This Week Marks Two Decades Of Protecting Our World’s Oceans, Waves and Beaches.
San Clemente, CA (August 17th, 2004) – Twenty years ago, on August 17, 1984, Malibu surfer Glen Hening filed Articles of Incorporation papers with the office of the State Secretary of California. Five days later, on August 22nd, the office certified the documents, thus legitimizing and effectively giving birth to the Surfrider Foundation.
Led by the iconoclastic Hening, along with surfing icon Lance Carson and visionary activist Tom Pratte, the Surfrider Foundation wasted no time in scoring their first environmental victory; successfully convincing the California Department of Parks and Recreation to revise their plans to breach the bacteria laden Malibu Lagoon away from First Point.
Over the years, the Surfrider Foundation continued to chalk up a host of impressive victories, including their 1991 landmark victory against Louisiana Pacific and Simpson Paper, which resulted in what was at the time, the second largest settlement for violations of the Federal Clean Water Act in history.
1991 also marked another important benchmark for the Surfrider Foundation as the first chapters were created, signaling the Foundation’s transition into a full-blown grassroots environmental organization.
Today the Foundation has grown into the country’s top beach and coastal environmental organization, with 60 chapters and 37,000 members across the United States and Puerto Rico. Under its guiding tenets of conservation, activism, research and education (C.A.R.E.), the Surfrider Foundation continues its work to address such issues as water quality degradation, coastal armoring, beach and surf spot preservation and beach access. In addition to operating the Blue Water Task Force testing program, Beachscape mapping program and Respect The Beach educational program, the Surfrider Foundation also produces the vanguard State of the Beach report, which has grown to become the definitive resource piece on the environmental health of our nation’s beaches and coastlines.
The Foundation also continues its prolific effort in amassing milestone victories, including recent successes in Huntington Beach, California where the local chapter helped to convince local officials to stop discharging partially treated sewage wastes into offshore waters, Asbury Park, New Jersey, where the local chapter successfully lobbied to repeal a 30 years old surfing ban at local beaches, and in Rinc√≥n, Puerto Rico, where chapter activists were able to thwart several planned development projects that threatened nearby coral reef habitats.
Despite this impressive list of victories, Surfrider Foundation Executive Director feels that the organization is hardly in a position to feel comfortable. “The threats to our coastlines and beaches continue to mount daily,” says Evans. “Each year over 16 million gallons of oil runs off our streets and highways and into our waterways. At the same time we are losing over 20,000 acres of coastal wetlands and estuaries annually. These problems are not just going to disappear. We need for the public to become active in the fight to save our oceans, waves and beaches.”
The Surfrider Foundation’s National Headquarters will be continuing to hold various events to honor the anniversary, including the upcoming 20th Anniversary Coastal Summit, being held this October in Costa Mesa, California. The three day training symposium will feature a variety of lectures, presentations and workshops designed to educate and inform attendees on various aspects of environmental activism. For more information on the Coastal Summit and other 20th Anniversary events Click Here.
The Surfrider Foundation is a non-profit grassroots organization dedicated to the protection and preservation of our world’s oceans, waves and beaches. 2004 marks the Surfrider Foundation’s 20th Anniversary. Founded in 1984 by a handful of visionary surfers, the Foundation now maintains over 37,000 members and 60 chapters across the United States and Puerto Rico, with international affiliates in Australia, Europe, Japan and Brazil. For more information or to join the Surfrider Foundation, visit us at Surfrider.org.