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Show Your Beach Some Love 2015

2015 Our Chapter participated in a very successful Oceans Day 2015 in Sacramento where dozens of coastal activists met with elected officials to educate them on the challenges currently facing our coasts.

2015 Our Beach Cleanup program, in partnership with San Diego Coastkeeper, has organized 135 public and private beach cleanups this year. During these cleanups, 4,290 volunteers removed 5,966, lbs of trash including 38,507 cigarette butts, 5,238 pieces of Styrofoam and 2,357 plastic bags from San Diego County beaches and surrounding areas.

2015 The No Border Sewage committee hosted 3 cleanups through the first half of the year with a total of 272 volunteers participating, 17,860 pounds of trash and 264 tires removed from the Tijuana River Valley. The committee also took 18 people on a tour hosted by California State Parks on March 21st. Volunteers learned about the natural flow of the Tijuana River into the Estuary, and the trash, sediment and sewage that comes with it. On Saturday, May 30, 2015, NoBS took 12 volunteers on a tour of the South Bay International Water Treatment Plant.

2015 No Border Sewage committee hosted a “Relaunch Party” at Barrels Restaurant & Lounge in Imperial Beach. About 50 attendees came together for an evening of food, drinks, raffle prizes and conversation about the problems that plague the Imperial Beach community and beyond. Read more here. They also attended Tijuana River Action Network meetings in February, May, and June. They boothed at Outlets at the Border, and Imperial Beach Farmer’s Market four times. Additionally, the No Border Sewage documentary was produced and displayed at the San Diego Art Institute for the entirety June.

2015 In January, the Rise Above Plastics committee launched its Ocean Friendly Restaurants campaign, which works with San Diego County restaurants to institute self-regulated ocean friendly policies that reduce disposable plastic waste. Through this reduction, restaurants have the power to greatly reduce their impact on San Diego’s ocean and beaches. More than 64 restaurants have been certified, and the campaign received positive press coverage on Earth Day in April and at a press conference in May. Since the state bag ban is pending a referendum next year, RAP continues to support efforts to pass ordinances in the city of San Diego, Oceanside and other localities. Additionally, RAP gave away 500 reusable bags at a local farmers’ market.

2015 The Know Your H20 (KYH2O) committee created a speaker series where members of the water management community come and hold dialogues about topical issues. The committee hosted a State Assembly Member, Deanna Spehn, who presented on details about where Water Bond money is to be allocated, as well as speakers from local water districts, Kim Thorner and Mike Thornton, who spoke about local water reuse projects.

2015 KYH20 started the process to create outreach materials (particularly, a QR code sticker) to encourage the public to learn more about what happens to our water. The committee also began review of important documents pertaining to the changes made to the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4) storm water permit to eventually become a discerning influence on policy decisions. KYH20 rallied activists to lobby at the November 18th Regional Water Quality Control Board hearing against the MS4 permit amendment. Although the amendment was upheld, the Surfrider activists were equipped with signs – and many spoke or provided written testimonies – creating an image that surely will hold momentum should future issues arise.

2015 The Beach Preservation committee was awarded a $3,000 grant from REI to help keep beaches our open and accessible for all to enjoy! One of our longtime Beach Preservation Committee members, Kristin Brinner, was selected to sit on the Del Mar Sea-Level-Rise Stakeholder Technical Committee.  Another example of a Surfrider volunteer moving up the ranks, gaining experience, and engaging with their community.

2015 In June, Beach Preservation hosted a press conference and beach walk to educate the community about the negative impacts of seawalls on our beaches. This effort is linked to our participation in a court case that has been appealed to the California Supreme Court, Lynch v. Coastal Commission.  Surfrider is engaging to support the Coastal Commission and ensure that this case does not set a negative precedent for our coastline. This issue is not over yet, but it is a good example of Surfrider San Diego taking a more proactive approach, and helping to steer the conversation before it turns into a battle. When the issue of what to do about the erosion at Beacons beach in Encinitas bubbled up again, Surfrider proactively issued this position statement to all interested parties.  The Coastal Commission staff has since issued their stance on the subject, which is in line with our thoughts and concerns; now it is up to the City to determine how to move forward.

2015 The Hold On To Your Butt (HOTYB) committee continues to work its butt off in an effort to keep our oceans, waves, and beaches cigarette butt free! They are now up over 200 ashcans installed throughout San Diego County, with our latest headway being made (with the help of ‘I Love A Clean San Diego’) in Oceanside. And we also have our first ashcans planned for installation at the Fisherman’s Landing area of Point Loma. Last “butt” not least, the Ocean Beach Main Street Association (OBMSA) has signed up to be our first community in San Diego County to have its collected cigarette butts be recycled by Terracycle, which is an organization that receives, cleans, and recycles discarded cigarette butts.

2015 Ocean Friendly Gardens (OFG) has been working on a pilot curb cut project. A turf area along St Mary School in Oceanside will be planted with native, drought tolerant plants and a cut in the curb will redirect storm water drainage into the garden. Pollutants will be naturally filtered out as the water drains into the soil and the garden should receive enough water that irrigation will be unnecessary. This project will also help alleviate storm water flooding along the street and divert urban runoff from going directly into the storm drain and the ocean. OFG is working with the City of Oceanside to permit the curb cut project and if approved, it will act as an example for other jurisdictions.

2015 Earlier in the year, OFG held an ‘Action against Compaction’ workshop. When designing areas to capture rainwater and runoff, the soil must be permeable and act like a sponge to avoid standing water. Volunteers learned how to add mulch and worm casings to compacted clay soil to facilitate drainage.