Texas Open Beaches Act

The Texas Open Beaches Act has been a star example of beach management since it was first enacted in 1959, providing for free and unrestricted use of the state's beaches and shores.

Unfortunately this forward-thinking law is under constant threat by those who would take the public's rights away. This is one of those times, and we need your help.

Late in the night on May 31st, Rep. Wayne Christian interjected wording from his previously rejected HB4025, which was an attempt to circumvent the TX Open Beaches Act, into HB770, a bill that would have allowed homestead exemption to continue for primary residences that were destroyed in a hurricane until the owner built somewhere else.  

Christian has severely compromised this bill by adding wording that would bar the Texas Attorney General or any other entity from filing suit for the removal of a damaged or destroyed structure that found itself on the public beach after a "meteorological event" and allow them to rebuild that structure on the public beach.

This bill, like HB4025, now essentially overturns the Texas Open Beaches Act and will be detrimental to the access to and use of Texas public Beaches.

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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.
"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."

The Waterman’s Weekend begins Thursday, August 6, with the Waterman’s Classic Golf Tournament at the Monarch Beach Golf Links, and culminates on Friday, August 7, with the 20th Annual Waterman’s Ball and Auction.

SIMA is excited to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Waterman’s Ball by returning the event to the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel, Calif. This year’s honorees include Waterman of the Year Rob Machado, Environmentalist of the Year Dave Rastovich, and Lifetime Achievement Award for the late Dick Baker.