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We believe…

January 21 2008 | Jim's Blog,
by Jim

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

This is a stellar day to take a step back and understand the rest of that "we believe..." statement. At Surfrider, we did that a while ago, we call it our Beach Manifesto. It's part of the larger State of the Beach we publish every year, check that out here.

That report documents the conditions of our nation's beaches and what can be done to make them better. Explore the state reports, the "Bad and the Rad" and the "Perspectives" sections to learn about what we know and what we should be doing to improve beach health.

Here is the rest of Surfrider's We believe statement...


- Beach access would be free and uninterrupted. You could get to the beach to check the surf or stick your toes in the sand at least every half-mile in urban areas. There would be adequate parking, restrooms, and other amenities. Money would be budgeted for the acquisition of coastal open space.

- You could surf or swim after it rains without the fear of getting sick, or at least know where it's safe because a notice would be posted if the water quality were bad. You would know the locations of storm drains and sewer outfalls.

- Sand would flow freely to form surf breaks and beaches, and not be captured by dams, blocked by groins, or walled up behind seawalls and riprap. People would live far enough away from the shoreline that beach erosion would not be a problem. Beaches would be where and what they were naturally meant to be. As a result, we would not need to rely on beach fill and we would not need shoreline structures. It would be widely appreciated that beach ecology is as important as the ecology of the oceans. Sandy beaches would be recognized as diverse and productive systems, which serve as a critical link between marine and terrestrial environments.

- There would be no net loss of surfing areas, and all coastal recreation opportunities would be protected.

- Advances in technology would be used to make information readily available to the public, government officials, and scientists alike. Information would be presented in a way that is easily understood. All of us, not just a select few, would be able to participate in the decision-making process regarding our precious coastal resources.

- Beach access sites would be inventoried, surf zone water quality monitored, and beach erosion measured. Keeping track of these things would help to ensure that our Mother Ocean's bounty is preserved for future generations.

Photos: Tom Spader, Surfrider Asbury Park Surf Clinic
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