Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Watch The Story of Inky

Thursday, February 19, 2009


KOCT - the local Oceanside news station provided some excellent coverage of our Day Without a Bag event this past December. To check it out, click the link below and select the Day Without a Bag story.


Monday, February 16, 2009

Finally Coming Around...?

We hammer away on this plastics issue, hoping to sway common thought and here-to-fore accepted practices, and through our incremental outreach, we see that people are beginning to understand the problem... But it's always a nice surprise to see community writers come to our logical realizations on the issue and take the next step of relating it to their often-wider gallery of listeners/readers.

The on-line-only tome, San Diego Newsroom, advocates for our local pending bag ban issue, not only with bravura, but with it's sensible feet firmly placed in the most recent stimulus package - briefly showing the substantial costs of these bags on municipalities.

The article ( check it out here ) has already generated one comment, click over to it and make an appropriate comment yourself! Awright!

Precycling, You Doin' It?

This tidbit from the Cape Cod Times made me think about something I've been doing but didn't have a clever name for: Precycling! 

I hope you are recycling, but have you ever thought about precycling? Precycling is making buying decisions based in part on the amount of packing you will have to dispose of once you get the items home. Make sure plastic containers are recyclable and that there aren't layers and layers of plastic on items that will end up in the landfill. It's all about paying attention.
Some cool articles and tips on Precycling:

EDF Article: Precycling: Shopping for Future Generations
Everybody shops. But not everybody realizes how environmentally important it is to shop consciously...

Consumer Reports Blog: Buzzword: Precycle
What it means. Precycling represents the next generation in residential-waste management...

Precycling -- think of it as the choices you can easily make before you recycle or discard packaging or almost any household item. [This piece has some great helpful links]

New York State Department of Conservation: Let's Precycle
Hey, New York!...PREvent waste before you reCYCLE!

Are you precycling? What sort of things are you doing to reduce waste and Rise Above Plastics?

Graphic courtesy of Indiana Recycling Coalition

Thursday, February 12, 2009

South Texas Chapter Scores Plastics Victory

The newest of the Surfrider Foundation's Texas Chapter Network, the South Texas Chapter, has scored a victory in the fight against the littering of our ocean with plastics, coastal armoring and enforcing the Texas Open Beaches Act.

Since the 2005 tropical season events of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in the Gulf of Mexico, the La Quinta Hotel on South Padre Island, Texas has been doing everything it could think of to keep the Gulf back. The La Quinta was, depending on who you ask, knowingly or unknowingly built past the critical dune line and in an erosional hot spot. Even though the 2005 hurricanes made landfall far north of South Padre, the barrier island experienced strong storm surges which resulted in the acceleration of erosion of the beach in front of the La Quinta.

The owner's response was to illegally start stacking thousands of polypropylene sandbags in front if his retaining wall, cover them with sand, plant some vegetation and call it a sand dune. This was done without the required beach construction permits that the Texas General Land Office and Town's Beach and Dune Task Force required to do so. Not to mention that the placement of plastics onto the beach is considered an illegal landfill by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

Complaints were made with initially very little response or action by the GLO or the Town. However after the surge by Hurricane Ike caused the dune to wash out and spill the whole, partial and sun-rotted plastic sandbags into the public beach easement and Gulf of Mexico complaints increased and the GLO and TCEQ took notice.

Below is the letter addressing South Padre Island's Coastal Resources Manager, who has helped us with this issue, from the Texas General Land Office notifying La Quinta of its violations of the Texas Open Beaches Act, Dune Protection Act and South Padre Island's Beach and Dune Protection Plan and warning the Town to enforce its approved beach and dune plan by having the La Quinta remove all of the polypropylene sandbags or risk losing Coastal Erosion Planning and Response Act Funding.

January 26,2009

Via Electronic Mail

The General Land Office (GLO) received several complaints concerning the placement of sand bags on and adjacent to the public beach at 7000 Padre Blvd seaward of the La Quinta Hotel in the Town of South Padre Island (Town). The location of the sand bags are less than 1,000 feet landward of the mean high tide line and seaward of the Town's dune protection line adopted by the Town of South Padre Island Dune Protection and Beach Access Plan October 5, 1994 (1994 Plan). The placement of the sand bags, within the beachfront construction/dune protection area requires a Beachfront Construction Certificate and Dune Protection Permit. The GLO has no record of reviewing an application for a Beachfront Construction Certificate and Dune Protection Permit for the placement of the sand bags. If the Town issued a building permit for the construction of the sand bags without GLO review of a Beachfront Construction Certificate and a Dune Protection Permit (if required), it has violated the terms of the 1994 Plan certified as consistent with state law at 3 1 Texas Administrative Code (TAC) 5 15.30.

The placement of the sand bags on the public beach easement and construction of a shore protection project without a certificate or permit are direct violations of the Open Beaches Act ,Dune Protection Act, Beach/Dune Rules and the 1994 Plan. The Town of South Padre Island must enforce the provisions within the 1994 Plan or the GLO may make a determination of non-compliance with the local plan. If the Town does not address the issue of non-compliance, the GLO may determine that the town is not adequately administering its local plan, which could jeopardize the Town's ability to receive state funds from the Coastal Erosion Planning and Response Act (CEPRA). Our CEPRA project manager is currently looking at options to assist in the placement of sand in this area. The placement of beach quality sand is an acceptable erosion response project. Other options include the placement of a natural dune or a Town sponsored shore protection project in accordance with the Beach/Dune and Coastal Coordination Council Rules.


Eddie Fisher
Director, Coastal Stewardship
Coastal Resources Division

Friday, February 6, 2009

Fish (and Human) Belly Contents

" The old saying goes, "One man's trash is another man's treasure." But what if one man's trash becomes another man's dinner? "

ABC News' Good Morning America presented an informative segment about the root problem of plastic marine debris: we are changing the very composition of the ocean to the point where fish cannot avoid eating plastic particles. ...And ya know what that means...yep...we humans end up closing that circle, and bringing that plastic back "home" by eating those fish and absorbing the toxins which accrete to the plastics while they wait to be eaten by those fish. Whew - complicated! Not.

Watch their video "Watery Waste On the Dinner Table", complete with a nice synopsis of the North Pacific Gyre and footage of Charles Moore on his boat out in "the patch".

Bon appetite!