A small meeting at Torquay Surf Club in 1994 was the beginning of the Surf Coast Branch, which officially formed in 1996. We became known for our public rallies over ocean outfalls (sewage) at Black Rock (13th Beach) and Lorne on the Great Ocean Road that sometimes saw over 100 people and generated national media attention. Major revegetation projects at Voss’s Carpark (Torquay) and Point Impossible (Torquay) plus regular beach clean ups along the Surf Coast also made up our early branch activities.
We are all about protecting and preserving the ocean and natural environment for future generations to enjoy. We respect the beach and have been active to protect, preserve and care for our coastal and marine areas along the Surf Coast since 1996 from over-visitation, disrespect, over-development and any other unethical treatment.
We have been a part of the Bells Beach Advisory Committee since 1999 advising the Surf Coast Shire on better ways to manage the reserve. Bells holds much cultural, environmental and surfing value, and has been under threat from high visitation numbers, a push for a third car-park and more infrastructure, which would ultimately max out the reserve. More recently we have been very active in protecting the iconic Bells Beach from development, as part of the nationwide Endangered Waves campaign.
In 2012 we launched the petition: “Love Bells Beach” and designed, printed and distributed postcards and the Bells Beach Times newsletter with SANE, BBPS and members of Torquay Boardriders Club. We collected over 2,600 signatures (including some big names in surfing), which resulted in a major turning point in Council decisions. We also continue to collaborate and campaign with local community groups on our shared vision for the “Bells Beach Surfing Sanctuary”.
Alongside the national Rise Above Plastics campaign we have partnered with Plastic Bag Free Torquay 3228 (PBFT).
Historically, we have been involved with many campaigns and initiatives that have contributed to our C.A.R.E. missions and projects.
Our Surfrider Foundation Surf Coast Branch continues to educate and inform the public about important coastal issues through our Facebook page, Twitter account and regular talks to school groups on the Surf Coast.
We meet on the second Wednesday of the month at 7.30pm at the Torquay Pub. Contact us on 0408 386 812 for more info, email firstname.lastname@example.org or check out our Facebook page.