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Keep Country Country… forever

December 09 2007 | Jim's Blog,
by Jim

I'm in Hawai'i for a few quick days and I have an agenda. We need to invest more toward this region's ongoing environmental needs. When I say "we" and I mean both Surfrider Foundation and the larger "we" (locals, surfers, visitors, surf industry... everyone). These islands are simply too unique and special of a place NOT to do that.

Any one that surfs understands these islands are the Mecca of the sport. However they may not know that the last two decades saw multiple environmental campaigns aimed at keeping it pristine. To put this into context I'd suggest listening to the Peter Cole podcast or the Rabbit Bartholomew podcast.

Sometimes it helps to compare things. In this case you could compare "Town" (Honolulu) with "Country" (Haleiwa).

An oversimplification is Town = city and Country = ... country. As we know, most places that were once rural are now closer to cities. This concept is sometimes called Shifting Baselines. Sometimes it's called... losing. Southern California was once as rural as deep Baja, now it may have more in common with Brooklyn than it does with Baja. The "country" feel has been lost in too many places.

Due to the amazing work by people like the Coles, the McElhenys (another good podcast), the Johnsons and others... the North Shore is more or less similar to what it was like a few decades back. Peter was one of the cornerstones in key campaigns, some which continue to live on year after year, decade after decade. Yesterday there was a celebration for another two-decade fight to protect Pupukea Paumalu. That area is now protected forever. The intergenerational work by Larry and Blake McElheny is a blueprint for success, a decadal mindset for preservation combined with a focus to bring a campaign to closure. Poncho Sullivan used the right word, "monumental", to describe the end result.

For me stickers like this one tell the story. The story is futher told by the fact that this mindset, this sticker, permeates the local culture.

This goes back to a basic tenet of Surfrider, if people work together... if they pool resources to preserve their local environment, then it becomes quite difficult to take it away.

Individuals, Surfrider Foundation, and other environmental organizations have worked and must continue to work to ensure we don't loose the amazing spots on our globe. Check out this map where we're operating and where we've had some recent victories. What we need to do in the Hawaiian islands is the same thing we've done elsewhere. We need to invest in everything needed to keep country... country.

Surfrider Foundation is committed to this. We're seeking to increase our investment in this region.

We want you to be committed as well. If you are lucky enough to live/work in the Hawaiian islands then you should plug in and assist with the efforts to keep it as pristine as possible. We want you to increase your investment in these regions with us, that can take many forms. Find your local chapter and plug in.

For Surfrider O'ahu plug in here.

For Surfrider Kaua'i plug in here.

For Surfrider Maui plug in here.

We want Hawaii's beaches to look like this not only next year but for decades to come.

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