Emerald Coast Chapter

We are the beach people. The surfers, paddle boarders, kayakers, fishermen, swimmers, beach runners, and walkers. We are activists who want to protect the ocean environment, and our access to it! The ocean and beaches are our playground! More Details
January 3, 2013

Surfrider Volunteer Opportunities for 2013

Still thinking about that New Year’s resolution?  How about a pledge to actively support your community and protect the beach you love? Surfrider Emerald Coast will be working on several great projects this year.  Each project is done by volunteers just like you…Regular folks who have decided to work together and do extraordinary things!

On deck for the first half of the year will be the following events:

February-  Log Jam, Surf contest at Pompano Joe’s

April-May-  Surf School, mentoring program

May-  Electric Mayhem, electric vehicle show

June-  International Surfing Day

If a project you are interested in is not listed, just say the word and we can get it going.  There are opportunities to lead campaigns for Beach Clean-Ups, Eco-Friendly Gardens, Rise Above Plastics, Ban the Bag, -all of these and more are ready for a passionate member to step in and crank it up!

So now, what’s your New Year’s Resolution gonna be?  Pump iron at the gym for a few days… or maybe pump up our beach for a lifetime or two of enjoyment!  You can always do both!

Happy New Year!

(-Use this contact button to send us a line about which project you would enjoy helping with!    -If you are commitment shy, you can easily help out by simply sharing a link to this post on any social media site- Facebook, Twitter, etc.)

Emerald Coast Beach Fest
October 25, 2012

Beach Spooktacular! -Saturday Oct 27th

Join Surfrider on the beach for a spooky good Halloween event.  We will meet at Pompano Joe’s restaurant in Destin from 10-2pm on Saturday Oct. 27th.  Enjoy a sand castle building contest. Bring your carved pumpkin for judging. There will be other fun games and a quick beach clean-up for the kids to participate in.  We’ll have prizes for the talented folks and a good laugh for everyone for sure! Bote Paddle Boards will provide stand up demos and a fun race.  Nothing to be sacred about! Kids even eat for free thanks to Pompano Joe’s.  And to top it all off, Pomp’s is making a donation to Surfrider just to thank us all for always taking care of our beaches.

August 13, 2012

Surfrider “State of the Beach” talk in Pensacola -Tuesday Aug. 14th

Surfrider Emerald Coast will be in Pensacola Tuesday to discuss our research findings and current oil disaster work. Please join us!

“State of the Beach” Report: Talk by Michael Sturdivant
Tuesday at 7pm at Bayview Senior Center, 2000 E. Lloyd St., Meeting Room 101, Pensacola, Florida

Not a crime
June 27, 2012 | 2 Comments

Will Surfing Become Illegal in Alabama?

We have had several reports of surfers being threatened with arrest or fines and being harassed by public officials in Alabama during the Debby swell. If you have firsthand experience with this event or a similar experience in Florida, contact us so we can get the facts straight and try to help you. In the mean time, you may want to obey the direct orders of any police officer. Even if they are mistaken about the legality of surfing, an officer still may have the authority to give orders governing public safety and you could be cited for non-compliance. The long term solution will be through education and establishing or revising ordinances to clearly allow the healthy sport of surfing.

The situation seems eerily similar the the event that led to the founding of our Emerald Coast chapter, when surfing was nearly outlawed in Walton County, FL. Many of us suddenly realized that somebody needs to do something… then we realized that the “somebody” was us! It took gathering facts, holding a few meetings and presenting our case to the county commission. a compromise was struck and the ordinance was struck down from consideration.

Anyone in AL that would like to work on these efforts can email us at EmeraldCoast@surfrider.org

Not already a Surfrider member? Click here to join now and be a part of the solution!

June 22, 2012

Surfrider Kid’s Surf Classic Is On!

It’s On! We are looking forward to the Surfrider Kid’s Surf Classic Saturday morning! Current forecast is looking very good! Partly cloudy with a 30% chance of afternoon showers. Surf is forecast to be 2.5ft (waist high) at contest start and build to chest high by mid day. (The larger surf is not forecast to arrive till late afternoon Saturday and then real nice swell on Sunday!) Join us for a great day at the beach. Check in opens at 7am. First heat starts at 8AM. We have only about ten slots available for walk up registration, so come early if you are not pre-registered.

June 19, 2012

International Surfing Day- Wednesday June 20th !

Wednesday is International Surfing Day! Looks like we may have some surf and our Surfrider CEO has written everybody a note excusing you from work.
No worries if you can’t play all day, we will also have ISD beach gatherings in two locations Wednesday evening.
5pm till dark.
Okaloosa Island -access #7
and- Santa Rosa Beach, Ed Walline Park.
Everyone is invited. Potluck… bring a little extra for a hungry surfer and maybe an old board to share with a kid! We’ll have some ISD swag and maybe a raffle item or two. Join us! And, remember to renew or Join Surfrider tomorrow only for super special deals… “join” link on top right of our SurfriderEmeraldCoast.org web page!
ISD Logo
May 18, 2012

Kid’s Surf Classic

The Emerald Coast Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation, is stoked to announce the first ever running of the- Kid’s Surf Classic !  -a surfing contest just for kids!  For many it will be a first time surfing experience and for some, a chance to show off their skills!  For all involved, parents and children alike, it will surely be a great time on the beach.

The Surfrider Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to the enjoyment and protection of beaches for everyone.  As a participant in this event, all early registrants will also be enrolled for a one year membership in the Surfrider Foundation! (see the early registration special info below) $20 of each registration is being donated directly to Surfrider’s national organization, the remainder of your entry funds the contest and local Surfrider chapter campaigns. With your registration, you will be saving beaches around the world while playing and having a great time on your own beach!

