Black Tie & Baggies Gala 2013

Get out your snazziest formal wear and give it some surfing style! Black Tie and Baggies is finally here! It’s First Coast Surfrider’s biggest fundraiser of the year, and it’s name is also the dress code: formal wear (black tie) mixed with surf wear (baggies). There’s going to be food, music, raffles, auctions, a best-dressed contest, drink specials, and more! Please join us to support your oceans, beaches, and waves for what promises to be a great night!

$10 at the door. Ages 18+
$2 drinks (cash bar)




FL Legislative Update – February


This information was presented by Surfrider Foundation FL Regional Coordinator, Holly Parker, at our February meeting.

State Issues:

Ocean Outfall Bill

It’s back! Since the Surfrider Foundation successfully passed an Ocean Outfall Closure bill in 2009, there have been numerous attempts to delay or weaken its implementation. This year, like the last two years, is no exception. Senator Diaz de la Portilla (Miami-Dade) submitted SB444, titled “Domestic Wastewater Discharged Through Ocean Outfalls”.

Learn more here:

Oil Drilling in Blackwater River State Forest

You may have already heard rumblings of a new bill proposing oil drilling on state lands. There is a bill proposing oil/gas exploration on state lands, but it is limited to the Blackwater River State Park (near Milton). We will be keeping an eye on this bill to make sure it doesn’t morph into anything broader, but the good news is that identical legislation was filed last session and promptly killed after substantial public outcry.  Stay tuned for more as there are additional developments. Learn more here:

FLORIDA DEP Beach Management Funding Assistance Program

The DEP has released its list of local projects though the Beach Management Funding Program. Once this list is approved, these projects will be fast tracked and we’ll have a much harder time stopping them.  You can also see each individual funding request application here:

Nassau County Shore Protection Project

Nourishment of approximately 4.4 miles of Atlantic shoreline between DEP Monuments R11 and R34.  Restoration was completed in 2008 and nourishment is scheduled for nourishment 2014.


FEDERAL  $2,997,938

STATE    $282,138

LOCAL  $325,394

TOTAL $3,605,470

St. Johns County Shore Protection Project

Nourishment of approximately 2.9 miles of shoreline between DEP Monuments R137 – R151 in St. Johns County. The project includes 0.9 miles of beach within Anastasia Island State Recreation Area. Restoration of the federal project and the non-federal extension within the state recreation area was completed in 2003. Emergency nourishment was completed in 2005 based on damages sustained during the 2004 hurricane season.



STATE    $138,317

LOCAL   $179,215

TOTAL   $317,532


Federal Issues:

Seismic Testing Delay

Good news! The US Department of the Interior has delayed a decision on whether to conduct seismic surveys in the Atlantic until October. For those chapters working on this campaign, that means you have several more months to push petitions, sign-on letters, and public outreach events. Learn more about seismic testing here:


Surfrider at the Florida State Capitol!

Save the date for our lobby day at the State Capitol on April 4, 2013. Details to come.


OFG Tip O the Month 4

When I moved to Jacksonville seven years ago and moved into our new home I wanted to do some landscaping to make my yard more ocean friendly. Unfortunately I had very little clue as to what plants and coverings were native to the area. I incorrectly assumed that what was being sold at the box stores was so and as a result I made a number of poor purchases.

Since getting involved with Surfrider’s Ocean Friendly Gardens program and joining the Florida Native Plant Society I can now see the mistakes I made and am now better equipped to make the right decisions for my yard going forward.

So before starting your own OFG project please consider the following. You might first want to consult with a landscaper who is knowledgeable regarding native plants and OFG landscapes. There are also a number of garden centers in the area that specialize in native and Florida Friendly plants and ground covers. Another great resource is the Florida Native Plant Society that has chapters in our area. Last but not least please check out our own OFG program. There are great resources to be found on Surfrider’s national web-site and our chapter will be looking to hold OFG seminars and hands on events during the coming year(s).

So get involved and become more knowledgeable while at the same time saving yourself time, money and resources as well as our waves oceans beaches and rivers.

November Update from Paul

There is a part of me that truly believes that the sport of surfing and the ocean have saved my life. Both have given me strength, comfort and confidence when it was most needed throughout my life as well as a great deal of joy and happiness.

