North Narrabeen is a famous break threatened by an oversized man-made sand dune that is locking up the sand and disrupting the banks that make for North Narrabeen's famous barrelling left and the Alley channel rights. The dune also restricts the lagoon from flushing during dry periods, closing the estuary entrance for extended periods and reducing lagoon and surf water quality.
Surfrider Foundation Northern Beaches Branch and the local community are working hard to engage with local Government to ensure the surf and beach amenity, water quality and coastal ecosystems are returned to their former condition and protected for future generations. Surfrider has been calling for a management regime for the dune by relocating sand to South Narrabeen where it is needed. A nearby sewage outfall adds to the problems associated with lagoon outflow into the surf zone.
Warriewood Sewage treatment Plant has been a long running commitment by Surfrider's Northern Beaches Branch since Surfrider started in Australia in 1991.
Campaigning over the long term has lead to strategic alliances between Surfrider, local government surfers and beach lovers to apply substantial pressure to Sydney Water to upgrade the plant to tertiary (UV) treatment in 2000 and further capacity upgrades in 2012-13.
The 2000 UV upgrade followed a vigorous campaign and landmark meeting involving Sydney Water, Surfrider Foundation and local surfers and residents demanding that Sydney Water ensure the upgrade was scheduled.
In 2015 Surfrider Foundation Northern Beaches called for further upgrades for a deep ocean outfall (DOO) to be constructed following studies prepared by local volunteers concluding that the volumes proposed to be treated could never be satisfactorily recycled under the existing Sydney Water proposal.
Wet weather overflow events have been causing problematic pollution of Warriewood, Mona Vale and Turrimetta Beaches with concerns the pollution could have health impacts on local surfers and swimmers. As residential densities increase in the area it is apparent the sewage treatment plant as it currently stands will become increasingly less able to deal with volumes of throughput making the DOO the only realistic option to ensure water quality of an acceptable standard.
Surfrider Foundation South Coast Branch in collaboration with the local Council is stencilling drains across Wollongong to raise awareness about land based pollution ending up in our oceans. The campaign is targeting all land based waste with a focus on plastic pollution and the dumping of cigarette butts. Local volunteers will continue to work with the local government to expand the program and hold a series of community education outreach events.
A coal port expansion proposal, known as Terminal Number 4 (T4), was put forward by Port Waratah Coal Services in Newcastle in early 2014. The proposal has raised serious concerns for local surfers and local Surfrider Foundation Hunter Region Branch in regards to its cumulative coal vessel traffic on the beach and surf amenity and biodiversity of the Hunter beaches in the vicinity of Port of Newcastle.
Local Surfrider representatives have taken part in ongoing community consultation processes, and delivered a submission requesting that the proposed terminal expansion include an environmental assessment, reporting on the impacts of the proposed coal terminal on Hunter beaches biodiversity. Specifically the submission outlined the minimum requirements for the environmental assessment including the establishment of baseline data, followed by ongoing monitoring of environmental conditions of the areas unique coastline.
Surfrider Foundation Hunter Region Branch will continue to push for appropriate environmental assessment processes to be put in place for the T4 proposal.
Surfrider Foundation Hunter Region Branch volunteers are engaging with local Newcastle businesses through the Responsible Cafes program, which connects responsible cafes with conscious consumers by encouraging cafes to offer a discount to customers with reusable takeaway cups.
1 billion takeaway cups and lids are landfilled or littered each year in Australia and, contrary to popular belief, they are poorly recyclable and only rarely composted due to inadequate industrial composting facilities and the difficulty of getting the cups/lids there.
The Responsible Cafe’s program is a national project developed by Responsible Cafes. Surfrider Foundation Branches are proud to be apart of the many local community groups implementing this targeted and effective program around Australia.
Surfrider Foundation Northern Beaches Branch have teamed up with Living Ocean to reduce the use of single use plastic bags in Sydney’s coastal suburb of Avalon through the implementation of a bag share initiative called Boomerang Bags.
The initiative involves the installation of bag-share, or Boomerang Bag Boxes throughout a target business district. Each box is stocked with re-useable Boomerang Bags for customers to borrow if they have forgotten their own and return on subsequent visits.
The availability of free, reusable bags reduces the need for single-use plastic bags, and the encouragement to ‘Borrow and Bring Back’ works to foster the sustainable mentality of re-use, thereby reducing plastic bag consumption in the long term. Each Boomerang Bag is hand-made by volunteers from the local community using donated second-hand materials, keeping the initiative local and sustainable.
For more information on how the Boomerang Bags initiative works or how to get Boomerang Bags started in your local community, click here.
Surfrider Foundation Australia believe marine parks are an important mechanism in managing ocean ecology and protecting biodiversity from the beaches to the seas. We have active, local branches across each bioregion in the Commonwealth Marine Reserve Network and are actively involved in contributing to the 2015 review of Commonwealth Marine Reserves through the development of local and national submissions and actions.
Surfrider Foundation Australia was involved in the original stakeholder discussions when the federal government (in partnership with state and territory governments) committed to establishing a National Representative System of Marine Protected Areas by 2012.
Surfrider believe's there remain significant gaps and conflicts of zoning in the reserve network and our national volunteer branch network and national office will continue to engage in the Commonwealth Marine Reserves community consultation process and with State and Federal Governments to push for these gaps and conflicts to be recognised and addressed.
Any surfer values the clean pure air and pristine water during a perfect surf. However the health and wellbeing of surfing communities and their environments is under direct threat by the exploration and extraction of Coal Seam Gas (CSG).
Surfrider Foundation Yuraygir Branch undertook local baseline testing of proposed coal seam gas exploration areas to ensure any coal seam gas projects and future environmental impacts resulting from these projects can be held accountable.
Surfrider Foundation Yuraygir Branch volunteers continue to work with the local community to shine a light on the possible negative impacts CSG could have on this unique part of Australia's coast.