June 23, 2012 (Rain date, June 24)
Online advance registration is encouraged. This event is limited to the first 60 registered. Day of the event registration will open at 7am. The first heat will begin at 8am. We expect the event to finish by 1pm.

Destin, Florida — June White Decker Park. Located just east of the Back Porch Restaurant.

All kids, 13 and under.

International Surfing Day
Register before June 15 and in addition to the contest entry and cool event shirt, you will get an International Surfing Day t-shirt and a one year membership to Surfrider Foundation. That’s a sweet deal! (ISD shirt and membership packet will be mailed to you) 

(Registration after June 15th will be $35 if space is available and will include everything but the special ISD shirt, so jump in now and reserve your spot!)


April 16, 2012 | 3 Comments

Surfrider Foundation Oil Study -Reports Available For Download!

Use these links to download the report:

(2 page) Media Quick Summary

(21 page) Narrative Report,

(200 page) Full Report.

The Emerald Coast Chapter is proud to release the findings of our “State of the Beach” long term research study (linked above).

For the past two years, we have been diligently monitoring our beaches and assessing the impact of dispersed oil product from the BP Oil Disaster.  During the past year, our chapter volunteers (Susan, Jack, Tony, Mike, and others) partnered with coastal geologist Rip Kirby.  Together, we have collected from Gulf beaches greater than 70 unique samples and examined over 1,800 analytes.

We have returned to contaminated beach locations In Florida, Alabama, and Mississippi for follow up sampling.  This frequent sampling has enabled us to determine if toxic concentrations of tar product are present and if the levels are diminishing over time.

Along the way, our volunteers also helped to develop new, rapid, cost effective,  and reliable technology for locating and removing tar product on our beaches.  We have aided the Unified Command, Coast Guard, and restoration operations with frequent reporting of contamination and sharing of our technological discoveries.

Our members have conducted underwater scuba assessments off the coast of Walton, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, and Escambia Counties.  We have also flown several aerial reconnoissance missions to assess beach impacts, search for submerged tarmats, and spot for surface oil.  All of these done by volunteers and paid for by donations, largely from surfers and the surf related industry.

Members of our chapter have participated in countless local, state, and federal meetings.  In our efforts to highlight the need for better research and to support bringing restoration fine money to the affected states, we have traveled as far as Washington D.C. where we met with representatives of Congress and the House of Representatives.

During our two year effort, we made our data publicly available online to anyone who cared to review it.  Understandably, it is an enormous amount of data to digest and there is so much more to glean from the endeavor than the data alone can convey.  We are pleased to share with you what we have learned.

This research was made possible by many public donations, collections taken up by surfers in Surfrider chapters around the Nation,  and the heartfelt support of two ocean loving companies, Patagonia and O’Neill.  The Norcross Foundation helped to get the ball rolling by coming through quickly and providing grants to assist with equipment needs. Timing was so important; these people and companies really stepped up and pitched in.

Together, we have made a significant contribution to the science of oil disaster response and remediation.  With that science, we are now a bit better prepared for future disasters and certainly better informed of the long term beach toxicity inflicted by oil and dispersants.

Please share our report with others who may also be interested in healthy beaches!  

April 16, 2012

Other Oil and Dispersant Research Study Links

New England Journal of Medicine and BP Oil Spill

NIOSH standards regarding exposure to certain tar substances.

CANCER warning  includes Lung, Kidney and Skin Cancer.
Via phenanthrene family: pyrene, phenanthrene, acridine, chrysene, anthracene & benzo(a)pyrene).
Yet has any research been done regarding exposure to Corexit covered tar product/ MC252.
PHENANTHRENES-which is lingering in Gulf tar balls.
BP oil not degrading- AUBURN UNIV STUDY Sept 2011:

Vibrio Vulnificus pathogen in Gulf of Mexico tarballs:
AUBURN STUDY on Vibrio Vulnificus in tar balls from N. Gulf Coast:
OIL entered the food chain/zooplankton:


NOAA explains that dolphins will indicate ocean and human health:

SEAGRANT found that dolphins share 13 chromosomes as humans- can they determine health issues? 

Sublethal effects of BP spill:

Oil deposits may have become a chronic source of low-level oil pollution within the spill-affected area-Valdez.
“Subsurface oil was also found at a lower tide height than expected (between 0 and 6 feet), in contrast to the surface oil, which was found mostly at the highest levels of the beach (Table 3).  This is significant, because the pits with the most oil were found low in the intertidal zone, closest to the zone of biological production, and indicate that our estimates are conservative at best.
Are pink salmon or herring injured because of continued intertidal contamination?  Are near shore predators, like otters or sea ducks, at risk because they prey in this zone?  Are the area’s subsistence users avoiding appropriate beaches, or are they avoiding all beaches?”

April 14, 2012

Blackbells New Release: “Deep Blue” Itunes download benefit our research!

Surfrider / Blackbells -Deep Blue (music video) from Michael Sturdivant on Vimeo.

The Emerald Coast Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation continues to conduct independent research following the BP Oil Disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. Members of the band Blackbells recently performed on Pensacola Beach, FL. While on the beach, the band met with Surfrider members and discussed the lingering impacts of the disaster. After that meeting, Blackbells produced the song “Deep Blue” to express their feelings about the disaster.

Blackbells has offered to release the single on itunes and provide all proceeds from downloads to the local chapter of Surfrider. The video seen here is a compilation of photos taken by the chapter chairman Mike Sturdivant during the oil disaster. Learn more about the disaster, our non-profit foundation, and research at: SurfriderEmeraldCoast.org

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