It is often said that when someone saves your life you them yours. I think this can be expanded to include activities or experiences that impact you significantly. I certainly feel this way about surfing and our oceans. In part, this is why I have devoted so much of my time giving back to both as best I can.

I feel extremely blessed to have had the privilege to serve as the chairman of the First Coast Chapter for the past two years. I have been associated with a great bunch of activists and learned a great deal.

As I leave my post at the end of the year I do so feeling very good about the things our chapter, including our executive committee and members, have accomplished and the progress we have made. At the same time, however, I wish I could have accomplished more. There are so many threats to our sport and coastlines and seemingly so little time and bodies to accomplish all we would like to.

I know that none of what we accomplished would have been possible without the dedication, time, talents and contributions of our executive committee, volunteers, members, sponsors and donors. I owe you all a great debt of gratitude.

Although I am stepping down as your Chairman I want you to know that I am planning on staying on as an advisor to the EC and plan to head up the Ocean Friendly Garden Committee and help out the Chapter in any manner required.

I am confident that I am leaving the chapter in very capable hands with Erin Handy as our new Chair – and the team she is putting together – and I expect great things to come.

Recently we sent out a survey to our members. We received a great response to it which will help us immensely to build the foundation of the chapter. We will be sharing the results with you all and personally contacting those who indicated they would like to get further involved.

We also recently held our seventh annual art auction. Thanks to the talented and generous artists that donated their work and the hard work of our volunteers, headed by Jamie Sauer, the auction was a huge success and the income from it will certainly help us accomplish our mission.

Thanks so much for your support of me and the chapter and I will look forward to seeing you at a future event.

Paul Hayden, Chair
Surfrider Foundation
First Coast Chapter

Member/Volunteer Survey

In an effort to fulfill our mission the chapter needs to engage it’s members and make best usage of their background and talents.

Each member joined Surfrider with a specific purpose in mind and brings with them special background and talents that they believe will help make a positive impact on the environment. This survey is intended to help us get a better idea of what our members bring to the table and how we might tap into the collective talents of our membership.

We thank you in advance for your completing the survey and for your continued support of The
Surfrider Foundation and the First Coast Chapter.


Paul Hayden-FCSR Chairman

OFG Tip O the Month 3

When considering establishing an OFG at your home, business or community it is beneficial to know your rights to do so under Florida law. In 2009 the State of Florida passed a new law, Statute 373.185 regarding Florida friendly landscaping which in part states

a deed restriction or covenant may NOT prohibit any property owner from implementing Florida-friendly landscaping on his or her land

A local government ordinance may not prohibit or be enforced so as to prohibit any property owner from implementing Florida-friendly landscaping on his or her land.

It should be noted however that the law has not yet been tested in court with regards to HOA covenants that may prohibit Florida-friendly landscaping and, as such, it could be costly for a homeowner to go to court to fight the HOA. As such it might be wise to discuss your plans with your HOA board to see where they stand on the issue before starting your project.

For a complete copy of the statute you should visit the Official Site of the Florida Legislature.


OFG Tip O the Month 2

A great deal of run off that enters our waterways and oceans comes from yards, gardens, and golf courses. Due to the heavy usage of fertilizers and pesticides on our yards and grassy areas coupled with extensive watering, a substantial  mix of these substances ends up running onto our streets and down the street drains. This can be mitigated by limiting our grassy areas to a minimum, using ground covers that need less watering, fertilizer, and pesticides and that are well adapted to the local climate. Water runoff can also be restricted by planting borders along driveways, patios, and streets.


Paul Hayden, Chapter Chair

Spring Into Native Plants

Are you interested in:
- Reducing your water bill?
- Increasing your leisure time?
- Eliminating costly lawn care?
- Attracting birds & butterflies?
Then don’t miss this fabulous, FREE event from our good friends at the Florida Native Plant Society.

When: Saturday, April 28, 10 am – 2:30 pm
Where*: UNF Student Union Auditorium
One UNF Drive, Jacksonville, FL 32224
(*enter the campus from Kernan Blvd.)

More information here

Black Tie and Baggies Gala this FRIDAY!

When: Friday, April 27 @ 7-11pm

Where: In the Garden @ Casa Bella Village

What: First Coast Surfrider’s biggest and best fundraiser of the year. A party where the dress code is half-surf, half-formal (for inspiration try here or here, wear whatever you want, get creative).

Why: The money raised at this event allows us to do what we do, from beach cleanups, Ocean Friendly Gardening, and water testing to working to protect beach access. Also, its a really good time, with music (from DJ Cosmo John), food, drinks, friends, freebies, and all sort of raffle and silent auction items to win.

Who: You! All are welcome and encouraged to attend. All ages.

A special thanks to Void Magazine, Green Room Brewing, Bombora Vodka, and Southern Wine & Spirits of Florida for sponsoring the event

And big thanks to our raffle and silent auction donors: Fluid Surfboards (a custom-shaped board!), Sunrise Surf Shop, Jacksonville Jaguars, Burro Bags, Trident Surf, Muvmnt watches, Slider’s Seafood Grille, Cason Photography, Home Depot, Drew’s Surf Stick, Royal Palm Village Wine and Tapas, Buddha’s Thai Bistro, Adventure Bracelets, Target and more!

…and our silent auction art donors: Damon Williams, Beth Haizlip, Gary Mack, Shayna Raymond, Matthew Winghart, and Tonsenia Yonn.

You can see a gallery of our sponsors and available items here.

Thanks! We Hope to see you there.

Hanna Park Access Threatened

Do you surf, bike, run, or play in Hanna Park? Your access to the park is being restricted! The official closing time in the summer months (April through October) is 8pm. However, recently the park has been closing at 6pm due to “budget cuts,” and parking citations are being issued to anyone that is in the park later than this. We’re told that the Jacksonville City Council has the sole authority to change the park hours, but they haven’t. Not only does that question the legality of the change of hours, but also the citations many of you may have received from the JSO. If you are concerned, check out the links below. They give you the contact information for the key decision makers within our city government. Please reach out the them by email or phone (or both!) and let them know that you support better access to Hanna Park, and don’t believe individuals (particularly those that are unelected) should have the power to restrict citizens from this public resource. There is also some sample text below that you can use.

It has come to our attention that the same change of hours has occurred at Huguenot Memorial Park. It is apparently not the poor management of a single park, but a city-wide effort to save money in the least effective way while limiting recreation opportunities. We don’t believe that makes sense. We believe if the City is going to control our land, they need to be good stewards of that land, and remember that it is, in fact, ours.

Ken Berk, Park ManagerKathryn Abbey Hanna Park:
500 Wonderwood Drive
Jacksonville, FL 32233
(904) 249-4700
(904) 249-8688 (Fax)


Chris Winterman, Park ManagerHuguenot Memorial Park
(904) 251-3335


These parks are managed under the purview of the Recreation, Community Development, Public Health & Safety Committee. They are holding their next meeting on Tuesday, April 17 at 2pm in the Council Chamber at City Hall (117 W. Duval Street). There will be an Agenda Meeting immediately prior at 1:30pm the same day in Conference Room A, Suite 425, City Hall. For more information on the committee, go here
Committee Members:
Bill Gulliford – Chair [(904) 630-1397,]
Reginald Brown – Vice Chair [(904) 630-1684,]
Lori Boyer [(904) 630-1382,]
Doyle Carter [(904) 630-1380,]
Kimberly Daniels [(904) 630-1393,]
Robin Lumb [(904) 630-1387,]
Matt Schellenberg [(904) 630-1388,]


Hanna Park also falls within the boundaries of District 11
Ray Holt, District 11 Council Member:
Office of the City Council
117 W. Duval St., Suite 425
Jacksonville, FL 32202
Phone: (904) 630-1383
FAX: (904) 630-2906


Alvin Brown, Mayor
Mayor’s Office
City Hall at St. James Building
117 W. Duval St. Suite 400
Jacksonville, FL 32202
Phone: (904) 630-1776


Contact information for the rest of the City Council can be found here.


Here is some sample text to use when contacting these officials. Feel free to use this in your correspondence with any of the above. Any personalization you add will only help convey your concern.
I am contacting you to voice my support for public access to Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park and Huguenot Memorial Park. The park is a one-of-a-kind city resource for recreational opportunities in a setting of great natural beauty. However, those resources cannot be utilized and that beauty not appreciated if the public is denied access. Recently, park officials have changed the summer park closing hours from 8pm to 6pm and Jacksonville Police officers have been on hand issuing citations to cars still in the park immediately after this time.

