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MAKING WAVES
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Surfrider's Chad Nelsen at Ocean Conference: 'More Than Talk'
On June 16-17, during World Oceans Month, world leaders, business executives, scientists and environmental activists, including Surfrider Foundation’s Environmental Director, Dr. Chad Nelsen, attended the U.S. State Department’s ‘Our Ocean’ conference in Washington, D.C. Lead by Secretary of State John Kerry, the conference focused on domestic and international ocean protection issues and took bold action right out of the gate. Several new marine protected areas were announced and a whopping $1.8 billion from government and private sources, including $7 million from American actor and film producer Leonardo DiCaprio, was pledged to conserve ocean resources for future generations. Nelsen’s full recap, here.
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Plastic Bag Ordinances Sweeping the Nation
Let’s Rise Above Plastics! Since the Surfrider Foundation’s involvement in securing San Francisco’s 2007 bag ban ordinance, the first of its kind, we have worked fervently to keep the momentum of bag bans rolling. Angela Howe, Surfrider’s Legal Director, provides us with a snapshot of past and current Surfrider bag ban victories including recent wins in Los Angeles (Calif.), Chicago (Ill.) and Rincon (P.R.). “The momentum can be attributed to the mounting proof that bag bans aren’t just for show. They actually work,” says Howe. Check out our Rise Above Plastics program page to learn more about plastic pollution and how to get involved in plastic litter reductions.
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Slingshot! Toxic EPS Foam Bans Continue
More than 100 U.S. cities and counties have banned expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam, and the number is growing each year. Because EPS foam is more than 90 percent air, these products break apart easily, never biodegrade and litter our parks, streets and waterways. As the Surfrider Foundation Oahu Chapter works to get an EPS Foam Ban (Bill 40) passed in Honolulu, the Surfrider Foundation Portland Maine Chapter had two HUGE victories to celebrate this month. The Chapter helped pass two ordinances: a 5-cent fee on paper and plastic carryout bags, and a ban on the sale of EPS foam food packaging at all retail vendors. Go Portland and Hawaii!
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ACTION ALERT: Say NO to ‘Dirty Water’ Amendments
Soon, the U.S. Senate will vote on amendments that will prevent restoring Clean Water Act protections to 20 million acres of wetlands, 2 million miles of streams, and the drinking water for 117 million Americans. Surfrider Foundation’s clean water initiatives will help protect these waterways and aid in preventing pollution from reaching the coast and oceans. Tell your Senator to vote NO on these ‘dirty water’ amendments and protect clean water!
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A Coastal Victory in Rhode Island
Thanks to the Surfrider Foundation Rhode Island Chapter and Attorney Brian Wagner, the public can now access Rose Nulman Park in Narragansett, Rhode Island, an area that is otherwise surrounded by cliffs and private property. In 2013, when a bad surveying job wrongly landed a nearly $2 million new home on private property, which was available for public use and access to the beach, the Rhode Island Chapter intervened. Wagner generously represented the Surfrider Foundation to maintain public access. Their efforts paid off as the court sided with Wagner and Surfrider to keep the beach accessible.
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Commission Can Now Impose Beach Access Fines
On July 1, a law went into effect that enables the California Coastal Commission to fine landowners who are wrongfully blocking public beach access. There are over 600 open cases of beach access violations in California alone. For years, the Surfrider Foundation has been fighting for unrestricted access along the nation’s coasts. And, as our access battles at Strands Beach in Dana Point and Martin's Beach in San Mateo heat up, you can be assured that we will never give up.
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Slow the Flow With Ocean Friendly Gardening
Summer is here, and all manner of wonderful little surprises are peeking up to welcome the warmer weather, while in other regions plants are conserving energy. Wherever you are, this is a good time to make sure you have applied CPR (conservation, permeability and retention) to your property to prevent polluted runoff, reduce water and energy use, and create habitat and food for birds, butterflies and bees. In the second part of a seven-part film series, which was launched in June, Surfrider’s Ocean Friendly Gardens National Program Coordinator, Paul Herzog, will teach you how to make your "Lawn Be Gone" without herbicides by sheet mulching and building a soil sponge.
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Ten Years, Countless Stoke. Another ISD in the Books
THANK YOU to the countless volunteers who paddled out, cleaned up and shared the stoke on International Surfing Day last month. This beautiful photo narrative is just a glimpse into the more than 150 Surfrider hosted celebrations around the world—82 in the United States— and about 30,000 people in 23 countries who participated. A special thanks to all of our sponsors and friends, specifically Volkswagen of America and ZeeBerry.com, for their generous support. Our “My Special Place” Instagram contest garnered 3,000 entries; with three incredible photographs winning an epic prize pack. The celebrations and contest embodied our mission to not only protect, but to enjoy the world’s oceans, waves and beaches.
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