Press Release # 375

Greetings,

January 2004 issue

Welcome to the January 2004 issue of the Surfrider Foundation eNews USA, an email newsletter from the Surfrider Foundation, a non-profit, coastal environmental organization at http://surfrider.org. The Surfrider Foundation National Office, with Chris Evans as Executive Director, produces the eNews. Mark Babski, mbabski@surfrider.org, is the editor. For more news, see Surfrider Foundation's Coastal News web page. To unsubscribe, see the bottom of this email.

 

Map of the new marine reserve in Tres Palmas in Rincón, Puerto Rico

Surfrider Foundation Celebrates New Marine Reserve in Puerto Rico

Puerto Rican Governor Sila M. Calderón Serra has endorsed bill "P. de la C. 2983" to create "Reserva Marina Tres Palmas de Rincón" in Puerto Rico. The law, which was championed by House Representatives Carlos Vizcarrondo Irizarry, Ramón Ruiz Nieves and José A "Tony" Méndez González, will establish a marine reserve in the Tres Palmas area of Rincón and devote $100,000 for the development of a management plan for the marine reserve. Long renowned for its beautiful beaches, excellent surfing and abundant sea life, Tres Palmas also supports one of the last healthy populations of elkhorn coral in the Caribbean. Surfrider Foundation's campaign to establish a marine reserve in the Tres Palmas area began three years ago. Read Surfrider Foundation's press release and also see our special Rincón web section.

 

Sewage contaminated waters are the reason for hundreds of beach closures annually and now the EPA wants to relax sewage treatment standards.

Take Action Against EPA's Proposal to Weaken Sewage Treatment Requirements

Many surfers and swimmers get sick, sometimes deathly sick, from swimming or surfing in waters that are contaminated with inadequately-treated sewage that's been dumped into the ocean (or into rivers and streams that flow to the ocean). Unbelievably, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, at the behest of the Bush Administration, has proposed a weakening of existing sewage treatment requirements, even though existing standards themselves are already too weak. There is a public comment period on the EPA's proposal that ends Feb. 9. Please take action now and go to the SaveOurEnvironment.org web page to voice to the EPA your opposition to this Clean-Water-Act-weakening proposal.

 

Supreme Court to Hear Clean Water Act Case

There is a pumping station in south Florida that annually pumps millions of gallons of fertilizer-laden, polluted runoff (originating from farms and suburbia) into the Florida Everglades. Incredibly enough, the Florida State water authorities claim that our Federal Clean Water Act laws governing water pollution do not apply to their pumping station. A local Indian tribe has sued the Florida water authorities and the case has now reached the Supreme Court. The outcome of this case is very important for coastal water quality and for clean water everywhere. Our Clean Water Act needs strengthening, not more weakening. By the way, for this particular south Florida case, the Bush Administration has filed a brief in favor of the polluters and in favor of weakening the Clean Water Act! More info from the New York Times article (access to the full article requires payment).

 

Maverick's surf break in San Mateo County, CA

Launch to Preserve Coastal San Mateo County, CA

The Surfrider Foundation San Mateo County Chapter has become a member of The Coastal Open Space Alliance (COSA), which is a committee of organizations and individuals committed to the preservation of open space in San Mateo County, especially in the area of the San Mateo County coast. The wave-rich San Mateo County coast, home to the famed Maverick's surf break, is relatively undeveloped, despite its proximity to the large city of San Francisco. More info.

 

Waves are a valuable natural resource worth saving

Waves Threatened at New Smyrna Inlet, FL

Another Army Corps of Engineers project threatens a quality surf break, this time at the Ponce de Leon Inlet at New Smyrna Beach. In particular, the Corps' plan to extend the south jetty will have a "permanent adverse effect on the wave consistency and quality." Please go to this action alert page and complete the online petition form against the south jetty extension. More info at the Save Smyrna Inlet site.

 

Surfrider Foundation Receives Coastal Living Magazine Award

The Surfrider Foundation has been awarded the prestigious Coastal Living Award for Leadership. Each year, Coastal Living Magazine honors a select group of people and organizations who have demonstrated their commitment to protecting our nation's coastlines. "This award is tremendously validating, not just in its recognition of our work, but for its reflection of the breadth and diversity of our membership," said Matt McClain, Director of Marketing and Communications for the Surfrider Foundation. Read our press release.

 

Truly special places deserve protection

Coastal Factoid of the Month

Marine Protected Areas Too Important To Be Put On Hold

"The protection of California's ocean resources is too important to be put on "indefinite hold" while the state wrestles with its financial crisis. The Schwarzenegger administration should either shift funds from less urgent activities to provide the modest $2 million needed to complete a plan for more marine reserves -- or use available private support for the purpose." - excerpt from an Editorial entitled, "Save Our Marine Life," appearing in the San Francisco Chronicle on 1/21/2004.

See Surfrider Foundation's current Coastal Factoid, usually updated 5 days per week.

 

END NOTES:

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