St. Agnes

Almost a 1/3rd (32.3%) of designated beaches in England and Wales have failed to meet the UK’s guideline standard for water quality during the 2008 bathing season.

There are 495 designated bathing waters in England and Wales and of these 160 could not meet the tougher of 2 water quality standards set by the European Union (EU) to protect public health and the environment from faecal pollution at bathing waters.

While leading clean water campaigners, Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) feel all designated beaches should meet the ‘guideline’ standard, given it has been set as a target for 32 years under the 1976 EU Bathing Water Directive, changes in weather conditions are now making this task increasingly difficult.

Despite a massive investment in the sewerage infrastructure right across the UK, the last 2 years of wet summer weather has highlighted just how vulnerable the nation’s beaches are to dips in water quality after heavy rainfall. SAS predict worse is to follow if our summers continue to be broken by intense rainfall events as expected in the coming years.

However, SAS are quick to point out that a solution which reduces the impact of heavy rainfall on future water quality results, should not just fall on the shoulders of the nation’s water companies, but will require a well defined and integrated strategy from a number of authorities.

While pollution from sewage treatment works continue to be a problem during wet weather, run-off from agriculture and urban areas are also having an impact on the bathing results, highlighting just how diverse the sources of pollution can be.

Water customers will also have a role to play and they must be aware that wasting water in the house adds to the burden of local sewage treatment works.

When you combine this with normal wastewater flows and any storm water that might also be generated from a heavy rainfall event, then the majority of sewage treatment works won’t have the capacity to ‘treat’ this water. Instead, it will enter local rivers or the sea with higher bacterial loads. This can create poorer water quality and increase the public health risks for those using the water for recreation.

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Barack Obama

Will Barack Obama save Trestles?

The environmental group Wildcoast chimed in this morning on the indirect role the next president might play in preventing the highly controversial construction of a toll road through a portion of San Onofre State Beach.

"Surfers everywhere are thrilled that a man who grew up in the global surfing centers of Indonesia and Oahu is to be our next president," Serge Dedina, executive director of Wildcoast, said in a news release. "This victory will have a critical impact on efforts to stop the TCA from placing a private toll road through San Onofre State Beach Park and efforts to preserve the coast worldwide."

Dedina was referring to the Transportation Corridor Agency, which is behind the effort to build the toll road, which critics contend will have an adverse environmental impact and jeopardize the famous Trestles surf breaks.

Wildcoast and other opposing groups, including the Surfrider Foundation, expect Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez to grant the TCA approval to build the toll road.

Subsequently, Wildcoast anticipates a lawsuit to be filed by the California Coastal Commission against the Department of Commerce for violating the Coastal Zone Management Act.

"Anti-toll activists are hopeful that a new  Secretary of Commerce appointed by President Obama would kill the toll road project," Dedina said.

He added: "The election of Barack Obama demonstrates to surfers the positive power of being engaged in the political process in an organized and strategic fashion. Like the Obama political campaign, considered by presidential scholars to be the most well organized in American history, the `Save Trestles' campaign is a classic example of solid grassroots organizing, legal advocacy and community building that is a template for future efforts worldwide to save threatened surf spots."

Sure, Wildcoast seized this moment to get its name in the press and remind people that this issue is far from dead. Good for Wildcoast. Erecting a toll road through a state park is a bad idea and would set a frightening precedent. Hopefully, a new administration will indeed help save Trestles.

Surfrider Foundation

Surfrider Foundation chapters in Oregon are participating in the state’s marine reserve & marine protected area (MPA) process.

The planning effort is being guided by nearshore action teams, comprised of coastal residents, ocean users, and other interested parties.

On October 1st, the proposal period closed for recommending potential sites for designation in Oregon’s Territorial Sea.

Surfrider members participated in the development of five marine reserve proposals, including nominations off Florence, Lincoln City, Cannon Beach, Port Orford, and Pistol River.

The proposed areas incorporate multiple habitat types (e.g., rocky reef, kelp canopy) and are intended to minimize impacts to ocean users.

All proposals received by the state are now subject to several phases of evaluation based on ecological and socioeconomic criteria.

Marine protected areas (MPAs), including fully protected marine reserves, are part of an ecosystem-based approach to management, and have been used around the world to help protect and restore ocean ecosystems.

MPAs function as a safe haven for marine life and provide places where the ocean can rebuild. Scientific research shows that MPAs typically boost the abundance, diversity, and size of marine species living within their borders.

August 3, 2016, was a day that surfers should never forget. For the first time in its long history, surfing was confirmed in the Olympic Games.

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