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Ocean Friendly Restaurants

The Surfrider Foundation’s Long Beach Chapter has revamped its Ocean Friendly Restaurant campaign. The campaign’s efforts are aimed at reducing plastic and Styrofoam pollution from oceans and beaches while educating the public, businesses and elected officials about the dangers of plastic and Styrofoam pollution. One way to reduce this litter load is to support food establishments that make the effort to not use plastic or Styrofoam for their take out containers.

“Styrofoam is one of the main, if not the main pollutants found during beach clean ups”, stated by Gabriella Hernandez, Ocean Friendly Restaurants Captain. “We have become a society that feels entitled to convenience and there is no thought about the repercussions of our actions. We need to look at the bigger picture and put some thought into our consumption habits. We need ask ourselves is a 1 time use worth 500 plus years of pollution? ”

Styrofoam is a brand name for expanded polystyrene, the cheap foam products used by many restaurants for their take out containers.  Styrofoam and other plastics break down in the ocean releasing toxic chemicals like BPA, which are known carcinogens, into the ocean.  Along with turning the ocean into a toxic soup, sea life consume bits of plastic mistaken for food. Styrofoam may break into smaller pieces but does not biodegrade significantly, which is a problem when it becomes litter.

Ocean Friendly Restaurants rewards local businesses that make a voluntary change to not use Styrofoam and/or plastic take out containers.  Eliminating these containers reduces the amount of litter that hits our streets, drains to our rivers and ends up on the beaches and oceans.  Recent Ocean Friendly Restaurant awardees include Lola’s Mexican Cuisine, The Green House, Z Pizza, Crooked Duck, Simmzy’s,  Steamed Organic vegetarian Cuisine and the Factory Gastrobar.

There are three different levels to the OFR campaign, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. All levels have the minimum requirement of no take-out Styrofoam containers. In addition to not using Styrofoam and to achieve a higher level the restaurant can choose three of the six options: Plastic straws are provided only upon request, take-out bags are provided only upon request or customers are encouraged to bring their own, take-out beverage containers may not be plastic (includes plastic bottles), take-out food containers may not be plastic, disposable utensils for take-out provided upon request, and proper recycling and trash disposal practices are followed throughout restaurant. To be at a Platinum level, there must be no plastic take-out usage at all, this includes Styrofoam, plastic bags, tableware, straws, etc…

For their pollution fighting efforts the awardee restaurant receives an award, is advertised through Surfrider media, and receives an Ocean Friendly Restaurant decal to put in their window allowing the public to know about their efforts.

“This a small step taken in our local community to eventually address a global problem,” stated Surfrider’s Long Beach Chapter Chair Seamus Innes.

Position on Fracking

As of Monday July 20th, 2015, the Long Beach Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation supports a moratorium on offshore fracking in Long Beach until risks can be properly assessed and discussed with the public.  We also desire comprehensive local oversight of coastal oil drilling operations in Long Beach.

There are some introduction articles in the OC Weekly and Random Lengths.  Long Beach Gas & Oil created a report for the Sustainable City Commission.  You can watch a video of the the presentation here.  If you find a copy of the report, please send it to chair@lbsurfrider.org.

Before & After the Breakwater

Here’s an image of what Long Beach could look like with restoration of the wave driven ecosystem.  The image was created by the Zell Office of Landscape Architecture for the Surfrider Foundation Long Beach Chapter

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CA Assembly Resolution on Breakwater Awareness Month

The California State Assembly passed a resolution supporting breakwater awareness month.  The chief sponsor was Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell.  A hard copy of the framed resolution was given to LB Surfrider Foundation during the paddle out on June 13th.  Here’s a photo of it in all it’s awesomeness:

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California Assembly Resolution – Breakwater Awareness Month

Supporting the resolution and present for the dedication was Assemblymember Ian Calderon of the 57th District (Whittier).  Thanks so much to Patrick & Ian for this really amazing item.

Fact Sheet for the Breakwater Feasibility Study

If you missed the breakwater community meeting on June 25, 2015, you really missed out on the great gathering.  Here is the most updated fact sheet on the breakwater feasibility study, aka East San Pedro Bay Ecosystem Restoration Feasibility Study.

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Paddle Out for the Waves

Today’s Paddle Out for the Waves was the best yet.  Attendance was 163. Check out the action shot from the paddle relay race.

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Super thanks to Assemblymembers Patrick O’Donnell and Ian Calderon (District 57).

Beach Streets

Our chapter had a great time at Saturday’s Beach Streets event.  It was super cool.  Thanks councilmembers Richardson, Austin, & Uranga.  Check out the photos:

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Breakwater Awareness Month – June 2015

Join the cause to bring waves back to Long Beach! Partnering with CA Assemblymember, Patrick O’Donnell, we are holding two breakwater awareness events in June. The purpose of these events is to educate people about the Long Beach Breakwater and the upcoming feasibility study led by the Army Corps of Engineers and City of Long Beach.

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“Surface Tension” – Celebrate the Art of Ocean Photography

CSULB student Justing Soenksen is the owner of Makai Collab is a surf apparel and photograpy company. This month, Justin invites you to his first gallery viewing at the Hellada Gallery, 117 Linden Ave., 90802. Preview his fantastic artwork on Instagram @makaicollab, on Facebook, or at www.makaicollab.net.

The gallery reception is open to the public on Sat., May 2 from 5-9pm, and will feature ocean photography, music, drinks, snacks, and a $5 raffle to support ocean conservation – win a full-size canvas print! A portion of the proceeds will be donated to our SFLB chapter. See you there!

New Partnership: I Dig LB

The Long Beach Chapter is proud to join the roster of green, community, and youth organizations to help the City and Port of Long Beach to plant 6,000 trees by 2020. Semi-weekly Installations include sidewalk cuts to reduce urban runoff. Studies have shown that planting trees off-sets CO2 emissions, provides urban cooling, reduces blight, increases property values, and encourages neighbor interaction and civic pride. Kids learn about nurturing a new plant; naming the trees is encouraged, and it’s fun to visit to watch them grow.

Starting this month, we’ll be stepping out from behind the table as a tree planting team. Join us! Optional to wear any Surfrider shirts or hats if you have them. All materials are provided, and our LB neighbors need our help. Each date is an event, with refreshments and guest sponsors. Reply to treasurer@lbsurfrider.org for more information. No RSVP necessary!
• Sat., 5/9, 9a-12p: Meet @ 3000 E. 3rd St. – 85 trees!
• Sat., 5/30, 9a-12p: Meet @ Chavez Park (Golden/4th) – 70 trees!
• Sat., 6/13, 9a-12p: Location TBD – 80 trees!