Volusia Flagler ChapterThe Volusia/Flagler Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation was founded in 2008 and spans the entire coastline of Volusia and Flager counties in Florida. Our mission is the protection and enjoyment of oceans, waves and beaches through a powerful activist network. More Details
As the Volusia/Flagler Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation, our mission is the protection and enjoyment of oceans, waves and beaches through a powerful activist network. While something like the Shiloh proposal is not generally within our purview of concern, we are certainly concerned with the delicate ecosystems that support those areas that we strive to keep open and clean.
At the outset we, as the voice of hundreds, perhaps thousands of volunteers and activists within the Volusia and Flagler Counties, would like to express our objection and disapproval of the option to use the Shiloh site for a commercial spaceport as proposed. However, at these early stages and during this comment period, we understand that you are requesting suggestions of what to consider in the Environmental Impact Statement (“EIS”).
With all of the recent attention and concerns regarding the Indian River and Mosquito Lagoons, we must be certain that any environmental evaluation of the impacts of the Shiloh option for a spaceport considers not only the immediate impacts of the space port and its operations on the surrounding environment, but also the compounding effect an additional stressor would have on the already delicate ecosystem; ecosystems do not operate in a vacuum and certainly should not be evaluated as such. The Indian River Lagoon and potentially the Mosquito Lagoon are in danger of failing from a number of different and vicious external and internal stressors. The addition of such an invasive, poisonous and impactful operation in an otherwise pristine and untouched locale could potentially have the effect of being the straw that breaks the camels back so to speak. When ecosystems reach a tipping point, they fail catastrophically and are often prohibitively expensive to repair, or worse, can never be repaired. In conclusion, please consider the already delicate and stressed nature of the ecosystem and the large area it services in your studies.
The National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”) requires reasonable alternatives to be considered in studies. The only “reasonable alternative” being considered in the current EIS, is apparently a “No Build” option. There are no other actual reasonable alternative sites being considered so the “No Build” alternative will necessarily produce skewed results towards building. It is likely where there are no other actual alternatives the majority, being economically minded and focused, will have only one option for build. The “No Build” should certainly serve as a baseline, but other alternatives should be considered. One logical, but oddly avoided alternative, is the existing NASA site and its unused pads. Therefore, please also consider actual alternatives in the EIS as required by NEPA.
Finally, while we are not certain economics play a role in the EIS stage, they should certainly be considered in the selection process. Briefly, fully functioning ecosystems have vast and almost immeasurable economic worth such as filtering water, providing nurseries for young and often commercially viable fish and wildlife, not to mention the tourism and use worth that they represent. Consider the cost to replace these ecosystem services with a mechanical and/or manmade option. The start up and continuing cost of reproducing all the services provided by this ecosystem would undoubtedly be staggering in comparison to any worth a commercial space station could provide. It is clear that if the Shiloh site is built, it will without a doubt have a negative impact on the functioning, and already fragile, ecosystem; the financial benefits, however much they are, would be inversely related to all other sources of income and economic worth of this system. As the worth of Shiloh increases the industries related to the ecosystem will decrease at a likely alarmingly faster rate. When the space industry has moved on to other states or countries, we are left with a used up and non-repairable resource that once brought in much more than the space industry ever had or will. Is this what we want to be our legacy? Does this option truly have vision? It seems like supporting this proposal will create a focus on two competing economic goals; one in the spaceport and one in the ecosystem, which, considering its expansive impacts, is effectively the economic juggernaut of the two. This tact is about the fastest way to get nowhere. Please consider the inverse and competing relationships of economic impacts.
We have such a pristine, beautiful and productive ecosystem that needs to be preserved. We are at a significant tipping point for our environment and need to fight to keep it alive.Sincerely, The Executive Board Volusia/Flagler Chapter Surfrider Foundation
Congratulations to our t-shirt design contest winner, Trey Edwards of Ponce Inlet. On teamclub.us, he is described as a “creative genius”, “human Swiss Army knife“, “4th generation Daytona Beach” and a “rad” dresser with a “special eye for seeing oddity in the everyday going-ons of life .”
We absolutely loved his design and how he saw something truly unique in our community and turned it into a t-shirt that represents our Chapter. From the whales we have been trying to protect by educating the public about the dangers of seismic airgun testing, to the Ponce Inlet lighthouse that keeps a watchful eye over Flagler and Volusia counties. Thank you,Trey, for supporting our Chapter with your creative genius!
The shirts will be ready sometime in the next few weeks. Once made, they will be available for purchase at all upcoming events.
