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.

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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.

The Sea Turtle Restoration Project fights to protect endangered sea turtle populations worldwide.  Founded in 1989, the STRP is a project of Turtle Island Restoration Network, a non-profit organization based in California.  Unlike TIRN which focuses on preserving all marine life, STRP uses a combination of grassroots education, legal pressure, hands-on conservation, media, research and policy advocacy to direct their attention to sea turtles.  STRP recognizes the sea turtle endangerment as not only a single species tragedy, but also acknowledges the necessary shift humans must take to develop a healthier relationship with the natural environment.

The website features details on TIRN’s 12 campaigns, a few of which include:

BP Gulf Oil Spill – Help aid the sea turtles that have been affected by the tragic BP oil spill disaster.

Climate Change and Sea Turtles – Impacts of global climate change on sea turtles.

Australia’s Sea Turtles – Threatened by industrial development, the sea turtles in Northwest Australia are on the edge of extinction.

Marine Mammals – Whales, dolphins, and seals need immediate attention and protection from fisheries and human activities.

Saving the Sea Turtles from Fisheries – Each year tens of thousands sea turtles are accidentally trapped and harmed by US commercial fishing.

Kemp Ridley Protection – Seeking to protect the endangered Kemp Ridley sea turtle nesting ground in Texas.

Bag the Plastics – Fights to decrease the amount of plastics that litter our oceans and harm our marine life.

Sea Turtle Restoration even offers awesome trips such as “Meet the Flatback” Eco-Tour, which is a 7 day excursion in the Australian flatback in which participants patrol the white sand beaches at night for sea turtle nesting grounds then relax during the day at a multi-award winning eco-resort.  Or win a trip for two to a Cocos Island, Costa Rica scuba diving expedition (worth $13,280).  This 10-day, 11 night journey features one of the world’s greatest scuba diving locations and proceeds will support sea turtle and shark protection efforts.  They even offer careers, internships, and volunteer opportunities for those looking to take a greater stance in involvement.

And for those of you still contemplating a last-minute Halloween costume, why not make a statement and create your own sea turtle outfit? Follow the easy step-by-step instructions that will ensure not only making a statement and coolest costume at the party.

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.

 

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

 

 

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.

We’ve heard the facts.  We’ve seen the signals.  We listen to scientists time and time again list the numbers: 500 to 1,000 years it takes for plastic to decompose,  1,000,000 years for a plastic bottle to decompose.  Yet what we don’t know is that since the 1950’s in the middle of the Pacific Ocean a continent twice the size of Texas is growing at a rapid pace completely composed by garbage and plastic waste.

Generally referred to as the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch,” this island sits in the untouched waters between Hawaii and North America’s western coast.  Plastic waste and other non degradable materials are being swept into the North Pacific gyre, a vortex of rotating ocean currents that’s roughly 12,000 miles long.  The counterclockwise motion of the gyre deposits waste into the center of the Garbage Patch which consists of about 80 percent plastic.

Plastic waste is mistakenly perceived as biodegradable when in reality it is photodegradable, which means sunlight breaks the waste into smaller pieces that are ingested by organisms.  These miniscule organisms are then hunted by larger fish that are in turn digested by humans.  The plastic debris releases a toxic chemical known as Bisphenol A (BPA) which scientists have linked to reproductive problems, liver and kidney disease, and diabetes.

For more information and how to help visit:

Garbage Patch: Think Beyond Plastic

 


Created on the South Shore of Oahu, in 1961 John Kelly founded Save Our Surf.  SOS is considered by many to be the first grassroots nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving local beaches and surf breaks.  Over the years SOS has saved over 140 surf sites from destruction and brought awareness to the fragile balance of our ocean’s ecosystems.  A true waterman, John Kelly sparked global concern among surfers and environmental enthusiasts to protect the ocean, surf, and coast.