Bastion Point 

Minister for Planning Justin Madden today ignored the basic principles of the Victorian Coastal Strategy 2008 when he announced the go ahead for the controversial Bastion Point breakwater and headland development in Mallacoota in the state’s far-east.

The Minister also went against his own Panel Report’s recommendations which did not support any of the development proposals because they were thought to be unsafe and would have no net economic benefit to society.

Local community action group Save Bastion Point, the Victorian National Parks Association (VNPA) and the Australian Conservation Foundation called on Mr Madden to review his decision because the development was strongly opposed by the community and did not follow the environmental protection principles of the Victorian Coastal Strategy.

Leo op den Brouw, Save Bastion Point spokesperson, said the proposal to build an extensive breakwater, access road on the beach, car park and boating channel was unsustainable and unsafe, and would irreversibly damage the Bastion Point environment and surrounding coastline.

“We are concerned that the removal of more than 3000 cubic metres of reef, to make way for the boating channel, and the addition of more than 8000 tonnes of imported rock, to construct the 130-metre-long breakwater, will disturb tidal flows and damage the marine habitat,” he said.

“The permanent sand dredging required to keep the boating channel clear will also impact on marine life and cause unnatural siltation build up.

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2009 SIMA Waterman's Ball

The SIMA Environmental Fund raised more than $50,000 at the fifth annual Waterman’s Weekend Underwriting Party on Friday, June 5.  More than 100 surf industry executives and friends attended the underwriting party, held at the oceanfront Cyprus Shore Community Park.  The money raised from the evening will help underwrite the costs for the upcoming 2009 Waterman’s Weekend to be held August 6-7, which will benefit 18 ocean-related environmental organizations.
 
"The SIMA Environmental Fund is excited to be going into our 20th year for Waterman's Ball," said Paul Naudé, SIMA Environmental Fund president.  "This year’s economic climate has presented many challenges, but through a combined industry effort we are determined to maintain our support of 18 proven ocean-related environmental organizations, and look forward to achieving our fundraising goal of more than $400,000 raised at Waterman's Weekend this year. The success of this Underwriting Party was a tremendous step toward meeting this goal. We know the very deserving event beneficiaries much appreciate the support of all the event underwriters."
 
Throughout the night, guests tasted gourmet appetizers from San Clemente’s own Vine restaurant, and an array of drinks, with island lager donated by Primo Beer. Attendees mingled amongst blue-linen tables decorated with orchids and acoustic musician Rachel McGoye provided relaxing music as the sun set on the ocean. Many guests took advantage of the raffle tickets available, with a trip to the North Shore of Hawaii, tickets for the 2009-2010 Lakers vs. Magic grudge match, and a Stand Up Paddle Board plus Ritz-Carlton Spa package as the prizes. Raffle tickets can be purchased at http://www.sima.com/watermans.aspx. Guests were also given the opportunity to underwrite several components for the upcoming Waterman’s Ball. Centerpieces, wine, cocktails, D.J., VIP Reception, and more were all generously underwritten.
 
"We are proud to see the significance of Waterman's Weekend continue to grow in ocean-related environmental circles," said Naudé. "The surf industry and the surfing lifestyle’s very survival depends upon a healthy ocean and preservation of surf breaks. Surfers automatically become stewards of the ocean, as every time they paddle out they are engrossed in the environment around them. Surfers realize the work our beneficiaries are doing greatly affects our surf lifestyles, and in turn, we are glad the SIMA Environmental Fund serves as an avenue for surfers to support these groups."

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Surf Industry conquer Environmental Business of the Year Award

The Orange County League of Conservation Voters recently awarded their annual environmental leadership awards at the University of California, Irvine University Club. On behalf of the entire surf industry, the Surf Industry Manufacturers Association (SIMA) accepted the Environmental Business of the Year Award for the industry’s efforts to save San Onofre State Park and the world-famous Trestles Beach by helping stop the proposed 241 Toll-Road. The prestigious award was accepted by Paul Naude, SIMA Environmental Fund Chairman and CEO of Billabong USA.

“I am honored to accept this award on behalf of SIMA members, the surf industry, and beyond that - all surfers,” said Naude. “Being a surfer means you automatically assume the role of being a good steward of the ocean. For SIMA, not only does the very livelihood of our businesses thrive off the preservation of the ocean, but our passion for surfing does as well.”

The surf industry was a key component in the fight to stop the 241 Toll-Road through Southern Orange County. SIMA member companies and surfers alike dominated the 241 Toll-Road Coastal Commission and Secretary of Commerce hearings with a strong voice in opposition of the Toll-Road. The industry also demonstrated their support by supplying bus transportation to the hearings and with financial contributions to environmental organizations, such as the Surfrider Foundation and the Sierra Club’s Friends of the Foothills campaign.

The award also celebrated SIMA’s commitment to the environment with the efforts of the SIMA Environmental Fund. Over the past 19 years, SIMA has donated more than $4.4 million in grants to various environmental organizations that are dedicated to preserving and protecting the world’s oceans, beaches and waves.

The award comes at a fitting time as the SIMA Environmental Fund is preparing for the 20th annual SIMA Waterman’s Ball, as well as the 9th annual Waterman’s Classic on August 6 – 7, 2009. Waterman’s Weekend is the official fundraising event for the SIMA Environmental Fund and will raise funds for 18 ocean conservation organizations. Waterman’s Weekend is also a time to honor and celebrate those who have made significant contributions to the surf industry. This year SIMA will honor surfing icon Rob Machado as Waterman of the Year, surfer and enviro-warrior Dave Rastovich as Environmentalist of the Year, and the incomparable late industry leader Dick Baker with the 2009 Lifetime Achievement Award.

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