a large portion of this State Park and the adjacent Land Conservancy, along with a multitude of natural, recreational and cultural resources.
More info.
108. South Florida FL Dec 2008 Litter Campaign in Miami Beach
The South Florida Chapter has been pushing for several years to clean up the mass amounts of litter from South Miami Beach. As a result of their efforts the city is undergoing a major litter education campaign and has pledged to:
1. Train code enforcement officers to patrol the beach and issue littering citations.
2. Work with the County to increase the amount of trash pickups and to provide a trash transfer station in the South Beach area to allow for increased pickup.
3. Start a recycling program for beach goers to take advantage of.
4. Institute a cigarette butt ashtray program.
107. Santa Cruz CA Dec 2008 Styrofoam Banned in Scotts Valley
In a unanimous vote by Scotts Valley City Council on December 17, 2008, Scotts Valley joined Santa Cruz, Capitola, and Santa Cruz County in adopting a local ordinance to prohibit the use of polystyrene (Styrofoam) food take-out containers in all city businesses which offer take-out food or which allow customers to package and leave with uneaten portions of their meal. The new ordinance goes into effect six months from the date of the vote.

The Santa Cruz Chapter was very active in encouraging Scotts Valley City Council to take this action, and we are pleased to see more and more local businesses eliminating polystyrene food containers from their stock. We believe this ordinance will not only help protect our many sea creatures which mistake small pieces of polystyrene for their natural food, but will also help convince other nearby jurisdictions to enact and enforce similar ordinances.

The Chapter worked with twelve partner organizations in the “Wipe Out Plastic Takeout!” Coalition. Their long-range goal is a polystyrene-take-out-container-free county!

106. San Mateo CA Nov 2008 Increased Protection for the Monterey Bay National Marine
After 7 years of planning and extensive public input, three marine sanctuaries off Central California issued a new joint management plan. The plan includes a 775 square mile expansion to include the Davidson Seamount, one of the largest known underwater mountains in U.S. coastal waters and home to a wide variety of marine species, prohibition of harmful discharges from cruise ships, restoration of the original limitation of motorized personal watercraft to four areas off the harbors, inclusion of a wintertime zone for tow-in surfing at “Maverick’s”, and efforts to reduce the introduction of non-native species.

Through the Joint Management Plan Review process, the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary considered revisions and additions to its management plans, which created an opportunity to revisit the management of MPWC in the Sanctuary. The chapters along the Central California Coast participated in this process in hopes of affecting change to MPWC regulations.
More info.

105. Surfrider Foundation Nov 2008 CA Beach Monitoring Funding Restored
Surfrider’s Global Headquarters and several California Chapters, including San Diego, Monterey, Sonoma and Mendocino Counties were instrumental in re-establishing funding for California’s beach water quality monitoring program. The funds were abruptly cut by Governor Schwarzenegger in September 2008, completely terminating beach monitoring in some counties and severely restricting monitoring elsewhere. In response, Surfrider launched an Action Alert that over 2400 activists responded to that sent emails to the Governor and state legislators to restore funding. Our San Diego County chapter initiated a separate action alert to urge their members to contact county supervisors to secure a new source of funding. Other environmental groups including Heal the Bay and the California Coastkeeper Alliance also lobbied to get funding restored. Surfrider participated in conference calls with these groups and state and county public health officials to strategize on ways to resolve the funding issue.

On November 4, 2008 the State Water Resources Control Board approved using Beach Grant funds from Prop 13 to backfill the beach funding for the fiscal year July 2008 through June 2009. There is also an option to extend this funding source for the 2009-2010 Fiscal Year. Surfrider will continue to work on this issue to identify a long term sustainable funding source to continue to fund this program for the future.
More info.

104. WA Nov 2008 Jetty Island Water Quality
Everett City Waste Water Treatment Plant averages 2-4 spills per year and with the current methods of reporting the public is not made aware for 24 hours to sometimes 3 days, as was the case for a spill in late October. The belief was that it wasnít a large issue with not a lot of recreational users in the water; that there were no high use beaches in the area. This is not the case. Jetty Island, just off the shore of Everett, is a prominent location for swimmers, kite surfers and wind surfers, especially the time frames of May ñ October of every year. So human health is definitely at risk. The engineers from the water treatment facility agreed to err on the side of caution and post immediately for the public to know. Surfrider Foundation in Washington is also on the notification list so that we can alert the public as well to the closures as they happen.
More info.
103. South Bay
West Los Angeles / Malibu
CA Oct 2008 Smoking Banned on All Beaches in Santa Monica Bay
The City of Redondo Beach passed a ban on smoking at city beaches and parks. This is the final city in all of Santa Monica Bay to do this.

This ban eliminates smoking on the beaches thus improving the health and recreational experience of all beachgoers, reduces cigarette butt litter, reduces potentially harmful effects of cigarette butts being mistaken as food by birds and marine life, reduces the risk of burn from unextinguished cigarette butts in the sand, reduces the choking hazard of butts by children playing on the beach, and improves local water quality from cigarette butts leaching toxins into the sand and water zone.

The South Bay Chapter is part of the South Bay Coalition for Smoke-Free Beaches which includes American Heart Association, American Lung Association, American Cancer Society, Beach Cities Health District and Girls Club of LA.
More info.

102. San Diego County CA Sep 2008 Encinitas Plastic Bag Ban Ordinance
After several months of collaborative work between Surfrider Foundation San Diego Chapter activists and the City of Encinitas, the City Council voted to ban plastic bags and put a fee on paper bags in an effort to reduce single-use plastic consumption by its residents. As the first city in San Diego County to pass a bag ban, this put the City of Encinitas at the forefront of the fight against plastic marine debris. As part of the ban ordinance, there was a specific directive that there be significant education and that it be phased in slowly to work with both residents and the business community – developing a reasonable plan and time frame. San Diego Chapter RAP volunteers collected close to 2,000 signatures from residents in support of a ban and presented them to the five City Council members. This victory was part of the Chapter’s Rise Above Plastics campaign efforts to educate the public and encourage reusable bags and water bottles.
More info.
101. Connecticut CT Sep 2008 Westport Connecticut Votes to Ban Plastic Checkout Bags
The Town of Westport, Connecticut,which is on a tidal estuary, Long Island Sound, voted on September 2, 2008 to ban plastic checkout bags at retail stores, becoming the first town on the East Coast to go plastic bag-free. At the stroke of midnight, the Westport Representative Town Meeting (RTM) approved a resolution, in a 26 to 5 vote (with 1 abstention), giving retailers six months to stop using disposable plastic bags at the checkout. This resolution is the first of its kind east of the Mississippi

Kasey Jacobs, Vice-Chair of the Connecticut Surfrider Chapter stated at the public hearing, ““Since their introduction to U.S. supermarkets in the late 1970’s plastic bags have become a ubiquitous presence. Forty years is not a long enough time period to consider them irreplaceable though. No one is inferring that Westport can solve this global problem single-handedly, but this ban is about Westport doing its part and helping further spread this global movement. We can not ignore the fact that our oceans are connected. By voting yes tonight the RTM will forever put the Town of Westport on the map as being the first town on the East Coast to become plastic bag free.” The chapter partnered with Citizens Campaign for the Environment on the campaign.

100. West Los Angeles / Malibu
South Bay
CA Jul 2008 Plastic Bags Banned in Los Angeles
Surfrider’s Rise Above Plastics campaign gained another boost from Los Angeles City Council when they voted to ban plastic carryout bags in the city’s supermarkets and stores by July 2010, if the state fails to impose a 25-cent fee on plastic shopping bags. In addition, the council members voted to reduce urban blight and marine debris by banning all expanded polystyrene (EPS or Styrofoam) food service products from City-owned facilities and city-sponsored events by 2010. The city’s resolution is geared at motivating consumers to begin carrying reusable bags to reduce the amount of plastic that washes into the city’s storm drains and the ocean. Representatives from Surfrider’s West Los Angeles/Malibu and South Bay Chapters were present to give testimony regarding the City’s proposal. The ban was proposed by Councilman Ed Reyes, who called plastic bags “the graffiti of the L.A. River.”
99. Ventura County CA Jul 2008 Ventura City Council Adopts Green Street Policy
Recognizing that stormwater is an issue for which the time has come, the Ventura City Council approved a policy for Green Street Elements and Demonstration Project.

This policy would effectively follow two of the recommendations made by the Surfrider Foundation in “Solving the Urban Runoff Problem, A Vision for the Urban Watershed, Ventura, California”

1. Develop a green streets program and implement pilot projects
2. Promote and develop incentives for community-based action (i.e. Ocean Friendly Gardens)

The Ventura Chapter feels that a ‘green streets’ strategy is the best way of dealing with the ‘concrete jungle’ that is impacting the health of our oceans. With this new policy, the city will earmark 20% of the street paving fund to begin incorporating ‘Green Street elements’ into repaving projects on a citywide basis. The city will also design and construct a pilot project to set the example for expanding throughout the city.
More info.

98. Tofino Jul 2008 New public beach access and amenities at Cox Bay, Tofino
The Tofino Chapter was successful at garnering public access and amenities at a new resort, including various public facilities, garbage cans, biodegradable dog poo bags, 30 public parking stalls and boardwalk/path beach access. They have worked on this issue since 2005. With tourism growing rapidly in Tofino, the chapter is working diligently to maintain public access to the town’s beaches.
More info.
97. South Bay CA Jul 2008 Manhattan Beach Passes Ordinance to Ban Plastic Carry-Out Bags
The Manhattan Beach City Council voted unanimously to prohibit carry-out plastic bags. Speaking in support of the ordinance was Surfrider Foundation legal intern, Rachel Dorfman, as well as Craig Cadwallader, Chair, and Alan Walti, Environmental Coordinator, of the South Bay Chapter. Representatives of Heal the Bay, the Earth Resource Foundation, and Manhattan Beach residents, including one 9 year-old resident, also encouraged passage of the ordinance.

The plan will be phased in over two time periods, with grocery stores, food vendors, restaurants, pharmacies, and City facilities being given a 6-month period from tonight, and one year for all other retail establishments and vendors.
More info.

96. Seattle WA Jul 2008 Seattle Bans Styrofoam
The foam ban will take place in two stages. In January, polystyrene and Styrofoam containers, such as clamshell boxes at takeout restaurants, will be banned at food-service businesses. In July 2010, the ban will expand to include plastic utensils and plastic food containers. Those businesses will have to switch to compostable or recyclable alternatives.
95. Australia Jun 2008 Stopped Overdevelopment of Nobbys Headland in Newcastle
The Hunter Branch, working in collaboration with a number of community organisations (e.g. Newcastle Parks and Playgrounds Association) and a former resident (Ms Penny Cecil – her Father was Harbour Master for many years) lobbied Newcastle City Council, local stakeholders and the Federal Minister for the Environment (Peter Garret MP) to ensure Nobbys Headland and the Signal Station would not be overdeveloped by a local businessperson.
94. West Los Angeles / Malibu CA May 2008 Plastic Bag Ban in Malibu
In support of Heal The Bay’s effort to address the problem of plastic bag litter in the marine environment, the West LA/Malibu Chapter successfully helped to convinced the Malibu City Council to ban both regular and biodegradable bags in all retail stores. This victory was part of the Chapter’s Rise Above Plastics campaign efforts to educate members, the public, and local government officials about the dangers of plastic marine debris.
More info.
93. Southwest Florida (organizing) FL May 2008 Lee County Fertilizer Ordinance
The use of fertilizer near major waterways is a contributor to the large and looming issue of red tide and algal blooms that can cause breathing problems and pollute beach water quality, impacting Lee’s $2 billion tourism industry. The ordinance would limit any fertilizer application within 10 feet of a water way from June 1 to Sept 30. Fees for violation would be up to $500. The Chapter partnered with Sierra Club, SCCF, Nature Conservancy, PURRE, RGMC and Riverwatch.
More info.
92. South Orange County CA May 2008 Protected Coastal Access at Strands Beach
The developer at the Headlands in Dana Point attempted to remove a stairway providing beach access from the previously approved plan, citing geotechnical difficulties. [4:35:10 PM] Chad Nelsen says: The stairway had been a part of a balancing argument made by the Coastal Commission to allow the developer to build a 2200 foot seawall, destroy senstive habitat and create a gate-guarded development. The CA Coastal Commission saw through this attempt to further limit access and denied the change.
91. San Diego County CA May 2008 City of San Diego: Indirect Potable Reuse
Following Surfrider’s and San Diego Coastkeeper’s 2002 lawsuits against the City of San Diego for improperly approving a waiver of secondary sewage treatment at its Point Loma Wastewater Treatment Plant, the environmental organizations entered into a multi-pronged settlement that required, among other things, that the City conduct a study of all available opportunities to increase water recycling within its service area. The environmental groups primarily sought to resurrect a previously failed Indirect Potable Reuse (IPR) project which would result in highly treated sewage being combined with San Diego’s raw water from the Colorado River or San Francisco Bay Delta. Sometimes called “toilet to tap,” the environmental groups nonetheless sought to re-initiate discussion among community leaders and citizens about the benefits of such a local source of water.

