From the Surfrider website: “Our mission is the protection and enjoyment of oceans, waves and beaches through a powerful activist network…. We don’t want to put a velvet rope around a beach and tell people to keep off.... We enjoy the coasts. We’re a user group… We’re engaged with environmental issues that affect our coastlines. We are a grassroots organization. We’re moms, we’re surfers, we’re kids and teens... we’re you. We’re engaged to protect what we love: oceans, waves and beaches.”
In an effort to protect what they loved, hundreds of Long Beach residents, surfers and non-surfers alike, organized themselves. With the help of Surfrider they brought their concerns to the city. There were no fear tactics involved. Suggestions for modifications to the corps plan were developed with input from experts. These suggestions addressed the plan’s flaws taking into consideration the very specific needs of our island. The council shared the suggestions with the corps, but the corps wouldn’t budge. Their answer was take it or leave it.
All five members of the then City Council chose to leave it. Again, Mr. Kramer can believe what he wants. I however do not believe that every person who was opposed to the corps plan was only opposed to it because of how it might affect the surf. I do not believe that a group of surfers who were interested in preserving the quality of surf were what convinced the council to vote the plan down.
In his column, Mr. Kramer expresses his concern about surfers once again looking to sacrifice the well being of our city. He states, “I think the surfers are surreptitiously trying to block the plan and could prevent the project from receiving approval.” I am a member of the Surfrider Foundation, president of the Long Beach Surfer’s Association, and a surfer. For the record, I have not surfed since the days before Sandy hit. I have been too busy trying to rebuild my home, help my friends rebuild their homes, and work to help local businesses get back on their feet. I certainly am not “surreptitiously” looking to block any plan, nor am I aware of anyone else who has taken on such an agenda.