“COVID-19 is Spurring a New Kind of Localism – FOR ONCE, DISCOURAGING OUT-OF-TOWN SURFERS IS ABOUT MORE THAN LOCALS’ WAVE COUNT” by ZANDER MORTON via Surfer Mag

“COVID-19 is Spurring a New Kind of Localism – FOR ONCE, DISCOURAGING OUT-OF-TOWN SURFERS IS ABOUT MORE THAN LOCALS’ WAVE COUNT” by ZANDER MORTON via Surfer Mag

Photo Credit: Grant Ellis – As beaches reopen, some surfers try to regulate their local lineups to avoid overcrowding during the COVID crisis In March, coastal communities around the world closed their beaches in an attempt to curb group gatherings and stop the spread of COVID-19. Now, as certain governments begin to relax restrictions and reopen beach access, some areas are showing a resurgence in a different kind of enforcement, with some surfers trying to regulate their lineups as a means to keep their spots overcrowded by visitors. This week, The Sydney Morning Herald reported that in parts of Sydney, Australia, surfers have invoked a bit of old-school localism, posting signs near the beach saying things like “If you don’t live here, don’t surf here”, “If you decide to come out anyway, it’ll be a short surf anyway”, and “You’re putting our community at risk.” Some signs were even mocked up to resemble official council notices. “There’s definitely been some grumbling because there [have] been a heap of people surfing,” says Sydney-based surfer and longtime surf writer Nick Carroll. “So many people are working from home, etc., plus every kid is homeschooling. That’s meant a lot of people in the lineups.” When asked if he’s seen more signs than usual, or witnessed any aggressive behavior, Carroll continues: “There have been a few of those signs around, ‘If you don’t live here, don’t surf here, respect our community’ whatever, but they feel pretty feeble to me, they’re always anonymous, so it’s kind of pathetic.” Outside of Sydney, other “locals-only” signs have been less aggressive — like in a town south of...
“What’s Selling at Aqua East?” via Shop Eat Surf (Executive Edition)

“What’s Selling at Aqua East?” via Shop Eat Surf (Executive Edition)

Please click on the following link to view this excellent Shop Eat Surf Article:  What’s Selling at Aqua East? Please note that this article featuring BRA Distinguished Retailer Aqua East Surf Shop is a Shop Eat Surf Executive Edition article so you will need to sign up and pay for access before viewing. We, at BRA,  feel that the benefits of the SES Executive Edition Membership clearly outweigh the cost. Be sure to visit the Shop Eat Surf website to view valuable Industry News and Resourceful Articles regularly via this link: Shop Eat...
“U.S. Supreme Court Delivers Victory for the Clean Water Act!” by Angela Howe via Surfrider Foundation

“U.S. Supreme Court Delivers Victory for the Clean Water Act!” by Angela Howe via Surfrider Foundation

Surfrider Foundation and our co-plaintiffs in the Hawaiʻi Wildlife Fund v. County of Maui case are celebrating an important victory today with the decision to protect water quality and the intent of the Clean Water Act by the United States Supreme Court.  In a 6-3 ruling, the majority of the court refused to allow a large loophole in the Act and found that liability for pollution exists “when there is direct discharge from a point source into navigable waters or when there is the functional equivalent of a direct discharge.”  This litigation was filed to stop polluting discharges from the Lahaina Wastewater Reclamation Facility in Maui that discharges 3-5 million of gallons of treated sewage each day into the Pacific Ocean via the groundwater beneath the facility, devastating a formerly pristine reef and recreational resources, including at Kahekili Beach.  In April of 2012, Surfrider Foundation, Sierra Club-Maui Group, West Maui Preservation Association and Hawai’i Wildlife Fund, as represented by Earthjustice, filed suit in federal district court to address water quality violations of the County and the resulting intense threat to beachgoer health and safety posed by contaminated nearshore waters. The Clean Water Act (“CWA”) requires those who discharge pollutants into navigable waters from pipes or wells to obtain a federal permit.  The district court and Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal agreed with the plaintiffs, but the County appealed to the Supreme Court. The question presented to the Supreme Court was whether the CWA requires a permit when pollution originates from a point source (like the wastewater plant on Maui) but is conveyed to navigable waters by a nonpoint source, such as groundwater here.  The November 6, 2019 oral argument at...
“Coastal Breeze Can Carry COVID-19 More Than 6 Feet, Says Virus Expert – IN CASE YOU NEEDED ONE MORE REASON TO STAY AWAY FROM THE BEACH” by Todd Prodanovich via Surfer Mag

“Coastal Breeze Can Carry COVID-19 More Than 6 Feet, Says Virus Expert – IN CASE YOU NEEDED ONE MORE REASON TO STAY AWAY FROM THE BEACH” by Todd Prodanovich via Surfer Mag

