Emerald Coast ChapterWe 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
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
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.
RESTORE ACT S.1400
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
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!
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.
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.
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
Surf Industry Partner Award
Malibu Surfing Association
Environmental Activism Award
Portland Bag Ban Crew
Corporate Partner Award
Dr. Carl Berg – Kauai Chapter
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.
On December 14th, the Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) Trustees released the Deepwater Horizon Draft Phase I Early Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment (DERP/EA) for public comment. The plan proposes the initial eight projects – two each in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi – to receive funding from the $1 billion Early Restoration Framework Agreement announced by the Trustees and BP on April 21, 2011. The proposed projects include shoreline marsh creation, coastal dune habitat restoration, nearshore artificial reef creation, oyster cultch restoration and construction of boat ramp facilities. The Trustees will hold 12 public meetings in January and February 2012 throughout Gulf Coast communities and in Washington, D.C. to solicit formal public comment on the DERP/EA.
Florida’s meeting will be held on Jan 11 in Fort Walton Beach and Jan 12 in Pensacola.
Visit www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov to view the DERP/EA, access public meeting details, view additional details of the proposed Early Restoration projects, and submit public comment. The public comment period will end February 14, 2012.
On December 5th, Representative Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) introduced the “Ban Toxic Dispersants Act” (H.R. 3562), which would amend the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to establish new procedures for the use of chemical dispersants in oil cleanup efforts. The bill would require the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to carry out a new rulemaking procedure to establish baseline levels of toxicity and effectiveness, taking into account a study of the acute and chronic risks posed by the use of dispersants. The EPA would be required to determine whether it is safe to use these dispersants before granting any approvals. The bill includes a temporary moratorium on the use of dispersants until the rulemaking and study ensuring their safety is complete. The EPA, however, could grant conditional approvals if it determines that there will be no negative impact on human health or the environment. The bill would also require that the ingredients and the location of applied dispersants be made available to the public online.
Surfrider, On Wings of Care, and coastal geologist Rip Kirby teamed up to do an aerial survey of the Gulf Coast. We continue to address issues concerning the BP Oil Disaster. In addition to sampling the oil remaining on our beaches, we are paying attention to dredge and fill “Beach Nourishment” projects and their potential to re-introduce sea floor hydrocarbons onto our beaches. Of course, we also are on the look out for new oil slicks and any animals in distress. To see more of how aerial recon contributes to this effort visit www.OnWingsOfCare.org To learn more about the continued impact of oil on our beaches visit EmeraldCoast.Sufrider.org.