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
September 28, 2011

Surfrider Lawsuit Launched to Force EPA to Study Effects of Oil Dispersants on Endangered Wildlife

For Immediate Release, September 23, 2011
Contact: Deirdre McDonnell, Center for Biological Diversity, (971) 279-5471
Angela Howe, Surfrider, (949) 492-8170
Shawna Larson, Pacific Environment, (907) 841-5163

PORTLAND, Ore.— The Center for Biological Diversity, Surfrider and Pacific
Environment today filed an official notice of their intent to sue the Environmental
Protection Agency for authorizing the use of toxic oil dispersants without ensuring that
these chemicals would not harm endangered species or their habitats. The EPA must
preapprove the use of chemical dispersants in the event of an oil spill, but has not taken
steps to ensure that the use of these chemicals will not jeopardize endangered wildlife.
The groups urged the agency to immediately study the effects of dispersants on
endangered and threatened species in all U.S. waters, including polar bears and walrus
in the Arctic; sea turtles, endangered whales, piping plovers and corals in the Gulf of
Mexico; and salmon, sea birds, and sea turtles in the Pacific.
“The Gulf of Mexico disaster was a wake-up call on the inadequacy of oil-spill response
technology being using now,” said Deirdre McDonnell, an attorney with the Center for
Biological Diversity. “The next spill could happen anywhere. When it does, the
government needs to ensure that these dispersants don’t do more harm than good to
wildlife and endangered species.”
More than 2 million gallons of toxic dispersants were dumped into the sea as part of the
response to last year’s massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The chemical dispersants
on the nationwide list can be used in oil-spill response in any U.S. waters, be they
Atlantic, Pacific or Arctic.
“The Arctic Ocean is one of the most unique marine ecosystems in the world, providing
habitat for many endangered and threatened species. Dispersants would not only affect
these animals, but the indigenous peoples who have subsisted on marine resources for
centuries,” said Shawna Larson, Alaska program director for Pacific Environment. “The
EPA needs to proceed with precautionary measures in mind in order to prevent future
harm to the health of the environment and people.”
Dispersants are chemicals used to break oil spills into tiny droplets. In theory, this
allows the oil to be eaten by microorganisms and become diluted faster than it would if
left untreated. However, dispersants and dispersed oil can also allow toxins to
accumulate in the marine food web. The effects of using large quantities of dispersants
and injecting them into very deep water, as BP did in the Gulf of Mexico, have never
been studied; scientists believe it may be linked to the spread of underwater plumes of
oil. Even EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson has conceded that the long-term effects of
dispersants on aquatic life are unknown.
The Center, Pacific Environment and Surfrider intend to file a lawsuit unless the EPA
complies with the Endangered Species Act, which requires that it examine the impacts
of these toxins on endangered wildlife and consult with the National Marine Fisheries
Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Surfrider Foundation is jointly bringing this suit in an effort to protect the invaluable
coastal environment from harms that are currently being experienced in the Gulf after
the Deepwater Horizon spill, which could potentially be exacerbated by the use of the
Corexit 9500 and 9527 dispersants.
“The fact is that there are still many unanswered questions about the chemicals we are
using in the United States in response to an oil spill,” said Surfrider Managing Attorney
Angela Howe. “We need to be certain of the impacts of dispersants in our oceans so
that we can act accordingly to fully protect our coastal environment and the people who
use it.”
“From Santa Barbara to Exxon Valdez to the Deepwater Horizon, we’ve seen the
destruction that oil spills leave in their wake,” said McDonnell. “We shouldn’t add insult
to injury by using dispersants that could have long-term effects on species already
fighting for survival.”
Studies have found that oil broken apart by the dispersant Corexit 9527 damages the
insulating properties of seabird feathers more than untreated oil, making the birds more
susceptible to hypothermia and death. Studies have also found that dispersed oil is
toxic to fish eggs, larvae and adults, as well as to corals, and can harm sea turtles’
ability to breathe and digest food. Formulations of the dispersants being used by BP,
Corexit 9500 and 9527, have been banned in the United Kingdom due to concerns over
their impacts on the marine environment.
The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with
more than 320,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of
endangered species and wild places.
The Surfrider Foundation is a nonprofit grassroots organization dedicated to the
protection and enjoyment of our world’s oceans, waves and beaches through a powerful
activist network. Founded in 1984 by a handful of visionary surfers in Malibu, California,
the Surfrider Foundation now maintains over 60,000 members and 100 chapters
worldwide. For more information on the Surfrider Foundation, visit www.surfrider.org.
Pacific Environment is a non-profit organization based in San Francisco that protects
the living environment of the Pacific Rim by promoting grassroots activism,
strengthening communities and reforming international policies. For nearly two decades,
we have partnered with local communities around the Pacific Rim to protect and
preserve the ecological treasures of this vital region. Visit www.pacificenvironment.org
to learn more about our work.

September 27, 2011

Pensacola Committee Update

Unfortunately, it seems that the Pensacola Planning Committee is no longer meeting at this time. If you are interested in seeing this start up again, please contact the Regional Manager- ecanales@surfrider.org

However, we are still seeking local members to volunteer with us at the Surfrider Foundation Booth at the DeLuna Fest in Pensacola Beach October 14-16.  Please contact the Regional Manager ecanales@surfrider.org if you would like to sign up.

September 27, 2011

Surfrider Foundation Selected As One Of DeLuna Fest’s 2011 Beneficiaries

Surfrider Foundation Selected As One Of DeLuna Fest’s 2011 Beneficiaries

San Clemente, CA (September 27, 2011) – Florida’s original beach party, the DeLuna Fest, announced that the Surfrider Foundation is one of its selected beneficiaries for the 2011 festival to be held October 14-16 in Pensacola, FL.  The festival is donating a portion of proceeds from tickets sales to the Foundation to continue its mission of protection and preserving our oceans, waves and beaches in Florida.

As an organization that is truly active on the ground in the panhandle, we were honored when DeLuna Fest reached out to us and named us a beneficiary of this this event, said Florida Regional Manager Ericka Canales.

With several hundred coastal victories under its belt, Surfrider Foundation has become the world’s leading non-governmental organization dedicated to the protection of our planet’s oceans, waves and beaches.  Florida plays home to 11 chapters and 5,000 members that focus their grassroots efforts on water quality, open beach access, coastal preservation and ecosystem protection.  The Emerald Coast Chapter continues to lead “local” testing efforts for oil and dispersants in the Gulf following the catastrophic Deepwater Horizon disaster in 2010.  The Chapter works with a coastal geologist to conduct UV light tests and dig sand trenches to determine if oil and dispersants are present.  If found, the Chapter is able to alert the community that oil from the spill is still on beaches that appear clean to the naked eye.

DeLuna Fest is thrilled to provide an amazing experience for the people of Pensacola and surrounding communities that will also benefit the Surfrider Foundation.  DeLuna Fest is a celebration of the beach and the coastline that Surfrider endeavors so effectively to protect.  The festival is taking special caution to protect the beach on which the event takes place from environmental impact of festival goers, and looks forward to many years of providing beach festival access and amazing events, said Alicia Yaffe, DeLuna Fest Director of Marketing.

DeLuna Fest’s five stages and waterfront hotels along Pensacola Beach will play host to national rock acts as well as regional Southern Rock superstars.  In addition to the hottest in today’s mainstream and indie rock scene as well as seasoned headliners, performing artists will be spinning poolside, while the very best in jazz and blues will be performing in the Gulf Winds Jazz & Heritage Stage.  After the main stage performances each evening, the fun continues with indoor club parties in venues along the shore.

Tickets are on sale now for all three days, including single days. VIP weekend passes are $800 include all stages, in/out privileges, all access to VIP lounges, complimentary beverages, VIP only events, premiere viewing areas and an exclusive kick off party on October 13th. Visit http://www.delunafest.com/tickets for more information.


About Surfrider Foundation

The Surfrider Foundation is a non-profit grassroots organization dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of our world’s oceans, waves and beaches through a powerful activist network. Founded in 1984 by a handful of visionary surfers in Malibu, California, the Surfrider Foundation now maintains over 60,000 members and 100 chapters worldwide. For more information on the Surfrider Foundation, visit www.surfrider.org.

About DeLuna Fest

DeLuna Fest 2011 boasts an outstanding line up of mainstream and independent artists, top headliners, plus the biggest Jazz, Blues and Southern acts from around the world.  The Fall’s best music festival takes place Oct 14-26 on the white sands of Pensacola Beach, FL.


September 13, 2011

Chapter Meeting 6pm Tuesday 9-13- At Amore Pizza!

Surfrider Chapter Meeting -Tonight! Tuesday, Sept. 13th 6PM at Amore Pizza (in Gulf Place-Santa Rosa Beach). Join us as we discuss current events, research projects, and upcoming volunteer opportunities like the De Luna Fest Concert in Pensacola.