Surfrider Meeting Minutes – Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Chairperson Alec Buchness called the meeting to order at 7:02 PM.

Shannon Schneyder gave a summary of the prior month’s meeting at Brassies in Aquarina. Shannon explained Surfrider and its mission to the residents in attendance, and Eric and Randy discussed some of our current projects.

Eric Schwarz discussed Sebastian Chapter’s involvement in a move to get Brevard County to enact a ban on some single use plastics at its parks, properties, and county functions. Eric attended a fact-finding meeting earlier in the day to get feedback from cities as to the feasibility of this idea. Surfrider is working with Keep Brevard Beautiful, Brevard Indian River Lagoon Coalition, League of Women Voters and several other organizations on the project.

Alec Buchness discussed the Surfrider International Summit held earlier this month at University of California at Irvine. Alec encouraged members to attend future Florida state conferences. Alec reviewed a presentation by Surfrider CEO Chad Nelson. Surfrider is the world’s leader in the area of coastal conservation and advocacy. Alec explained the genesis of Surfrider and its name and emphasized the importance of diversity. Shannon Schneyder reviewed a presentation by Guy Kawazaki and his view of marketing using unique stories. It’s important to identify people’s strengths in order to put people into positions that are a good fit. Alec talked about Shaun Thomson’s book “The Code” and the power of “I will”.

Jay Whelan updated the group on the Blue Water Task Force project. He talked about the growth of the program from 2011, as there were 1,194 sites at that time and there are now 6,826 sites being tested regularly. Jay talked about the impact of beachgoers to local economies. He would like to expand the number of sites that Sebastian Chapter tests, and Jay thanked Tim and Kim Stockton at Blue View Inn for their generosity in sponsoring the project.

Bo Platt discussed the University of Central Florida’s turtle research program in the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge, and their needs for supporting funds. He’ll work with Dr. Erin Seney to request that they send a representative to our October meeting to review the program. Bo also told the group about a NOAA webinar scheduled for September 19 at noon EDT. More information is available at https://www.nodc.noaa.gov/seminars/.

Bill DeLuccia described Surfrider’s Ocean Friendly Garden (OFG) program to the group. He emphasized OFG’s impact on the environment, wildlife, and water. He’s working with the town of Indialantic to transform its landscapes to native plants. The town is also evaluating its use of fertilizers in parks and public properties. Bill is working with Coastal Community School and installing some native plantings in its 4-acre site.

Shannon Schneyder updated the group on the Ocean Friendly Restaurant (OFR) program. There are now 8 participating restaurants in Brevard with the addition of the Indialantic Long Dogger’s.

Eric Schwarz updated the club on the Surfrider Classic event coming up on September 20 – 22, with backup dates of September 27 – 29. Randy Gray reviewed the December 7 Ocean Reef Beach festival. Other upcoming events include:

  • Melbourne Beach town council meeting on September 21 where the council will review the town’s sustainability plan, and
  • The Cora Beach Cleanup slated for October 12 at the Indialantic Long Dogger’s.

Chair Alec Buchness adjourned the meeting at 8 PM.