Surf industry leaders come together to discuss ‘the future of San Onofre’

Industry vets Derek Sabori and Todd Furuike have come together to promote awareness around a complex issue facing the San Onofre coastline, as state and federal officials decide where to move 3.55 million pounds of nuclear waste currently stored at the now-defunct San Onofre power plant.

The group of “concerned citizens” is posing the question “What’s the future of San Onofre?” Thursday, October 5, at a town-hall-style meeting at Costa Mesa’s Westside Museum.

the future of san onofre

San Onofre Photo: WTFSano

Related: What’s going on at San Onofre?

Over the last few months, Sabori and Furuike have rallied surf industry leaders around the pending decision about what to do with the spent fuel waste at the nuclear facility, which has not generated power since January 2012.

The decision could take years to finalize, and centers around the costs of decommissioning the facility, and what happens with spent fuel once it closes, among other factors.

The town hall will elevate four experts on the topic, including the Surfrider Foundation, Public Watchdogs, the Sierra Club and Dana Point Mayor Debra Lewis to discuss the intricate details of what is being proposed and what it will mean for the iconic Southern California beach.

“Our goal is to make it about the audience,” says Furuike. “With any questions or concerns that don’t get addressed in the panel, we will open it up to an interactive discussion.”

For the brands supporting Thursday’s event, it was important to get involved and keep the conversation open about how future decisions could impact San Onofre.

“Surfing represents a fundamental pillar of Vans' heritage, and we believe the facility is a valuable resource in helping to protect the surf spots in our own backyard,” said Vans Senior Manager, Sustainability and Social Responsibility Kim Matsoukas. “It's important for the local community to understand the impacts of what happens at San Onofre and feel that their voices are heard."

Volcom, NeedEssentials, and Firewire are also helping support Thursday’s forum.

The event is open the public, and Furuike and Sabori expect many surf industry leaders to attend, as well. “We felt it was prudent to open this conversation up to everyone, beyond just our circle of surf brand executives,” so that people can make educated judgements about what’s happening in their community, Furuike explains.

“I’m sure everyone will remember the first walk they took through Lowers or Uppers — it’s such a special place and it needs to be protected,” he says. “When I heard about what was happening, it just really hit me in the heart.”

The educational event takes place at 5 p.m. Thursday, October 5, at Westside Museum, 729 Farad St., Costa Mesa, California. For more information, contact Furuike at and Sabori at


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