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
April 14, 2012

Surfrider Press Conference to Announce Research Findings -Monday April, 16th 7pm

Please Join us  Monday April, 16th for a press conference at Ed Walline Park, 7pm, in Santa Rosa Beach, FL.  The Emerald Coast Chapter will be releasing the findings of our “State of the Beach” long term research study.

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, Mike, Tony, and others) partnered with USF 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 have been 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 would like to share with you some of what we have learned.  Please join us.

(PDF of our press release here)

April 10, 2012

April Chapter Meeting -Wednesday April 11th

Join us for our April chapter meeting this Wednesday at 7:30 pm. We will meet at Amore Pizza in Gulf Place. We are taking nominations for new board members and discussing plans for Earth Day, International Surfing Day, beach clean-ups, school programs and lots of other great projects. Join us and have fun while protecting the beach we all love!

March 7, 2012

March Chapter Meeting Thursday Evening (note time change!)

Date:Thursday March 15th
Place:Ed Walline Park
Time: Sunset (7:15pm)

We will meet and watch the sunset at Ed Walline Park followed by walking across the street for a meeting at Amore Pizza in Gulf Place to begin at approximately 7:15 pm.
nominations for new executive committee (see below)
establish our next beach clean-up
Create World Water Day activity – March 22
Udpate on trip to DC to inform Congress of our Oil Spill Testing efforts and pushing support for the RESTORE ACT

On March 22nd at 7pm the chapter will be presented an award for environmental stewardship by the SWCC (South WaltonCommunityCouncil)


More About Chapter Elections:

Surfrider prides itself on being inclusive and mindful that new attitudes and perspectives, in short ‘new blood’, is needed every year to keep the chapter active and thriving. This is an opportunity for members to get more involved with steering the organization as well as choose who they feel is best qualified to lead them.

Election Time Frame
Elections will be open from March 7– April 15th. Elections for positions on the Chapter Executive Committee will be held at our April Chapter Meeting.

How does the Election work?
Any current Surfrider member should submit a self-nomination that they would like to hold a specific leadership position.

What positions are available?
The Executive Committee has the following positions:

(Co)Chair – Ambassador & point of contact person, delegates responsibilities as needed.

Vice-Chair – Performs duties as assigned by Chair, fulfills Chair’s role when absent.

Secretary – Records minutes, keeps records and manages chapter email communications.

Treasurer – Manages financial records, receives and disburses funds.

Volunteer Coordinator – Recruits members, manages monthly updates to member list.

At-Large Seats (2) – Entry Level leadership, assist officers, provide input and perspective.


Other Skilled Positions

Media Coordinator –maintains a media contact list, assists officers in communicating with media, and update chapter website/facebook as needed.

Events Coordinator – maintains vendor contacts, assists officers with organizing events like beach clean up


February 29, 2012

Known Unknowns in the BP Oil Disaster Trial

Known Unknowns in the BP Oil Disaster Trial

Tuesday 28 February 2012
by: Brentin Mock, Bridge the Gulf | Report

If the case doesn’t go to trial, the public won’t know what we don’t know, which to be fair could be a trivial amount of information or the worst of conspiracists’ suspicions. I’m told that it’s very likely, though, that this will go to trial, mostly because a global settlement is simple as plugging a blown out oil well. There are tens of thousands of individuals who are moving forward with lawsuits against BP with the force and velocity of an oil gusher. And even if most of those find their cases ineligible if just one that’s eligible “opts for trial rather than settlement, any information gathered during the course of discovery can potentially be disclosed regardless of whether other parties choose to settle,” says LeCesne.

Also, with a high likelihood that punitive damages may be applied against BP, much of the sealed information the public would want access to would come out during that phase of the trial when punitive damages are determined. Not only that, but things excluded from the trial like BP’s prior faulty safety record would be used in that phase of the trial –  actually “a cornerstone of the largest punitive damage award in history,” according to LeCesne.

Read the entire article:

February 16, 2012

You can help the Gulf Coast! Support the Restore Act :

You can help the Gulf Coast!   Be heard today.   The Senate needs to know that the Restore Act is important to people of the Gulf Coast! Without specific legislation, fines from BP may not even be used to support the Gulf Coast. Don’t let this happen. Support the Restore Act and tell the Senate how to actually “Make it Right!

Follow the attached link for an easy way to contact your Senators: http://salsa.wiredforchange.com/dia/track.jsp?v=2&c=MwWFHTR2zTkQmUfwUuqeKKqFDT28OO8S



February 12, 2012

Washington DC Trip to Speak on OIl Spill Impacts

On February 7 and 8, representatives from the Emerald Coast Chapter traveled to DC to meeting with Gulf and Florida Legislators regarding the RESTORE ACT (legislation that will give 80% of the Clan Water Act Fines from BP back to the states that were impacted) as well as give testimony at the last Natural Resources Damage Assessment Hearing on the impacts we are still seeing from the oil spill. Below you will find photos of the groups meetings as well as their testimony that was submitted.


Chapter Representative

Regional Manager

Photo Album




Please take a moment and contact your federal legislators to let them know you SUPPORT the RESTORE ACT.

Recent Op-Ed on the Restore Act

February 9, 2012

New Oil/Tar ball Reporting App

We are pleased to announce that a new smartphone application has been developed to help us in the panhandle area to continue to mark where were are still seeing oil come to shore. If you are in this area and see tar ball or if you are offshore and see an oil slick your assistance in reporting it is greatly appreciated! Check it out!


January 20, 2012


The CORE training for this weekend is CANCELLED due to the lack of RSVPs for the event. We will send another survey out at the end of the month to try to reschedule this for February instead. Hope more folks can attend next month.

January 7, 2012

Okaloosa County Action Alert!!!

On January 17th, Okaloosa County Commissioners will be voting on whether or not to move forward with a highly controversial beach project permit due to the concern that the proposed sand is not good beach quality. We are asking all Okaloosa County residents to please take a moment and call your County Commissioners let them know that you would like them to reject moving forward with the project. To learn about the recent legal case and what to say check out the Florida Surfrider Action Alert website for more info.

January 7, 2012

Emerald Coast Chapter Recognized with 2012 Wavemaker Award

Once a year we take a moment to recognize the people and partners that have contributed in extraordinary ways towards our mission of the protection and enjoyment of oceans, waves and beaches.

ALL of us at Surfrider Foundation offer a heartfelt thank you to everyone who engaged with our mission and made a difference in 2011, but the following people get an extra thanks.

We are especially pleased to announce that one of the recipients is from Florida!

Chapter Leadership Award
Mike Sturdivant – Emerald Coast Chapter
Awarded to an individual or group of individuals selected for service to a
chapter (US or International) that showed leadership and inspiration.

Coastal Impact Award
Peter Douglas

Surf Industry Partner Award
Malibu Surfing Association

Environmental Activism Award
Portland Bag Ban Crew
Chapter leaders:
Tara Gallagher
Staj Pace
Matt Spencer
Stiv Wilson
Mason Brock
Ryan Cruse
Lisa Lynch
Drew Kerr
Tristan Fields
Jocelyn Gary
Gregg Hayward
Jacque Rodriguez

Corporate Partner Award

Distinguished Service
Dr. Carl Berg – Kauai Chapter

Outstanding Contribution
Marisla Foundation

Development Award
Jeff Berg

The Wavemaker Awards will be held on Saturday, February 4th at Talega Golf Club in San Clemente, CA at 6:30pm.

Click here to see previous winners.

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