In heat of the earthquake that shook Indonesia, which sparked Mount Merapi’s eruption and the destructive tsunami off the coast of Sumatra, Surfaid has been actively involved in supplying relief to locals and those affected by the natural disaster. Only hours after the 6-10 foot tsunami washed through the Mentawais, Surfaid launched an emergency response to assess damages and send out the first batch of first-aid supplies.  Due to the remoteness of the areas affected, the Indonesian Government requested that Surfaid take a leading position providing data concerning the various locations of devastation.  Massive storms and harsh weather passing through the Mentawais have hindered Surfaid’s relief efforts.  The death toll has risen to 431, 88 people have been counted as missing and 400 reportedly injured.

Surfaid CEO Andrew Judge requests more aid for the Tsunami Appeal, “We have budgeted to spend $2.86 million in the Mentawai after the tsunami and we need to raise nearly one-quarter of this through our public appeal.”

To donate to help the 15,000 people left homeless click here.

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Save the Waves is hosting a film festival Friday, November 12th in the historic Victoria Theatre in San Francisco.  The second annual festival will feature a live performance by My Peoples before the world premiere of Dave Rastovich’s film Transparent Sea followed by a screening of 180 South.  Transparent Sea follows Rastovich’s journey along the Australian coast drawing attention to endangered whales threatened by over fishing, hunting, and pollution.

Doors open Friday, November 12 at 7 pm.  Film screening begins at 8 pm. 21 and over.

To purchase tickets click here.

Last Saturday in Nagoya, Japan the United Nations finally passed a global treaty that will ensure the protection of world forests, coral reefs, and a multitude of other ecosystems threatened by human involvement.  Delegates from 193 countries agreed to take “effective and urgent” action to halt the destruction of Earth’s precious ecosystems.  The hope is within the next decade there will be significant improvements to endangered environments and a growing number of land and water preservation reserves.

After two weeks of heated debate, prompted by non-profit environmental organizations, the UN’s decision to strike an accord may be an indicator that nation leaders are at last acknowledging the fast depletion of Earth’s ecosystems.  Environmental groups such as Greenpeace have been pushing for dramatic changes to the way humans interact with the ocean.

Greenpeace commented on the UN’s treaty,  “Alarm bells have been ringing for decades, and developed nations have been hitting the snooze button by delaying both action on and funding for environmental protection.”  Greenpeace hopes to eventually preserve

40 percent of the oceans.  For now the treaty has committed to protecting 17 percent of land and 10 percent of oceans.  This decision is a significant advancement considering only 13 percent of land and one percent of oceans are currently under UN protection.

In his opening statements to the UN, Achin Steiner stated “This meeting is a part of the world’s efforts to address a very simple fact – we are destroying life on Earth.”  Although passing this new accord is by far the greatest proactive initiative towards conserving the environment the world has yet to witness, it is only a baby step in a long climb towards healing our planet.

It’s difficult to believe that a force as tremendous as the ocean can be impacted by human pressures.  The state of our oceans have been rapidly worsening due to global climate change, coastal development, overfishing, and pollutants.

The EBM, Ecosystem-based Management plan, is a guide to changing the ways human influence effects coastal and marine life in order to restore the ocean to its’ natural state.  Organizations such as the Pew Oceans Commission, Compass, and the US Commission on Ocean Policy have called upon the US government to adopt EBM as a nationwide regulator.  The approach offers management plans and strategies to reform how humans co-exists and integrate with marine life.  A common misperception is that EBM will too aggressively restrict the way humans can interact with the ocean.  However many are unaware that EBM is already implemented key areas around the world  such as Chesapeake Bay, Florida Keys, Great Barrier Reef, Morro Bay, and the Gulf of California.

President Obama acknowledged the BP oil spill as a “stark reminder of how vulnerable our marine environments are.”  He has also been encouraging the National Ocean Council to use EMB as a regulatory plan to guide the US interaction with oceans. (LA Times)

According to yesterdays article “After the Spill“, featured in the NY Times,The House has passed a bill that would tighten environmental safeguards, require companies to furnish detailed response plans before receiving drilling permits, and reorganize the government to prevent to conflicts of interest that helped lead to the BP spill.”

Implementing EBM policies would not restrict human potential in coastal zones but limit the damages inflicted by our present way of living.

To learn more about EBM, check out Compass a group dedicated to “facilitate the communication of the newest science on these topics to policy-makers, managers, the media, and the other general public.  Their website offers insightful information about the current state of our oceans and steps we can take towards restoring healthier waters.

For suggestions on how to get involved and live by EBM policies, visit Seaweb.

(Top Photo: Cobquera, Chile.  Bottom Photo: Mundaka, Spain)

Save the Waves, a non-profit organization dedicated to preservation of coastlines and marine life, monitors surf spots world wide and campaigns to save endangered waves.  Their list of endangered waves encourages ocean enthusiasts to participate in their fight to rescue waves from destruction.

Unfortunately some of the world’s greatest breaks are ranked on the list including Cobquera Chile, Mundaka Spain, Playa Teta Panama and Gijon Spain.  Once lost a break can never be recreated, redeemed, or restored to its former glory.  It is vital we all take action and make the efforts to end the destruction of these waves now, before they are lost forever.  To read more about how to save the four breaks above, click here.  To buy Save the Wave’s documentaries on ocean and surf preservation, click here…you might just find the perfect holiday gift for your family’s ocean enthusiast.

 

If you’re lucky, you’ll encounter an issue that stirs within you the desire to fight and protest for a cause. We all deal with the insignificant trials of daily life, but it’s rare when we find a cause worth protesting for.  Here’s a guy who risked sitting in front of a moving bulldozer in hopes of defending the world-class surf breaks in Malibu against destruction.  He claims this act of bravery led to the creation of one of the largest coastal preservation groups of all time: the Surfrider Foundation.   – Leila Thomas

The account by Gordon Polk:

Back in the early 80’s Malibu County decided to renovate the area behind the colony.  To this day I have not been in there. Although as a young boy I played there often and caught lizards, frogs and stepped on rusty nails. Brad Ford had a fort we spent the night in as well.  But that’s another story.

Cut to the chase.

The water that ran underneath the bridges needed to be “flushed” occasionally due to the fact that it was stage two water. I believe the man in charge was Kurt Wallace. He would have the bulldozer dredge the sand at First Point, and the water would come rushing out. I imagine First Point was better than Third Point because after a few days the current would seal the break, and the water would start to fill up again. Thus this produced ample water for the park behind the colony.

Well after some time, the water began to rush out causing damage to the bottom at First Point. The wave started to close out, mushy and sectioned. One Sunday the wave was actually breaking all the way in. This had become a rarity. It was a fun day for all of us out surfing.  Then from the Third Point area we suddenly heard the destructive sound of the bulldozer. Enraged, I turned to the guys with me in the water and said, “Hey! Are we going to let this happen?” The surfers replied, “Calm down. There’s nothing we can do.”  Infuriated by their passive reactions, I took matters into my own hands and paddled straight up to Mike Sprock, who was president of the MSA at the time. He told me to calm down. Thank you Mr. President.

I directed my attention to the guys hanging out behind the lifeguard tower only to get the same reply. Unwilling of surrender, I stood in front of this massive dozer and started to yell at the conductor to back off.  He ignored my angry complaints and continued on his destructive path. Once I became an unavoidable nuisance, he and I began to scream back and forth. I demanded to see his supervisor.

After some time this guy came down and said that he was his super. “Great”, I said. “If you are so low on the totem pole that you are watching a guy on a bull dozer on a Sunday afternoon, then I want to talk to your supervisor.”  I sat back down. If you can imagine, this was getting a bit out of hand at this time. Soon after a woman appeared and declared that she was the supervisor of the guy watching the driver of the bulldozer. Again, I demanded to speak to her supervisor.  Her refusal led me to another enraged yelling fest. Oddly enough the everyday beach goers that passed by decided to help out this angry surfer, and sat down. Then some of the guys that weren’t at first interested in my cause decided to join in, although to mock more me than help. Mike even came over and wanted me to chill because MSA was a member of the chamber. Ha!

At this point, with the mob of people creating a commotion the bulldozer began to loose steam and halted progress. I then slipped out the back of the crowd and phoned Lance Carson. By this time sheriff cars, a blazer, and a helicopter circled the beach as I watched from the street above.

Lance called me a couple of days later, and we met at the Baja Cantina with Snodgrass, a surf legend, a lady from the LA Times and Tom Pratt. Lance and Tom took it from there.  I really just sat back and listened. Guess I was invited cuz I pushed the snowball down the hill. Lance went up, I think with Tom to meet with Wallace. He said he was a real A-hole.

I was semi threatened by some guys who said, “They knew who I was.” I replied, “See those guys?” and pointed to the surfers by the wall. I threatened that if they hassled me that these locals by the wall would take them into the polluted lagoon and tie them up at low tide. This was of course not meant seriously.

I opted to take a back seat and stay low, out of the picture. But there’s one thing that has always bugged me that I have never spoken of, and I am going to throw them under the bus now. Joe Sanders was one of the surfers in the water that told me to calm down and just stood by watching the bulldozer destroy our home break. Yet later I see him and Mike Sprock on the news “tackling the problem.”  That really got my goat since that fateful day at Third Break they did nothing but mock me. There I said it.

Almost a year later, there was this big meeting at the Point Dume Civic Center. Jerry Browns, J Paul Getty Jr., blah. Charts, graphs, newscasters, the whole deal.  Even with a high fever, I knew I couldn’t miss the spectacle. So with a temperature of 102, I trudged down to the Civic Center and stationed myself in the back of the room. Funny, the day of the bulldozer it was only about the waves, but now it was much more. The pier was getting trashed, and the colony was loosing beach. It was so much more and so many people were involved. Really, it was huge.

After all was said and done, I sat waiting for the hall to empty. Feeling nauseous, I didn’t want to get up and see anyone. But here’s my small gratification. As I sat on the aisle seat a complete stranger came by to shake my hand. Then another and another until a small line formed down the isle to shake my hand. Even to this day I get a little wishy-washy when I think of it. Someone in there must have said, “That’s the idiot that sat in front of the bull dozer.”

From my understanding this is the cause that brought together Lance and Tom to start the Surfrider Foundation.

As for me, I am old and surf shitty breaks in North County, San Diego.

There ya go. I am sure there are people that will say I am full of shit. That it didn’t happen that way. It did and I don’t care what anyone says.

Peace,

Leroy Blowfish Buttlips Polk II

 

 

Those who have had the pleasure of experiencing a wild weekend in Isla Vista know how crazy things can get… What most people overlook is the consequences of our fun: trash, trash, trash.  Every Sunday as I bike to Sands beach, the piles of rubbish grow higher and higher.

This Sunday, October 17th.  Wave Patrol is working with Isla Vista’s Adopt-a-Block chapter to hold a massive street and beach clean-up.  We will be meeting at 12 pm at the main beach entrance at the end of Camino Pescadero.  Gloves, trash bags, buckets, and grapplers will be supplied.  Every participant will receive community service certificate and a gift card to a local grind spot in IV.  Come help support!

When:  Sunday, October 17th: Meet at 12 pm (event ends at 4 pm)

Where: Beach entrance at end of Camino Pescadero

Since launching in 2008, the Rip Curl Planet Foundation has donated over $313, 205 to environmental groups.  The foundation focuses on the preservation of surf breaks and funds educational and eco-design projects.  In 2006, Rip Curl Planet joined WWF to save coral reefs in French Polynesia.  The precious coral reefs that are vital to the balance and harmony in our oceans are threatened by pollution, overfishing, and the rise of sea temperatures.  WWF ‘s campaign based in New Caledonia has already resulted in listen 2/3 of the islands lagoon on Unesco’s World Heritage List.

Click here to visit the WWF’s US chapter website.

The Surfrider Foundation’s  Beachapedia is a website dedicated to collecting and sharing knowledge concerning coastal environmental topics and concerns.  By allowing the public to publish articles related to the ocean and coasts, the website inspires community members to make positive impacts at their local stomping grounds.

Recent popular articles include “Nearshore,” an animation composed by Earthguide at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography, and “Recycled Water,” which discusses the constant cycle of Earth’s water.

The other day I got the privilege of spotting one of my favorite professional surfers ripping at Ala Moana Bowls.  On his way in, he spotted a plastic bag floating in the water and pocketed it before paddling on.  Once on the shore, he did a scan of the beach and  picked up any rubbish that had been littered in the sand.  His actions reminded me that even the simplest of actions can make a big impact.  Here’s a list of the beach cleanups the Surfrider Foundation is sponsoring for the month of September.  Let’s all do our part of keeping our sandbox clean.

Huntington Beach

  1. Sat. September 11, Bolsa Chica State Beach 8 am to 12 pm, meet at lifeguard tower 21 at blue Surfrider tent
  2. Sat. September 25, 9th Street 8 am to 12 pm, look for blue Surfrider tent

Long Beach

  1. Sat. September 11, Alamitos Beach (downtown) 10 am to 10:30 am
  2. Sat September 18, Granada Ave. 10 am to 10:30 am, meet at end of Granada Ave. and bike path

Newport Beach

  1. Sat. September 11, Echo Beach 3 pm to 5 pm, meet at 54 St. and Seashore Dr.

San Diego

  1. Sat. September 18, Encinitas Moonlight Beach 9 am to 11 am, meet by sand at Cottonwood Creek
  2. Sat. September 25, California Coastal Cleanup Day 9 am to 12 pm, location TBD

South Orange County

  1. Sat. September 25, California Coastal Cleanup Day 9 am to 1 pm, San Juan Creek