FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jim Jaffee, jjaffee@surfriderSD.org
May 2, 2011 – San Diego, Calif. – In recognition of their longstanding efforts to preserve and protect our beaches, Surfrider Foundation San Diego County Chapter has named State Parks San Diego Coast District its “Organization of the Year”. The Clean Water Award will be presented at the 11th Annual Art Gala held at The Powerhouse in Del Mar on Thursday May 19th. Tickets for the Art Gala are available at www.surfridersd.org/artgala_2011.php
Surfrider is recognizing State Parks San Diego Coast District for their efforts in protecting and preserving the beaches within San Diego’s State Parks including Leucadia State Beach, known to surfers and beach lovers as “Beacon’s”, and South Cardiff State Beach which includes the surf breaks of “Seaside” and ”Tabletops”. Over the years, the threats of erosion have put pressure on State Parks to alter the shoreline in these parks with seawalls. State Parks adopted a General Plan in 1983 recognizing that erosion is a natural condition. The plan also recognized that shoreline characteristics, recreational access and visual aspects unique to the shoreline must be maintained and restored. Over the last decade State Parks San Diego has worked towards these goals:
· In South Cardiff State Beach, State Parks has denied repeated requests to use State Park Land for seawalls to protect private residences in Solana Beach.
· State Parks and the State of California fought a lawsuit opposing such a denial and prevailed.
· At Beacons, State Parks opposed the City of Encinitas Plan to build a seawall in front of the trail to beach and instead redirected the City to use these funds on a more sustainable project.
· State Parks Lifeguards and Rangers protect the Parks and Beaches for surfers, fisherman and other beach users.

“Preventing seawalls on State Parks has maintained the bluffs in their natural state while neighboring cities have walled what is left of this precious resource. Many of these cities have allowed seawalls on Public Land zoned for Parks and Recreation. In sharp contrast, State Parks is maintaining and enhancing its beaches for all,” said Jim Jaffee, campaign manager for Surfrider’s Beach Preservation committee. “We hope the general public understands the value and efforts of this public agency.”
Accepting the award at the Art Gala will be honored guests, Brian Ketterer, Sector Superintendent, San Diego Coast District – North Sector California State Parks and Jim Bilz, State Park Lifeguard Supervisor.

Surfrider Foundation San Diego Chapter is committed to clean water and costal preservation from the beaches in Camp Pendleton in the north to the border across the Tijuana Sloughs in the south. To fund its programs, the organization depends on proceeds from the Annual Art Gala fundraiser. This year’s event is scheduled for Thursday, May 19 at the Del Mar Powerhouse. To learn more about the Art Gala, please visit www.artgala.blogspot.com. Tickets are on sale now.