Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Surfrider NJ

The Surfrider Foundation is a grassroots, non-profit, environmental organization that works to protect our oceans, waves, and beaches.

They were founded in 1984 and have 60 chapters located along the East, West, Gulf, Puerto Rican, and Hawaiian coasts. The Jersey Shore Chapter offers a a number of activities and projects.

"Respect the Beach" is an educational program that introduces students to beach ecology and to the watershed process.

The Surfrider Foundation's Blue Water Task Force is a water quality monitoring, education and advocacy program, to educate New Jersey citizens about coastal water quality problems and to build support for national coastal water quality testing and monitoring standards.

The Jersey Shore Chapter often addresses political and environmental issues that threaten New Jersey beaches and waters, including beach replenishment, ocean dumping, and public beach access.

Chris Carhart at an overpublicized inlet in Northern Ocean County during a 2009 spring run of North swell. Photo by Jack Ryan

As you might guess from their name, they also strive to open and preserve surfing beaches in coastal communities all along the Jersey Shore. They host and participate in surf clinics and contests, including the Chapter's annual Manasquan Classic (this year it will be Sept. 19), to promote surfing to the young and young-at-heart.

Many of their activities are aimed at increasing the public awareness of issues impacting NJ beaches by being visible at community and music festivals, beach cleanups and beach mapping projects, and at local beach/sporting events.

You can read their State of the Beach report for NJ gives a good summary of state activities and concerns.

One recent campaign was the Manasquan to Barnegat Beachfill. The Army Corps plans to do a massive dredge and fill for the beaches from Manasquan Inlet to Barnegat Inlet, NJ. This would include the towns from Point Pleasant to Seaside Park.

If you are interested, their next monthly chapter meeting will be August 8 at 9 AM at the Monmouth Beach Cultural Center, Ocean Ave., Monmouth Beach, NJ.

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