Our Chapter is looking for a new t-shirt design and we need your help! The winning design will be featured on our new Chapter t-shirts and the winner will get one of the shirts, a 1 year Surfrider Foundation membership, Surfrider tote bag and we will put their name and a link to their portfolio on our website, Facebook and Twitter pages.
To get started:
-Design can include anything relevant to our mission which is “the protection and enjoyment of oceans, waves and beaches through a powerful activist network.” Surfing, surfboards, waves, local landmarks (lighthouse, etc) are all great!
-All designs must be submitted by February 10 to email@example.com and the winner will be announced at our first beach clean up of the year on February 16.
-The design needs to use no more than 2 colors. The shirt will be a dark navy, so keep that in mind while you’re creating your design.
-Design must include Surfrider-Volusia/Flagler logo
Good luck and may the best artist win!!
Both Surfrider Foundation National and our local Chapter are offering some great gift options for the holiday season!
For only $49, your loved one will receive a Surfrider Foundation membership, a $50 voucher to Swell.com, the top online surf shop that brings you the very best from established surf brands, and 2 on-demand movie downloads from The Surf Network, the largest and most extensive collection of premium surf video content on the internet. For holiday delivery, be sure to order before December 16th. Remember, when you give a Holiday Gift Membership you’re entered into a drawing to win a Firewire surfboard! (If the link above is not working, copy and paste this into your browser: https://secure.surfrider.org/page/contribute/surfrider-holiday-gift-membership-49?source=CH79)
From Volusia/Flagler Chapter:
$25 buys you a one year membership to Surfrider Foundation and this great reusable “I Love My Beach” tote from Chico Bags with the Surfrider logo! Email firstname.lastname@example.org to order yours today!
The Seismic Airgun Testing Public Forum, held at the Brannon Center in New Smyrna Beach on December 5, 2013, was a great success! We had around 30 in attendance to hear speakers from Oceana, Fins and Fluke and Surfrider Foundation speak about the dangers of Seismic Airgun Testing. We obtained signatures for our opposition petition to the Secretary of the Interior from everyone there and it was a great night of discussion and education fueled by donated Starbucks coffee and pastries.
The next evening was our end of year Beach Bonfire Social and we had about 20 Surfrider members, volunteers and friends join us for s’mores and fun in New Smyrna Beach at the Sapphire fire pit. It was nice to sit back and relax and remember that our mission is not only about protecting our beaches, waves and oceans but also enjoying them!
Next year we aim to increase our impact by engaging more volunteers, holding more events like beach clean ups and Ocean Friendly Garden projects and fundraising to aid our efforts. We are truly a grassroots organization and this means that we cannot do any of what we do without YOU! If you are interested in getting involved in 2014, please contact email@example.com!
We are pleased to invite you to Volusia’s first educational forum on seismic airgun testing on December 5 from 6:30-8:30 at the Brannon Center in New Smyrna Beach. Our forum will include information from experts, local leaders, and other passionate voices speaking about seismic airgun testing. Learn about the dangers associated with a proposal that could ravage our Atlantic coast.
Join Oceana Florida, Surfrider Foundation Volusia/Flagler Chapter, Fins and Fluke and Hands Across The Sand to get the REAL scoop on seismic airgun testing and find out what YOU can do about it!
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Be sure to join us for our Beach Bonfire Social the next day (Friday) from 8pm-11pm to celebrate a great year of protecting and enjoying our oceans, waves and beaches! See our calendar for more information or RSVP here.
Volusia/Flagler Surfrider members get a 10% discount on festival passes! It will be a fun time, so we hope to see everyone there to support this great event.
Also, we need volunteers to man a table at this event, so if you’re interested, please email email@example.com.
Join us for our first ever digital clean up of our beaches! There is no specific date, time or location. Sometime this month, go out to your favorite stretch of beach and conduct your own personal clean up. Then, take the plastic pieces and create a square foot of art (you can use the downloadable templates here) and email the photo to firstname.lastname@example.org
In addition to the One Foot at a Time project, here are 10 ways to avoid unnecessary plastics in your life all month long:http://www.rapmonth.org/10-ways/. Challenge yourself to think twice before buying and make decisions that conserve energy, avoid waste and reuse and recycle items where possible!
Location: Toni & Joe’s Patio, Time: 6:30 pm. We will be discussing our new campaign against seismic testing in the Atlantic, upcoming events and fundraising efforts. You do not need to be a member to attend, all are welcome! (FYI: Please do not bring outside food or drink into meetings. Toni and Joe’s is a great host, let’s make sure we are great guests!)