During the summer, the sun sets over Jacksonville as late as 8:30pm, meaning there are hours of daylight during which Jacksonville residents are denied access to a significant portion (1.5 miles) of public beach (belonging to the citizens), as well as 447 acres of taxpayer-funded city park land. These late hours are particularly important to the livelihood of those working a typical 9-5 work day, who otherwise would not have an opportunity to enjoy these recreational opportunities during the work week.

The park’s policy of antagonism toward users is neither sustainable nor fair to the citizens whose tax dollars and park use fees pay the salary of the park officials that are denying access. Additionally, the valuable resources of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office should not be wasted issuing frivolous citations of questionable legality to already-paying park users.

I ask that you please review this policy and protect open access to this and all city parks for the residents of Duval and the surrounding counties.

Thank you.

We will also be discussing this at our meeting next Tuesday. We need to develop a way forward if the officials above do not respond to our concerns.


Image courtesy of Michael Whitaker

OFG Tip O the Month 1

As most of us know very well, one of the most critically stressed resources is water. We also know from our water bills that it is also a very expensive resource. Statistics prove that between 30-70 percent of our water is used outdoors. Most homeowners in Florida have outdoor sprinkler systems. These are needed but can be a big source of waste. To help cut down on that waste, from time-to-time check to make sure there are no leaks, that the system is working properly (as scheduled, etc) and that all sprinkler heads are pointed in the right direction. On watering days I can not believe how many sprinkler heads are aimed out into the street. Also, consider taking your system off the automatic setting and manually trigering it when needed. If it is raining or if we have been in a rainy period our lawns do not need the extra watering and the extra water will simply run out onto the street and down the storm drain, wasted. One additional tip is to water early in the morning when there is less of a chance for evaporation.

We will be running Ocean Friendly garden tips on a monthly basis and if you have a good idea for one please let us know.

March Update from the Chapter Chair

Check out the new update from Paul. We’ve gone electronic! We know, we know, we’re so cool and savvy. Listen to him speak about our individual ability to make a difference on the beach. He also discusses our upcoming meetings, cleanups, and events.
Big Thanks to Jim Walker and Jed Waldo for putting this together.  
March Update from Paul


March Beach Cleanup

Please join the Surfrider Foundation to help cleanup the beach. We’ll be on the beach at 10th Street in Saint Augustine Beach on Saturday. We will provide bags and gloves. Look for the Surfrider flag and table.

Where: 10th Street and the Beach, Saint Augustine Beach

When: Saturday, March 24 @ 9 AM

We hope to see you there!

You can park in the parking lot right off A1A Beach.

Let us know you’re coming on the Facebook Event.


February Update from the Chapter Chair

The tenth anniversary of the chapter had a great kick-off with a member appreciation party held at the Wine Bar in Jax Beach on February eighteenth. It was great to see old friends and make new ones at the event.
During the event we rolled out our anniversary t-shirts which became an instant hit thanks to a great design by our own EC Secretary Erin Handy’s son, Andrew Foster, and art-work by Damon Williams. The t-shirts were made possible due to the generosity of our sponsor Brian Weissmann of Trident Surf. There are still shirts available in both men’s and women’s styles for $15.00 each. They will be available for sale at future meetings and at our upcoming Black Tie and Baggies gala to be held in April.
The chapter continues to look for ways to upgrade our web-site to make it more user friendly. To that end, starting in March the newsletter will be presented in a video format. Next month we will also be adding a blog for our Ocean Friendly Garden campaign that will feature OFG events as well as monthly Ocean Friendly Gardening tips.
Lastly, we are fortunate that VOID magazine will be featuring an article about our ten year anniversary in their April issue so check it out.
Thanks again for your continued support of the chapter and I will look forward to seeing you at future meetings and events.

OFG Launch in Florida and North Carolina

Surfrider Foundation’s Ocean Friendly Gardens National Coordinator, Paul Herzog, wrote about us this week on his Surfrider blog. Check out the link below for the article: