HAPPENING NOW: Open Martin’s Beach!
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85 victories since 1/06

May 09 2008 | Jim's Blog,
by Jim

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.


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.


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.


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 i
tem 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.


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
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Connecticut and Central Long Island and 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 t
he 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.

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
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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
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The total list.
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