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Long Beach Polystyrene Ban Ordinance signed into Law!

May 4, 2018 – The Surfrider Foundation Long Beach Chapter has been advocating for a polystyrene ban for more than a decade. Expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam, often mistakingly called Styrofoam, is a top item found at Surfrider beach cleanups. It is challenging to cleanup once littered because it is lightweight and can easily break up into small pieces. Those pieces don’t biodegrade in our lifetime and can pose a threat to wildlife that can mistake it for food.

After more than a year of public discussions within city commissions and the Long Beach City Councl, the ban will include products made of expanded polystyrene, rigid polystyrene (#6) and non-recyclable and non-compostable material prepared for food distribution. Additionally, the ordinance includes a ban on selling EPS foam coolers at retail establishments!

The ordinance will be phased in over 18 months:

* Within three months, the containers will be banned at city facilities and city-permitted events (those holding multi-year permits will have up to one year to comply).

* Within nine months, large food providers—those with seating for 101 or more people—must comply, including franchise restaurants.
* Within 18 months, food providers with 100 or fewer seats must comply. Also, the retail ban on EPS foam coolers takes effect.

The Fresh Shave receives Platinum Ocean Friendly Restaurant Award

The Fresh Shave makes hand crafted, Hawaiian style, shave ice and they’ve just been awarded our chapter’s highest Ocean Friendly Restaurant certification, a Platinum level award.  This means they don’t use Styrofoam, recycle, and hardly use any plastic at all. They are located  in SteelCraft (3768 Long Beach Blvd., Ste 100, Long Beach, CA 90807).  Go support their environmental efforts by shopping their shave ice.

Check out the OFR webpage or e-mail for more information.

Breakwater Movie Online Release

A recent movie about the Long Beach Breakwater and efforts to reconfigure it has been released online in commemoration of recently deceased beach activist Robert Palmer.  A significant portion of the movie is interviews or Robert Palmer, both on his boat, on the beach, and at Surfrider meetings. The film is made by Shenandoah Bennett and his team and available here.

“This documentary investigates the origins of, and controversy behind, a massive structure built in the 1940s that has changed the character of the city of Long Beach, California, and its shore for over six decades. Discover why this giant rock wall was built, why it is still there, what is being done about it, and who are the people engaged in the either remove, modify, or keep it.


Farewell Robert Palmer

On Friday September 1, 2017 Mr. Robert Palmer passed away from complications from the West Nile virus.  Robert was a founding member of the Long Beach Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation holding positions on the executive committee since chapter inception. He was the chapter chairman for many years, leading countless meetings, speaking engagements, and public events.

Robert founded the Sink the Breakwater project for Surfrider back in 1996.  For 21 years he persistently worked to bring waves back to Long Beach, the city in which he lived, raised his family, and ran his private business. He was at his core an optimist with seemingly unlimited patience. Despite being ridiculed and ignored, Robert and his fellow volunteers persisted in their public education and outreach efforts and by 2005, both the public and city leaders came to think that waves might one day grace our shores. The project is currently being studied by the US Army Corps of Engineers and has full support from City Hall.

In addition to the breakwater, Robert worked tirelessly to clean the beaches of Long Beach.  He began with a monthly 30 minute beach cleanup on Granada Avenue and ended up co-hosting four weekend cleanups per month with different volunteer organizations. He’s hosted more beach cleanups than anyone in Long Beach sometimes hosting two on the same day. After seeing so much trash on the beach, he became politically active, successfully lobbying to ban single use plastic bags in Long Beach, which was a critical step in banning them State wide.  He has worked over the years with various city administrations to implement a citywide ban on disposable Styrofoam from restaurants and this ordinance is likely to pass in late 2017.

Robert was a surfer, sailor, motor cyclist, artist, teacher, businessman, environmental activist, husband, and father. His tireless efforts and his presence in Long Beach was a blessing and he will be truly missed.

An obituary is available in the Long Beach Press Telegram. and the Long Beach Post.

A memorial service will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday, September 9, at Bay Shore Community Congregational Church, 5100 E. The Toledo, with a reception to follow. A paddle out in memory of Robert will be held on Saturday September 16 at 11:30AM between the Belmont Pier and the Belmont Pool.

To make a donation to Surfrider Foundation in honor of Robert Palmer, click here.

Surfrider Comes Out Against Proposed Belmont Pool Location

The Long Beach Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation has officially come out against the currently proposed location of the Belmont Shore Aquatic Center (i.e. Belmont Pool).  A detailed letter describing the chapter’s position is available here.

Beach Cleanups, Cool Kids, and ABC7

Our beach cleanups in Long Beach have been getting attention in the local media with the help of local Cool Kids volunteers.  See the piece at ABC7.

Polystyrene Ban in Long Beach

Long Beach City Council is beginning a 6 month process to partially ban disposable polystyrene food products.  See article in the Press Telegram. The Long Beach Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation has been working on this topic for a long-long time.  It’s nice to see progress. Read the Surfrider Foundation letter to see our reasons for the foam ban.

2010 Post Card to City Council

2010 Post Card to City Council


2013 Post Card to City Council

2013 Post Card to City Council

Ocean Photography Fundraiser at Berlin and Fingerprints

Four local artists will be showing at Berlin and Fingerprints in the East Village Arts District(420 E 4th St., Long Beach).


Opening night is Saturday, August 6th, 2016 from 6 – 10PM.  Sunlit Souls will be playing and Barefoot wine is the beverage sponsor.  High end framed imagery available for purchase through August.  Proceeds benefit Surfrider Foundation Long Beach Chapter.


Surf Long Beach

The folks at Seventh Wave Surf Shop scored some surfable waves in Long Beach during the January 25th storm. Here’s an exerpt:

Kelli Koller, photo by Tamara Garcia

Kelli Koller, photo by Tamara Garcia


We drove onto the beach at 7:30 am the next day without a soul in sight on the beach or in the water. Claremont Street on the Long Beach Peninsula woke up from her long slumber. She was breaking, and it was beautiful out! The waves weren’t epic with big barrels or long tasty lines, but they were epic because they were in Long Beach and were rideable. I was so amped for the inconsistent short rides just off the sand….but if you look at the photos….those small waves show so much potential!!!! The last time in recent memory that there were surfable waves in Long Beach was back in 2010. We had been waiting a long time. I sent out a quick post so friends could come down and share the stoke. Then Deb, Sierra Garcia and I suited up. (We sponsor Sierra. She surfs for Millikan High. NSSA and CCSA. Charger, good student, great kid. Tamara Garcia, Sierra’s mother, captured the images of this event. She is a great mom and shop supporter! Yay Millikan!)

Go here for the entire aticle.

And there’s another article in the OC Register .

Sierra Garcia, photo by Tamara Garcia

Sierra Garcia, photo by Tamara Garcia

Surfrider Foundation honors Vice Mayor Garcia with Defender of the Coast Award

GarciaAward 004

Two articles on his achievements and award.

Long Beach Post –

Press Telegram –