After the production of a comprehensive Water Reuse Study involving numerous meetings, dozens of community leaders, and a technical advisory committee, the City Council finally took action. On October 29, 2007 the San Diego City Council approved a resolution authorizing the beginning steps of an Indirect Potable Re-Use (IPR) project in San Diego. The City Water Department was directed by the Council to:

• Execute a one-year demonstration project of the Advanced Water Treatment (AWT) process to begin July 1, 2008;

• Conduct a current flow and detention study at the San Vicente Reservoir to ensure that any treated sewage added to the inflow would remain in the reservoir for at least one year before being processed for potable purposes.;

• Perform an independent energy and economic analysis for all water supply options in the Long-Range Water Resources Plan; and,

• Conduct community education and outreach.

The serious consideration and possible implementation of IPR would be an enormous victory for the environment. Not only would this new source of water be much more environmentally friendly than options such as desalination or imported water, it would also result in reduced flows of treated sewage into the Pacific Ocean via the Point Loma Ocean Outfall.

*This campaign was completed in October 2007, but was reported in May 2008.
More info.

90. San Diego County CA May 2008 City of San Diego Urban Runoff Management: Restrictions on Residential Over-Watering
While significant strides have been made in recent years to control urban runoff from construction sites and industrial facilities, commercial and residential polluters have been too often overlooked. In particular, municipalities have been reluctant to require individual homeowners to abate the clearly wasteful practice of irrigation over-watering, despite the negative impacts to water supply and the fact that runoff from lawns and gardens consistently transmit bacteria, nutrient, and pesticide wastes to sensitive water bodies throughout the region.

On January 22, 2008, at the request of the Surfrider Foundation and San Diego Coastkeeper, an ordinance limiting residential over-watering was added to San Diego’s Jurisdictional Urban Run-off Management Plan (JURMP). Each city has to establish a JURMP to comply with the regional Municipal Stormwater Permit and the federal Clean Water Act (CWA). Securing this addition prohibition was monumental in that it sends a message to the entire region that we can no longer allow wasteful and polluting practices, regardless of whether they arise from businesses or private homes.

*This campaign was completed in January 2008, but was reported in May 2008.
More info.

89. San Diego County CA May 2008 San Diego Regional Municipal Stormwater Permit
The San Diego Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation worked in coalition with the San Diego Bay Council to support the passage of the San Diego region’s 2007 Municipal Stormwater Permit. This permit spells out the stormwater control requirements applicable to all of the region’s cities, the County of San Diego, the San Diego Unified Port District, and the San Diego Regional Airport Authority.

Building on prior litigation victories defending earlier iterations of the stormwater permit, Surfrider and its partners were successful in strengthening various controls on construction, industrial, municipal, commercial, and residential urban runoff discharges. Of particular interest to Surfrider, the new permit contains a requirement that local jurisdictions develop comprehensive regulations for Low Impact Development (LID) and runoff-sensitive site design standards. Such provisions will ensure that the problems of increased impervious surface cover and unsustainable changes to watershed hydrology will not continue. With most new development now required to accommodate historic water infiltration and flow regimes, Surfrider can turn its attention to enforcement of runoff standards and mechanisms to require retrofitting of existing development.

*This campaign was completed in January 2008, but was reported in May 2008.

88. New Orleans GA May 2008 Protected Coastal Cypress Forests
Surfrider’s Central Gulf Coast Chapter gained a recent victory on May 27th when the Southern District Court of Georgia ruled that the Corps of Engineers unlawfully issued the exemption for cypress logging in violation of the Clean Water Act.

This is a huge victory for those trying to protect cypress forests because the decision shows that the Corps must support its decision-making with evidence in the record. It also sets the bar high for what the Corps has to do in order to grant a silviculture exemption.

87. Monterey CA May 2008 Pacific Grove Polystyrene Ban
The City of Pacific Grove has passed an ordinance prohibiting the use of polystyrene food service wares. The ordinance acts to reduce local non-biodegradable and non-recyclable waste at the source, preventing its eventual disposal on local beaches and in the ocean. The Chapter partnered with Sustainable Pacific Grove and Monterey Green Action to accomplish their goal.
More info.
86. Surfrider Foundation FL May 2008 Clean Oceans Act in Florida
The Clean Oceans Act sets up a mechanism for gambling boats to stop dumping 44 million gallons of pureed, chlorinated waste into the ocean every year. It requires gambling boats to register with DEP, pay berth facilities for waste hauling or use an onboard “closed system” treatment, and report waste releases to DEP. In addition it petitions the federal government to prohibit dumping in federal waters.

This campaign was spearheaded by the Sebastian Inlet Chapter with major support from the entire Florida Chapter Network.
More info.

85. Surfrider Foundation FL May 2008 Florida Inlet Management Bill
Florida has over 60 inlets around the state, many have been artificially deepened to accommodate commercial and recreational vessels and employ jetties to prevent sand from filling in the channels. A by-product of this practice is that the jetties and the inlet channels have interrupted the natural flow of sand along the beach causing an accumulation of sand in the inlet channel and at the jetty on one side of the inlet, and a loss of sand to the beaches on the other side of the inlet.

This issue has exasperated the amount of large beach dredging projects instead of looking back at the inlets to solve the problem.

The state’s beach management efforts to finally address beach erosion caused by Florida’s inlets (80% of the problem) will include recommendations to mitigate the erosive impacts of the inlet and recommendations regarding cost sharing among the governments.

This campaign was championed by chapters throughout Florida.
More info.

84. Surfrider Foundation FL May 2008 South Florida Oceans Outfalls Closure Bill
The six South Florida sewage outfalls, dump over 300 million gallons of wastewater into the sea and squandering 100 billion gallons of freshwater every year. This discharge impacts not only our coastal and ocean environment but it is also a waste of valuable freshwater that could be used to help out with South Florida’s drinking water shortage.

This piece of legislation will remove over 300 million gallons of wastewater from Florida waters a year and by 2025 will have created a reuse system for it.

Chapters throughout Florida partnered with Florida Ocean & Coastal Coalition and Palm Beach County Reef Rescue on this campaign.
More info.

83. Surfrider Foundation FL May 2008 Florida Beach Test Funding Protected
During a year of heavy budget cuts it usually the items that are thought to be the most benign that are first to go. So when House Health Care Council puts beach monitoring in the same line item with birth registries and cesspools it bound to get over overlooked as important. A proposal to cut the entire state portion of beach monitoring would be a disaster to the public’s health and safety, especially in a state that derives 85% of its tourism from its coastline.

Thanks to the efforts of the Florida Chapters funding won’t be cut. The Florida portion of the federal Beach Act grant for next year is $526,320 and state funding will remain intact at $525,000.
More info.

82. South Jersey NJ Apr 2008 Recycling Bins Along Boardwalk in Atlantic City
The South Jersey Chapter pushed to have recycling bins placed on the boardwalk in Atlantic City, a heavily visited stretch of coast. Previously only trash bins were provided so recyclables were disposed in the landfill.

*This campaign was completed in December 2007, but was reported in April 2008.
More info.

81. Santa Cruz CA Apr 2008 Santa Cruz Polystyrene Ban
The County of Santa Cruz has passed an ordinance prohibiting the use of polystyrene food service wares. The Santa Cruz Chapter partnered with many other organizations to accomplish this victory.
More info.
80. Connecticut
Eastern Long Island
New York City
NY Apr 2008 Stopped LNG Terminal in Long Island Sound
Surfrider Foundation’s Connecticut Chapter won a major victory in their campaign to stop the installation of a huge and dangerous Liquid Natural Gas project in Long Island Sound. Connecticut officials and environmental groups have been applying heavy pressure on New York State officials who had the final say on go/no-go.

In late April, NY Governor Patterson announced at a press conference NY’s decision to effectively scuttle the project. Connecticut’s Governor Jody Rell and AG Richard Blumenthal also held a press conference on the shores of the Sound.

Mr. Blumenthal, who has been a consistent presence in the fight to stop this project, called this ” an excellent case study of citizens advocacy, when government and citizens groups work together” to accomplish a common goal. Dozens of environmental advocacy groups, including the Surfrider Foundation, applied constant pressure to stop Broadwater through a wide range of actions, and found a cooperative state government that listened and worked in concert with us. As Mr. Blumenthal said, “citizens and state governments have shown today that it is possible to fight the Federal Government and win.”
More info.

79. Coastal Georgia/Low Country GA Apr 2008 Jekyll Island Protected
Surfrider Foundation’s Coastal Georgia Low Country Chapter won a victory in their efforts to help protect Jekyll Island State Park from development. Jekyll Island Authority (JIA) Board Chairman Ben Porter announced via a letter to Representative Jerry Keen that the Authority will revise the beachfront component of its plan to redevelop Jekyll Island State Park. The announcement followed a hotly contested legislative struggle in which a series of attempts to introduce protective Jekyll legislation were killed in committee despite thousands of calls from concerned Georgia citizens to legislators on both sides of the aisle.

The beachfront north of the Convention Center, which had been slated for commercial development, will ultimately become a public park with improved public access and beach parking, and an Environmental Conservation Center. This decision marks at least a partial victory for the Initiative to Protect Jekyll Island (IPJI) and for other groups defending the general public’s right to direct access and an unobstructed view of Jekyll’s most popular beach.

Thanks to the input of Georgia citizens from around the state speaking through leading Jekyll advocates Senator Jeff Chapman, Representative Debbie Buckner, and Representative Dubose Porter, the voice of the people has emerged as the single most powerful entity in the ongoing discussion of the planned revitalization of Jekyll Island State Park.
More info.

78. South Sound Washington
Olympic Peninsula
WA Mar 2008 Neah Bay Rescue Tug Funded
The Washington State Legislature approved $3.7 million to fund a year-round rescue tug at Neah Bay, located on the northern tip of Washington’s Olympic Peninsula. The rescue tug is believed to be the best defense against a catastrophic oil spill for Washington’s coasts which are heavily trafficked by oil tankers and cargo vessels. Scientists believe that just one catastrophic spill in Washington’s Puget Sound could mean devastation for sea bird populations, killer whales and other wildlife. Such a spill would also cause oil slicked beaches, closing the coast to recreation indefinitely. The rescue tug responds to vessels in trouble, preventing spills from ever taking place.

Since 1999, a part-time stationed tug at Neah Bay has assisted 40 vessels in distress, including a bulk carrier this February that had lost propulsion because of a fuel pump failure. Washington chapters and a regional network of conservation groups reached out to decision makers and raised awareness for this important issue and the State Legislature responded by funding the tug year-round. Until now, the tug has only been funded during the winter, but oil spills can happen any time of year. This new state funding is just for one year. Washington chapters are also working on behalf of important federal legislation that will require industry to pay for a year-round rescue tug permanently.

77. San Francisco CA Mar 2008 Fire Pits at Ocean Beach, San Francisco
Beach-goers have enjoyed open fires at OB for over 100 years, starting when the booming San Francisco Fishing fleet supplied huge public “fish-fry” banquets out on the sand. Since then, thousands of San Franciscans from multiple generations have enjoyed this tradition. However, in recent years, the impacts of these fires have grown increasingly damaging to the fragile ecosystem of the beachscape, and poor usage has often left the beach trashed, challenging the National Park Service to maintain it to acceptable standards.

After years of slowly reducing the area reserved for fires, the NPS finally moved to ban fires outright last spring. Responding to the concerns of our membership, The San Francisco Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation agreed to organize the community to help the NPS maintain a series of new fire-pits, designed by local artists specifically for Ocean Beach, so that open fires would continue to be permitted.

*This campaign was completed in March 2007, but was reported in March 2008.
More info.

76. San Diego County CA Mar 2008 City of San Diego Sewage Settlement
In 2001 the Surfrider Foundation and San Diego Coastkeeper sued the City of San Diego for chronic sewage spills. At that point the City of San Diego averaged almost a sewage spill a day, and had spilled more than 45 million gallons of sewage into local waters during the five years prior. The aim of the suit was to bring the City into compliance with the law, and to set an aggressive schedule for sewage infrastructure improvements to alleviate the deleterious affects of these spills on local waters.

On May 22, 2007, the San Diego City Council approved a final settlement with the Surfrider Foundation, San Diego Coastkeeper and the U.S. EPA that will force the City to invest almost $1 billion in its sewage infrastructure through 2013. The settlement will also ensure the continuation of the City’s successful Sewer Spill Reduction Program that has resulted in an 83% reduction in spills since 2000. Two partial consent decrees had been approved previously initiating these improvements, however due to the City’s financial situation a long term settlement was not yet possible. With the recent wastewater rate increases the City has now been able to enter into a long term agreement which will ensure continued investment in the City’s sewage infrastructure over the next six years. Surfrider is extremely pleased with the outcome of this lawsuit and the significant reduction in sewage spills we have witnessed to date.

*This campaign was completed in March 2007, but was reported in March 2008.

75. Rincon PR Mar 2008 Rincoeños Stop Condos and Save Beach Access in PR
Local fisherman, citizens and the Rincón Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation stopped the construction of a condominium complex on the beach at the marina next to the Black Eagle in Rincón, PR. This project threatened to further privatize Rincón’s coastline and reduce public access to the beach. The area is also traditionally used by local fishermen.

Following years of legal and administrative battles, the project permit was “paralyzed” indefinitely by ARPE (permitting agency) on February 22, 2008 because the project is located in a flood zone and the developers failed to disclose this detail or observe the required setback requirements.

The Appellate Court required a review of the location of the seaward line of the maritime zone – boundary of the public beach with the land. The Department of Natural Resources (DRNA) completed its survey of the maritime zone on March 11th. The impact of this new survey is that the fence surrounding the project site is illegal and must be removed reopening the traditional beach access that had been closed by the developers. The project must also be redesigned to be outside the maritime zone and must include a new environmental impact statement given the projects close proximity to Elkhorn coral reefs and the Reserva Marina Tres Palmas.
More info.

74. Newport Oregon OR Mar 2008 Clean Water at Nye Creek
The Oregon Central Coast Chapter has worked since 2004 to clean up Nye Creek through a campaign of water testing, political pressure and media savvy. They first pointed out the fact that the ocean in front of the creek was polluted and making people sick. Through a water quality monitoring program that went up the watershed, the chapter was able to bring to light a number of problems with the city’s stormwater and sewage management systems. Through collaborative work and public pressure the City of Newport has now updated several important regulations and committed to infrastructure improvements, as well as restoration of the creek and educational kiosks. This will all lead to clean and healthy water in Nye Creek and the nearby surf.
More info.
73. Florence, OR (organizing) OR Mar 2008 Prevented Damaging Energy Project on Oregon Coast
In August of 2007, the Oregon Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation filed a motion of intervention with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for the Florence Wave Energy facility proposed by the Australian company Oceanlinx. This motion (the first ever filed in the world by Surfrider) was brought about by concerns raised by local ocean users of the Florence Organizing Committee who wished to have a formal seat at the table when discussions moved forward in the planning process.

The Surfrider Foundation supports finding new ways to harness renewable energy, as long as local needs and impacts are taken into proper consideration and steps are taken to avoid degradation of cultural rituals. After nearly 9 months had gone by since Oceanlinx had filed its preliminary permit application, and zero public outreach and stakeholder involvement had been initiated, the company decided to withdraw their permit from consideration by FERC. For those who love surfing the south jetty, fishing and crabbing in the nearshore waters, or a nice stroll along the beach to view a beautiful Pacific sunset, this news was a major victory!
More info.

72. Cape Fear NC Mar 2008 Access 33 Kept Open – Wrightsville Beach, NC
Public Beach Access 33 in Wrightsville Beach, which has been used by the public for over 40 years, was recently taken away. When an adjacent property owner recently realized that the access lies within its property line, the Public Beach Access was restricted from further use by the public. The Town of Wrightsville Beach decided not to investigate alternatives for saving the public beach access. The closure of Beach Access No. 33 created the longest gap between accesses within the town.

Through public pressure and petitioning, followed by negotiations with the Town and homeowner the Chapter was able to come to a compromise. With the Chapter’s assistance the town will purchase a permanent easement to keep Access 33 open. This agreement also avoids setting a dangerous precedence of closing a public beach access.
More info.

71. Surfrider Foundation WA Mar 2008 WA Legislature supports coastal Marine Resources Committees
The Washington State Legislature passed a bill to support the establishment of Marine Resources Committees on Washington’s outer coast. Marine Resources Committees are citizen advisory groups that address issues concerning coastal ecosystems, including the health of our beaches and rocky shorelines. Similar committees have been working successfully in Puget Sound for over a decade. Now, local governments will be establishing Marine Resources Committees on the state’s outer coast, offering an exciting opportunity for citizens to get engaged in determining the future health of their ocean and beaches.

These committees bring together diverse marine interests, including the scientific, economic, recreational and conservation communities and tribes to address some of the toughest environmental threats facing our coastal ecosystems, such as pollution, invasive species and loss of habitat. Surfrider activists in Grays Harbor County and the Olympic Peninsula Chapter helped generate support for this initiative from coastal legislators and county commissioners. This support convinced the legislature to pass this legislation and provide $250,000 to establish coastal Marine Resources Committees.

70. Santa Cruz CA Feb 2008 City of Santa Cruz adopts ban on polystyrene food service wares
The City of Santa Cruz has passed an ordinance prohibiting the use of polystyrene food service wares.
More info.
69. San Mateo CA Feb 2008 Stopped Destructive Development Project at the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve
The San Mateo County Board of supervisors voted to reject the application for a Coastal Development Permit and Coastside Design Review Permit to construct a 3,159 square foot addition to an existing 1,332 square foot residence and detached accessory building on a 11,103 square foot parcel, including the removal of one significant size Cypress tree for property located at 324 The Strand, unincorporated Moss Beach area. The Board voted 4 out of 5 to reject the permit and stopped the project in its tracks. The proposed addition was inappropriately sized considering the sensitivity of the local habitat and the proximity to the coastline within the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve. Also, once approved, this project would likely have required reinforced armoring of the shoreline.
More info.
68. Kauai HI Feb 2008 Favorable Hawaii Navy Sonar Ruling
Federal District Court Chief Judge Ezra in Hawaii ruled that the U.S. Navy would not be allowed to carry on its undersea warfare exercises without implementing further mitigation measures to protect marine mammals. In response to a complaint brought by Surfrider and other conservation groups, Judge Ezra ordered eight new mitigation provisions including increased monitoring for marine mammals for one hour each day before using sonar, three lookouts exclusively to spot the animals during sonar use and stop sonar transmission altogether when one of the mammals is within 500 meters, and sonar must be gradually powered on to warn marine mammals and allow escape. The judge also held that the Navy has failed to investigate alternatives to conducting these exercises. In a parallel case in California on the same day, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected President Bush’s attempt to exempt the exercises from environmental laws.
More info.
67. Jersey Shore
South Jersey
NJ Jan 2008 Public Hearings required for Beach Fill Projects in NJ
Beachfill projects in NJ had some disastrous and unintended consequences. Residents and beach users had no forum to bring up or discuss the potential pitfalls of beachfill. Through hearings, letter writing, and legislative contact, chapter members pushed for this common sense legislation. The new law will now require a public hearing to take place before any beach replenishment project goes forward.
More info.
66. Jersey Shore NJ Jan 2008 Ocean Protection Law in NJ
A new law in NJ will require the Department of Environmental Protection to move towards a policy of ecosystem based management. It also establishes the Ocean Protection Council and charges the Council with studying, coordinating, and developing plans for ecosystem based management in NJ. Surfrider Foundation worked with the The Coastal Ocean Coalition of NJ to pass this legislation.
65. Treasure Coast FL Dec 2007 Protected Beach Access at Bonaire Beach
The Town of Jupiter Island requested that Rep. Mahoney insert legislation that would give the Town first right of refusal to purchase a surplus Coast Guard property consisting of 10 acres, including 900ft of beachfront. The property being acquired from the Coast Guard was to be used for conservation and storm protection purposes. The bill did not include the property being opened for beach access. Properties designated for conservation should include customary recreational use. The chapter raised their voices and was able get an inter-local agreement between the Town and County Commission that not only opened the coast guard beachfront property for beach access but it also increased the nearby Hobe Sound Beach parking lot with 20 additional spaces.
More info.
64. Palm Beach County FL Dec 2007 Protected Coral Reef from Pollution in Lake Worth, FL
The City of Lake Worth were going to vote on a plan to use a coral reef as city dump for reverse osmosis effluent. The pursuit by the City of Lake Worth to discharge 4 million-gallons-a-day of nutrient-laden wastewater onto a coral reef was derailed by public outcry after FDEP announced plans to issue a permit. At a public meeting in June coral reef experts testified that this plan is a disaster waiting to happen. The FDEP has received more than 1,000 letters objecting to the permit from the public, environmental organizations, Palm Beach County Department of Environmental Resource Management and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission. As a result FDEP and the City chose to change the permit from ocean discharge to injection and only use the existing outfall pipe in an emergency.
More info.
63. Florence, OR (organizing) OR Dec 2007 Prevented Beach Parking Fees in Florence, OR
Fisherman and surfers alike have historically used this parking area, known locally as “Chicken Point”, free of charge. In the summer of 2007, Lane County Parks took over the property (renaming it Harbor Vista Park) and put in place a user fee with no general improvement or services for the parking area. Day-use fees set a dangerous precedent for public rights to free and open access to our beaches and coastline scenic views. Area residents and Surfrider activists responded swiftly by gathering over 250 signatures on a petition to eliminate the fee, as well as providing crucial public testimony to the Lane County Board of Commissioners. West Lane Commissioner Bill Fleenor championed the cause and quickly motioned the Commission and instructed park staff to remove the user fee sign from the area.
More info.
62. Newport Oregon Nov 2007 Water Quality Improvements at Big Creek – Newport, OR
Over the course of 2 years of water quality testing through the central coast chapter, the Blue Water Task Force determined that bacteria concentrations at the Agate Beach Wayside were often elevated well above the public health advisory level. The chapter’s campaign focus was to source and mitigate the bacterial pollution as well as provide the public with better information about the contamination on the beach and incorporate the site into the state’s Beach Monitoring Program.

Through persistent work with the state’s Beach Monitoring Program, the chapter was able to add this beach site to the state’s monitoring program as well as add signage informing the public of the advisories when issued. Inspection of the upper watershed by the chapter led to the discovery of manholes located along Big Creek (which outfalls at Agate wayside) that were occassionally overflowing with raw sewage. In 2006 the chapter began lobbying the city for an investigation to the cause of the overflows and an effort to solve the problem.

VICTORY! In the fall of 2007 the city finally was able to hire a contractor for infiltration and visual inspections of the sewage lines along Big Creek. The inspections led to the discovery of two infiltration breaches, that were allowing significant amounts of stormwater to enter the sewer line; thus, causing overloading on the Big Creek pump station and spilling sewage out of the manholes and into Big Creek. The breaches were repaired through a “resin-cure” or “pipe patch” method without digging up any of the riparian area around the creek.

61. Santa Barbara County Oct 2007 Prevented Parking Fees at Santa Barbara County Beaches
The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors did not go forward with implementing parking fees at the county’s beach recreational areas. Surfrider Foundation Santa Barbara spoke out in opposition.
60. Surfrider Foundation PR Oct 2007 Puerto Rico’s Northeastern Ecological Corridor Saved
As part of the Coalicíon Pro Corredor Ecológico Del Noreste and following the lead of Luis Jorge Rivera of the Initiative for Sustainable Development, the Surfrider Foundation was successful in protecting the wave-rich ecological gem from being destroyed by mega-resorts when the Governor of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Aníbal Acevedo Vilá, signed an executive order establishing as public policy the designation of the Northeastern Ecological Corridor as a nature reserve.
More info.
59. Texas Sep 2007 Texas Open Beaches Act Defended by Courts
The Surfrider Foundation Chapters in Texas have won an important legal battle to keep their beaches open for all Texans.

On September 12, 2007, Texas State District Judge Patrick Sebesta ruled that the Texas Open Beaches Act is constitutional and that 16 houses on the public beach in Surfside, Texas must be removed. Sebesta’s judgment is the second judicial ruling in recent months that the Texas Open Beaches Act is constitutional.

Under the Texas Open Beaches Act, Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson can ask the courts to authorize the removal of structures on the public beach to ensure proper public access. In 2006, Commissioner Patterson notified a number of property owners that he might pursue the removal of any houses on the public beach and offered financial assistance to move the houses. Several of the property owners then sued Patterson to block the removal of their houses, resulting in Judge Sebesta’s ruling.

Most of the property owners have accepted the state’s offer for financial assistance to remove or demolish their houses. A very small handful of holdouts are likely to appeal the recent ruling, however.

The Texas Attorney General’s Office – which has represented the state and Commissioner Patterson during the legal proceedings — said that beach photos provided by the Texas Chapter during a legal deposition in Austin two years ago, along with the Chapter’s fortuitous “adoption” of the mile of beach in question in 1998, were key events in the judicial process.
More info.

58. Texas Coastal Bend TX Aug 2007 Beach Water Quality Notification in Corpus Christi, TX
Texas Coastal Bend Chapter activists scored a major victory when the Corpus Christi City Council unanimously passed a motion to implement beach water quality posting per the protocol of the Texas General Land Office’s Texas Beach Watch Program. Once the Beach Watch Program signs are installed, Corpus Christi residents and tourists alike will be able to make informed decisions before swimming – or windsurfing, kiteboarding, kayaking, fishing or surfing – in the bay and Gulf waters. Council member Nelda Martinez has asked the city manager to produce a written plan describing how city staff will select locations for the GLO’s signs, how they will interact with Dr. Mott’s team at Texas A&M University Corpus Christi that does the sampling and analysis, who will be notified by email when a positive test result occurs, and when the signs will be opened and closed and by whom.
More info.
57. Central Long Island NY Aug 2007 Central Long Island Pro Park Campaign
The Chapter wanted to maintain the integrity of several of Long Island’s South Shore State Park beaches by keeping them intact; including the horizon. The now-cancelled proposal by the Long Island Power Authority to put an array of wind turbines in the view-shed of these parks was not acceptable to the Chapter. The Chapter wanted to preserve the seascape vistas of Jones Beach State Park, Robert Moses State Park, Gilgo State Park, and the Western portion of the Fire Island National Seashore. This victory means the parks will be passed along to future generations the way they were conceived by Robert Moses and the way they have been enjoyed for generations. To ensure minimal impact on the environment, the chapter asked for a full EIS, Environmental Impact Statement.
More info.
56. New York City NY Jul 2007 New Surfing Beach in NYC
The New York City Chapter convinced the NY City Parks Department to open an additional surfing-only beach in Rockaway at 67th Street.
More info.
55. Santa Cruz
CA Jun 2007 Capitola Polystyrene Ban
The City of Capitola drafted an ordinance banning polystyrene foam from use as disposable food service ware and promoting the use of biodegradable and compostable food service wares. Due to pressure from the California Restaurant Association, the City had not officially approved or adopted the ordinance. The Santa Cruz chapter mobilized statewide support via electronic letters and broad-based local support via email, letters, phone calls, and testimony at City Council hearings from chapter members, scientists, restaurateurs, and food service management. The ordinance passed 3-2.
More info.
54. Panhandle FL Jun 2007 Improved Beach Access in Walton County, FL
Land that was granted to the public for use as a beach access in order to perform a dredging project was under attack by beachfront condo owners. Property owners were concerned that if the proposed parking that underlies the project is constructed, environmental problems will arise and more beach-goers will trespass on their property. Beachgoers had been parking on the side of the road on this dirt easement. The county attorney recently rendered the opinion that the property is public access. The Scenic Gulf Drive project will place over 100 parallel parking spaces adjacent to the Whale’s Tail Restaurant on Miramar Beach.
53. Oahu
HI Jun 2007 Preservation of Pupukea-Paumalu, North Shore, Oahu, Hawaii
The scenic bluffs overlooking the famous North Shore waves of Sunset Beach, Rocky Point and Pipeline were under threat of development from the Japanese Obayashi Corporation.  Originally purchased in 1974, Obayashi presented plans in the late 1980’s to build a gated community with over 300 homes.  Members of the North Shore community protested the plans, even filing suit after the city council approved the project despite overwhelming public opposition.  The plans were eventually approved in 2003, but in the interim, with all the delays, Obayashi put the property up for sale in 2002 for $12 million;

At this stage, on one of his visits to the North Shore, Surfrider Japan’s Masuo Ueda spoke with Blake McElheney a prominent leader in the fight to stop the project, about the idea of approaching Obayashi to purchase the property.  Jack Johnson made a personal appeal to Obayashi executives while on tour in Japan, and the preservationists were told that Obayashi would consider it.  Local fundraising initiatives began, and an all-volunteer coalition of citizens and business leaders was formed to find money to buy the property and to place it in reserved public lands. That group, the North Shore Community Land Trust, gained widespread community support. The coalition eventually included backing by the state, the city, the military and federal agencies, which contributed to the purchase price of approximately $8 million.

The Trust for Public Land, a national nonprofit group, helped to steer and complete the purchase of the land for transfer to the state and city.  Fundraising for Pupukea-Paumalu continues in an effort to support the coordination of community planning and stewardship activities so that residents, visitors and surfers from around the world will be able to enjoy the property in perpetuity.  The North Shore Community Land Trust has set up a special restricted savings account for the Pupukea Paumalu Stewardship Fund. All tax-deductible donations to this fund are designated specifically for the acquisition and protection costs for Pupukea Paumalu.

The Oahu chapter played an important role in keeping the fight alive for more than 10 years, by giving financial assistance for the lawsuits, by bringing key players together such as the Trust for Public Lands and the Japan Chapter, and by spreading the word around the world about what may happen to our treasured North Shore
More info.