Photo Credit: Grant EllisA perfect example of what not to do. Malibu crowds, sometime before the COVID-19 pandemic. Between stay-at-home orders, threats of fines for surfing and the off chance of getting shot at (if you happen to live in Costa Rica), there are plenty of reasons to steer clear of the beach right now. But if the sum total of those is somehow still not enough to keep you from paddling out, consider this: coastal breezes don’t care about our social distancing protocols and can carry the COVID-19 virus distances greater than 6 feet. That’s right, according to UC San Diego atmospheric scientist Kim Prather, who studies how viruses and bacteria can be transmitted in the ocean, your 6-foot safety bubble is burst when you enter a breezy environment, as the ocean and beaches frequently are. “Surfers are saying that they’re safe if they stay 6 feet away from other people, but that’s only true if the air isn’t moving,” Prather told the San Diego Union-Tribune. “Most of the time, there’s wind or a breeze at the coast. Tiny drops of virus can float in the air and get blown around.” In the UT article, Prather compares the way virus-carrying droplets travel in the breeze to the way cigarette smoke travels downwind. While you’re not gonna smell someone’s ciggy from very far away when the air is still, you can pick it up from a good distance with the wind. So what would be considered safe social distancing amid an ocean breeze? Pretend you’re standing 6 feet away from someone at the beach. OK, now back up. Keep going back. A...
“Why Are Surfers Getting Shot At By Police In Costa Rica?” by Zander Morton via Surfer Mag

“Why Are Surfers Getting Shot At By Police In Costa Rica?” by Zander Morton via Surfer Mag

Photo Credit: Instagram – A frame from the viral video of a surfer being shot at by a police officer in Playa Hermosa., Costa Rica. LOCAL NOE MAR MCGONAGLE ON THE RECENT DRAMA AMID THE COUNTRY’S COVID-19 LOCKDOWN We’re all in this COVID-19 crisis together. Isn’t that wild? Wherever you’re at right now you can relate. It’s as if a Category 5 hurricane is bearing down on the entire world, and we have no idea how or when it will ever dissipate. Last week countries everywhere began ordering residents to stay at home. And then they started closing beaches and lineups. From South Africa to Indonesia perfect waves are currently going unridden for the first time in 50-plus years. J-Bay is on lockdown. Surfers in LA are getting $1,000 fines. And in Costa Rica, cops are firing guns at surfers — well, at least one cop did. Wanting to hear more about the COVID-19 situation down in Costa Rica, we called Noe Mar McGonagle, after he’d been “arrested” for surfing at the same beach (his local beach) where a surfer had a gun fired at him (or at least in the vicinity of him) a couple days earlier. We saw the photo of you being escorted off the beach in cuffs from the other day. Walk us through that situation. Did you know it was illegal to surf? Yeah, we’d been banned from surfing — the whole country, all beaches — for a couple of weeks already. But everyone was pushing it, still surfing. That day I was just surfing totally by myself, and I had 10 cops rock up on me...
“How U.S. Surf Shops Are Trying to Adapt During COVID-19 Pandemic” by James Burke via Surfer Mag

“How U.S. Surf Shops Are Trying to Adapt During COVID-19 Pandemic” by James Burke via Surfer Mag

IT’S FAR FROM BUSINESS AS USUAL AT OUR CULTURAL WATERING HOLES Many surf shops that have been around for decades, like Hansen’s Surfboards, have taken a big hit in sales this month due to the COVID-10 outbreak. Photo credit: Hansens It’s hard times all around as we all batten the hatches and hunker down for the storm caused by the novel Coronavirus. Small businesses, in particular, are feeling the devastating effects of the COVID-19 crisis we’re in. And surf shops — our culture’s brick-and-mortar watering holes — are no exception. Shop owners in the U.S. are bracing for the long haul, turning to their e-commerce sites and offering free shipping and sitewide discounts to remain afloat — but they’re not losing hope just yet. “It’s like Groundhog Day around here. A few of us come to work, we get some work done,” says Josh Hansen, of Hansen Surfboards, one of San Diego’s oldest surf shops. “We’ve been shut down now for seven days, and quite frankly, the seven days prior to that we were seeing maybe an 80 percent falloff in business. Our March business will be down probably 60 percent, and we’re anticipating probably not being open in April. So, yeah, it’s challenging. We’re rationing our cash and just trying to understand the small business loan that’s coming out through this new bill that Congress just signed. We should have details on that soon, and be able to make a decision on which direction to go from there. But, we’re blessed to be financially strong, so we feel like we can get through this. If we can’t get through...