Thursday, September 17, 2009

SPEAK NOW OR FOREVER HOLD YOUR PEACE: DOI public comment on offshore energy ends Sept. 21

Four days.That’s all you got to let the feds now how you feel about offshore energy. Do you want oil or wind? Solar or hydrokinetics? It’s all up for grabs along with a shitload of leases. One thing we can say as surfers: with a "blowout” in the Timor Sea off of Australia gushing oil for the past three weeks –and expected to gush for two more to the tune of an estimated 5800 square miles (the size of Connecticut and Rhode Island combined ) and 150,000 gallons (that’s more than half the amount of the Valdez spill) — from “state of the art” technology built and installed in 2007 and 2008, the cries that we can drill ”cleaner and safer” are starting to sound like more slick promises. (And that’s without a hurricane or major storm.) And with every coastal state earning more from clean beaches than they ever will from Big Oil – and green industry producing three time the jobs per dollar as petroleum — there’s not much economic motivation unless you’re paycheck says Exxon/Mobil. But we won’t tell you how to think. Do the research yourself. But do it quick. Just remember, once you climb into bed with “big oil”, you’re married forever.

Submit your public comment by September 21.

For an aerial image of the Aussie spill, click here.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Just kidding. But can you imagine any politician making such an illogical promise? Well, they will if it meets our oil addiction. One of the main arguments toward allowing offshore drilling is states can use the proceeds to encourage environmental education and preserve habitats.

According to the Tampa Tribune Florida state legislator Dean Cannon “wants to channel revenue from drilling into renewable energy initiatives and environmental programs such as the Florida Forever land conservation program. Beach restoration and even public education could also benefit.”

So, this guy’s suggesting we risk a two-month spill like the one in Australia — with 2008 rigs, by the way (so much for newer, cleaner technology) — and actively pump toxic, cadmium- and mercury-laden "drilling muds" into the water while encouraging global warming, all to help save the planet?

He must be high, right? Nope just greedy. The story continues: “Florida Energy Associates, which is bankrolling much of the push for drilling in state waters . . . has contributed $20,000 to the state Democratic Party and $35,000 to the state GOP.”

Just goes to show whether it’s oil, cash or power, our entire political system’s full of junkies who'll do anything for a fix.

Stage your own intervention by submitting public comment to the DOI by Sept. 21 And for the best quote yet on this doped-up idea, check the following TC Palm column, which notes: "Florida Energy Associates touts polls claiming that most Floridians support drilling 'if it doesn't harm the environment.' In the same way, I suppose, most of us would support cigarettes that don't make people sick, pies than don't make us fat and texting-while-driving that doesn't cause wrecks."

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

DON’T GET WORKED: Take the Surf-First survey by Labor Day – or leave your homebreak unprotected

Work is good. But some work is better than others. And we can think of no better way to honor Labor Day than spending 20 minutes describing your wave-riding habits to help all surfers defend their breaks in years to come.

But you better do it fast. Next Monday’s holiday not only signifies the end of summer — it’s the official cut-off for the Surf-First survey. (Actually, in the spirit of surfing slackness we’ll give you to midnight Tuesday.) At that point we’ll stop gathering info and start crunching the data. Our goal? To better depict how the average American surfer spends their lives — and cash — on a spot-by-spot basis in hopes of keeping every US break clean and accessible forever. We’re even going to put that info live online, state-by-state, so anyone, anywhere, can arm themselves to meet any fight head on. And in case you think such fights are rare — or the info unnecessary — just check out New Smyrna where there’s an effort to extend Ponce Inlet, potentially wrecking one of Florida’s most popular breaks where surfers generate more than $6 million each year.

Every single one of us could one day face a similar issue. Whether we have the hard data and dollar signs to convince decision-makers to seriously surfers’ interests and impact depends on whether you take the survey (assuming you haven’t already). And with two tropical swells back east, and two weeks of surf out west right now’s the best time to do your part. Because as of midnight on Tuesday, the next stage of our job begins. And you’ll have one less opportunity to stand up for your homebreak.

Thanks to Matt Lusk for the Danny shot from S-Turns, another spot surfers could find themselves pushed off without proper representation.

EXTRA CREDIT FOR WILLING WORKERS! Are you an economics major with a passion for surfing? Or a surfing major with a passion for studying economics? Read the info below to find out how to spend this fall working on the Surf-First Economics project and apply by Oct. 2. As a paid intern, you’ll earn college credit, make some cash yourself — and most importantly — help produce the first comprehensive surfing survey of its kind. One that stands to help fellow surfers from years to come.

Surfrider Foundation/ Surf First
Surf Economics Internship
Fall 2009

The Surfrider Foundation and Surfing Magazine seek an undergraduate or graduate student for an internship to work at the Surfrider Foundation on the Surf First surf economics project. The project will include analyzing recreational and economic survey data from surfing areas around the United States to develop state-level profiles of recreational uses and economic impacts of surfing.

Surf Economics:
Surfing is a major recreational and economic activity at diverse coastal environments throughout the United States. The rising popularity of surfing in the United States and significant growth in participation has increased the economic contribution of surfing to local communities. Despite the popularity of surfing, it is often challenging for the sport to be taken seriously in coastal management decisions. Surfing and surfers are very sensitive to environmental conditions and changes in these conditions can negatively impact surfing. At present there is little research on the value of recreational surfing. It is estimated that over three million people surf on a regular basis in the US and surfers are in the ocean more than any other ocean user group. To make informed decisions, coastal professionals require information about surfers and how they will be affected by coastal policies and activities. In recent years, there has been an increase in research on the economics and management of surfing.

In a collaborative effort, the Surf First surf survey – the first national survey of its kind -- was developed to capture socioeconomic and recreational use information about surfers. The survey ran for approximately one year. This internship will help analyze the survey data to develop demographic and economic profiles for surfers from around the US.

You can learn more about this project and surf economics at:

Preferred education & experience:
Must currently be in enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate school program.
Proven ability to use Microsoft Excel to manipulate large data sets
Knowledge of natural resource economics
Stata experience a plus
Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing

Start Time: Flexible, Fall 2009
Duration: 12 week minimum / full time
Pay: $3500
Location: San Clemente, CA

Please send/email a short cover letter and resume to:

Chad Nelsen
Surfrider Foundation
P.O. Box 6010
San Clemente, CA 92674
Ph: (800) 743-SURF
Email preferred. Please title resume and cover letter documents using this convention: lastname_resume.doc & lastname_cover.doc

Applications due October 2nd, 2009

The Surfrider Foundation is a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of the world’s ocean, waves and beaches through conservation, activism, research and education. For more info on Surfrider visit: