Surfrider Foundation staff 

This past weekend, the Surfrider Foundation celebrated their 2008 Wavemaker Award recipients. The Surfrider Foundation’s Board of Directors and Staff give out the award annually to individuals and companies for their outstanding volunteer performance and support to help the organization fulfill its mission.

Outstanding Contribution/Bob Mignogna – A legend in the publishing world, Bob Mignona tapped into his extensive Rolodex to assist the Surfrider Foundation in its fight to protect San Onofre State Park and Trestles. Bob’s efforts were instrumental in rallying activists, sharing information and generating support, and his keen insights have proven invaluable in galvanizing the local community around this important fight.

Development Award/Harriet Zaretsky and Steve Henry – Harriet and Steve created the Dillon Henry Memorial Internship Fund - Surfrider’s first endowed fund - in memory of their son Dillon. The fund provides, in perpetuity, monetary support to help students pursue a career in coastal marine conservation. The funds from this endowment provide annual stipends for two qualified interns to work with the Surfrider Foundation’s Environmental and/or Legal Departments. Thanks to these funds, the Surfrider Foundation can attract, hire and train the most committed interns.

Distinguished Service/Glenn Suba – A founding member of Surfrider Brasil, Glenn has given 100% to the Surfrider Foundation throughout the years. As a volunteer, environmental consultant, and “greening” expert, Glenn is constantly thinking of opportunities for Surfrider Foundation participation. Always on the front line of activism, his creative thinking motivates others to continue fighting for the protection of our coastlines.

Chapter Leadership/Scott Werny – Scott has been a Surfrider Foundation Chapter Activist for over 10 years, and his dedication has been a constant for our Hawaiian Chapter Network. Over the years, Scott has played a key leadership role in the Oahu Chapter, helping to create and implement a vision. In addition to establishing the credibility needed for an environmental organization to be effective, Scott has worked endlessly to establish a beach access coalition throughout the Hawaiian Islands. As a result of his hard work and efforts, the “Shoreline Access Coalition of Hawaii” includes B.E.A.C.H., Beach Access Hawaii, Free Ocean Project Kahea, Keep the North Shore Country, Livable Hawaii Kai Hui, Maui Tomorrow Foundation, Save Kahului Harbor, Sierra Club Oahu Group, Surfrider Foundation Kauai Chapter, Surfrider Foundation Oahu Chapter, Surfrider Foundation Maui Chapter, and Windward Ahupua'a Alliance.

Corporate Partner Award/Barefoot Wine – Jeremy Soine - Barefoot Wine’s relationship with the Surfrider Foundation dates back over 20 years, to original partners Michael Houlahan and Bonnie Harvey, who were early supporters and activists. For the last three years, the Surfrider Foundation has partnered with Barefoot Wine in presenting their Barefoot Wine Beach Rescue Project. This unique event has worked with over a dozen Surfrider Foundation chapters across the country to keep our beaches “barefoot friendly” and help draw attention and support to such campaigns as Lake Worth, Save Pupukea, Montauk and the Save Trestles campaign.

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Surfers Against Sewage 

New regulations that prevent sewage pollution from ships came into force yesterday in the UK.

The regulations will help the UK control a shipping industry, which the Government believes could be responsible for 5% of all coastal sewage pollution incidents.

This is welcome news to the campaigners at Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) who have been concerned by the length of time it has taken for international agreements made by MARPOL on ‘prevention of pollution by sewage from ships’ to be transposed into UK law.

The new law targets ships that are over 400 gross tonnes (GT) in weight or those less than 400GT that are certified to carry more than 15 people. It only applies to those UK flagged ships that leave the UK on international voyages but will also apply to similar ships, which are not UK flagged, if they are in UK waters.

One industry where there will have to be wholescale changes is the cruise ships industry. For too long cruise ships were able to travel the oceans with plumes of raw sewage in their brown wake but the new legislation will help prevent this in the future.

Raw sewage from cruise ships is similar to standard sewage from the land. It contains bacteria and viruses hazardous to humans, can reduce the oxygen levels in the water, can cloud water preventing light reaching the sea bed (essential for most coral growth) and can introduce harmful levels of nutrients to the environment which could lead to potentially toxic algal blooms.

A typical cruise ship today carries around 2,000 passengers, 900 crew and producing 25,000 gallons of human waste a day! Cruises have become a lot more affordable and increasing leisure time means they are becoming an annual fixture in the holiday plans of millions of people. Many UK ports are expecting to see an increase in cruise ship visits this year.

Newly built cruise ships will have already fitted on board state-of-the-art sewage treatment plants, so it is now just the older, smaller cruise ships that are upgrading before they will get issued with sewage prevention certificates.

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Sinegorsk

SAS are urging recreational water users in Kent and East Sussex to take extra care when using the sea over the next few days as timber lost from the Russian owned cargo ship ‘Sinegorsk’ could be washed ashore.

The 1,500 tonnes of timber was washed off the ship and into the sea on Monday. It could yet lead to scenes reminiscent of last January when more than 2,000 tonnes of timber washed up along the Sussex coast after the Greek-registered Ice Prince sank about 26 miles south of Dorset. 

Lost shipping cargo can represent a threat to public health, cause pollution and a long-lasting litter issue. SAS is increasingly concerned about the rising impact shipping cargo loss is having on our coastline.

We are currently investigating the number of shipping containers lost each year in UK waters in an attempt to assess the ongoing damage they have on the water environment. Worldwide it is estimated as many as 10,000 shipping containers are lost overboard each year, but to date the UK Government seems reluctant to account for the number of shipping containers lost in recent years and what their loads were.

Litter tracked back to shipping container loss is a regular occurrence on the beaches close to SAS’s headquarters. Indeed SAS are still finding many of the ‘Baxters’ medical drip bags washing up in Cornwall a year after they were lost from the MV Endeavor whilst en route from Ireland to Spain. We’re also collecting thousands of plastic resin pellets (often nicknamed mermaids tears), which have escaped into the marine environment through a combination of shipping container loss and discharge from factories into watercourses, and storm drains.

Undoubtedly bad weather can play a major part in ships losing their cargo but it can also be caused by poor loading practices and fast ‘dock turnaround’ times which can lead to shortcuts in securing cargo properly. There is also a huge amount of pressure on ship skippers to make their destination on time. Often there is very little leeway on arrival times so ships have to plough-on into bad weather, rather than a more precautionary approach of skirting around it.

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