52. Newport Oregon
OR Jun 2007 Reduce Toxic Pollution in Oregon
On June 26, 2007, Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski signed into law Senate Bill 737, which provides Oregon with a roadmap for reducing toxic discharges into rivers, lakes, and the Pacific Ocean. The Act will require the Department of Environmental Quality to prepare a priority list of the most dangerous toxics that are accumulating in sediment, fish and human tissue, and produce a report for the legislature identifying the sources of this pollution, the levels entering the environment, and steps that can be taken to prevent, reduce or eliminate these toxics. While the bill is not as strong as originally written, it’s a major step towards stronger implementation of the Clean Water Act in Oregon. Volunteers from Newport and Portland Chapters actively participated in this campaign through the Action Alert, letter writing, and presenting public comments in Salem. Thanks also to our coalition partners Sierra Club and the Riverkeepers.
More info.
51. Surfrider Foundation FL Jun 2007 Stopped New Law That Would Allow More Armoring in FL
Stopped a new law that would allow more beach armoring in FL. The proposed legislative language would have changed existing policy to allow one type of armoring to be used anywhere and for any reason. FL Chapters rallied to prevent this, protecting beaches.
50. Surfrider Foundation FL Jun 2007 Florida Access Legislation
Beach access in Florida is under great distress due to the overdevelopment of the coastline. Florida Statute Chapter 161 Beach Management, had only protected lateral beach access when it came to coastal construction permitting. By adding the several sentences to the definition of “access” both lateral and perpendicular are now protected. The legislation was instigated by the South Florida Chapter’s campaign to re-open access at Bal Harbour.
More info.
49. San Luis Bay CA May 2007 Morro Bay/Cayucos Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrade
After years of hard work from the San Luis Bay Chapter of Surfrider and their allies, the era of the 301(h) waiver for the Morro Bay/Cayucos Wastewater Treatment Plant is about to come to an end. In May, the Cayucos Community Service District Board and Morro Bay City Council both unanimously voted their intent to upgrade the Morro Bay/Cayucos Wastewater Treatment Plant to tertiary treatment standards. The plant currently operates under a 301(h) waiver that has exempted it for decades from meeting federal Clean Water Act standards and allows it to discharge effluent that has received only partial secondary treatment.  The upgrade would increase the treatment to full secondary and include additional tertiary treatment—which means cleaner effluent and opportunity to reclaim water for non-potable use.  This is a landmark moment for the Chapter, the communities of Morro Bay and Cayucos, and all Californians, as the upgrade of this plant will eliminate one of the two remaining 301(h) waivers in the state.
More info.
48. New Hampshire NH Apr 2007 New Hampshire Beach Monitoring Program Extended into Fall & Spring
The New Hampshire beach monitoring program has been extended beyond the typical summer season. This important victory can be attributed to the energy and motivation of the newly formed New Hampshire Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation.
More info.
47. Eastern Long Island NY Apr 2007 Town of East Hampton, NY Approves New Coastal Legislation
The Town Board of East Hampton, NY recently voted to approve new legislation to protect the Town’s beaches and coastal resources. While creating a Coastal Erosion Hazard Overlay District, this new legislation has had the support of the Eastern Long Island Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation because it prohibits any new hard erosion control structures from being built on the Town’s ocean beaches.
More info.
46. Surfrider Foundation CA Apr 2007 Marine Protected Areas on the Central Coast, CA
A network of Marine Protected Areas was enacted on the Central Coast as part of the Marine Life Protection Act. Surfrider and its partners have worked for several years with activists and stakeholders throughout California to help make this happen.
45. Surfrider Foundation OR Apr 2007 Derelict Crab Pots Cleaned from Southern Oregon Coast
Activists on the South Coast of Oregon worked to get 283 derelict commercial crab pots removed from the beach and nearshore in Brookings. The pots, spilled in December 2006, posed threats to surfing access and safety.
More info.
44. San Francisco CA Mar 2007 Banned Plastic Bags in San Francisco
The San Francisco Chapter of Surfrider Foundation is actively involved in encouraging community members and local businesses to reduce their use of plastic. The chapter, along with other environmental organizations went to a Hearing for the Plastic Bag Reduction Ordinance at City Hall, on March 8, 2007. Chapter activists were there to support the passage of this very important ordinance and on March 27th San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors voted 10-1 to make the city the first in the nation to prohibit petroleum-based plastic checkout bags in large markets and pharmacies.
More info.
43. Delaware
Capitol Washington DC
Ocean City MD
DE Mar 2007 Prevention of Shoreline Structure Expansion at Herring Point, DE
Prevented the expansion of an existing groin or construction of new structures to address erosion at Herring Point in Cape Henlopen State Park. The surf and other natural resources at this location draw thousands from throughout the region.
42. Argentina Feb 2007 Stopped reconstruction of jetties at La Perla
Surfrider stopped the Province of Buenos Aires from rebuilding the jetties at a beach called La Perla.  Now they are considering other technologies to stop erosion.
41. Argentina Feb 2007 Stopped further construction of jetties in Buenos Aires
Surfrider stopped the Province of Buenos Aires from building “T” jetties at Constitution beach.  The “T” jetties that were a common “solution” to erosion problems are really supposed to be breakwaters (lateral jetties offshore).  However the contractors put in roads to construct the breakwaters and never removed them, thus worsening the situation even more.  Now government officials are considering other technologies to stop erosion.
40. South Florida FL Jan 2007 Access Restored in South Florida
The South Florida chapter regained access to a public beach which had been closed indefinitely by developers in the midst of a construction project and no temporary access was put in place.
More info.
39. Oregon OR Jan 2007 Shoreline Preservation in Cannon Beach, OR
The City of Cannon Beach has decided not to waive land use regulations that protect Oregon’s ocean beaches from development. On July 31, a beach front property owner in Cannon Beach filed a Measure 37 claim to construct a motel on top of beach sand dunes long protected by the Oregon Beach Bill of 1967. While parts of the claim were accepted, the city ruled against authorizing development west of the vegetation line. Several Cannon Beach volunteers submitted written comments on this issue and Surfrider also received pro bono research support from two attorneys in the area.
More info.
38. Delaware DE Jan 2007 Year Round Water Quality Testing in Deleware
The Delaware Chapter convinced the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) to expand their beach monitoring program beyond the normal tourist season to year-round testing.
More info.
37. Surfrider Foundation Jan 2007 Landmark Court Decision to Protect Marine Species
The U.S. Court of Appeals struck down a rule issued by the EPA for inadequately enforcing the Clean Water Act in regards to the use of “once through” cooling systems by coastal generators across the United States. The decision is a victory for the Surfrider Foundation, who along with a number of other environmental organizations and State Attorney General, was co-plaintiff on the suit lead by the Riverkeeper organization.
More info.


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