NYC Victories

Campaign: Hold Your Butts

  • Completion Date: August 2011

Cigarette butts have long been the number one item found on NYC beaches and beaches throughout the country, and continue to take a toll on our marine environment as they wash into the sea.  In 2010, the NYC Chapter planned a campaign to address this form of litter while not taking a position on smoking itself.

In early 2011, Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed a law banning smoking in NYC parks and beaches.  This includes the boardwalk at Rockaway.  The law took effect May, 2011.

Late in 2010, the chapter conducted beach cleanups in Rockaway and focused on cigarette butts, counting each one.  This gave the chapter “before” data.   The Chapter partnered with Keep America Beautiful, KAB, on researching the appropriate cigarette butt receptacle for the Rockaway Beach area.  KAB also provided 250 personal ashtrays for adult smokers that the chapter is distributing to further address the litter problem.

The Chapter, KAB, and the Rockaway Beach Park Administrator Jill Weber worked together on finding appropriate butt receptacles and appropriate placement.  A pilot project of six such receptacles got underway in the summer of 2011.  There will be beach cleanups collecting “after” data to measure the effectiveness of these receptacles.

Check out Surfrider Foundation’s PSA here.

Campaign: No-LNG Island in NY & NJ

  • Completion Date: July 2010

Group shot on the Boardwalk in Rockaway

The Atlantic Sea Island Groups, ASIG, withdrew their application to build a giant man-made island to serve as an LNG terminal in the Atlantic between NY and NJ. The NYC Chapter, ably assisted by the Central Long Island and Jersey Shore Chapters, fought the proposal for years with the help of the NJ-based Clean Ocean Action. The Chapters gathered petition signatures to both NY and NJ Governors, they packed public hearings, they held press conferences, and they did paddle-outs. They even got the City of Long Beach, NY to send a letter to NY Governor Paterson opposing the project. Long Beach would have been the closest land to the island, 13 miles offshore. The island would have covered over 60 acres above the surface and more than 100 acres of the seafloor on the Cholera Banks, a natural reef and noted fishing area. Supertankers filled with LNG would unload at the facility and the gas would be piped to shore and up NY and NJ gas lines. Huge security zones would leave the area off limits to fishing, diving, and boating.

Campaign: New York Passes Bigger Better Bottle Bill

  • Completion Date: April 2009

Environmental groups from across New York successfully passed the Bigger Better Bottle Bill as part of the 2009-10 state budget. This momentous achievement is the first major overhaul of the state’s bottle deposit law since it was created in 1982, and caps a grueling nine-year campaign to expand and update the law. The update expands New York’s bottle return law to include water bottles, which comprise nearly a quarter of all beverages sold in New York. The law also requires beverage companies to return 80 percent of the unclaimed bottle and can deposits to the state, generating upwards of $115 million annually for the General Fund. “The Surfrider Foundation looks forward to cleaner beaches as a result of the improved bottle bill in NY. Thank you to the legislators who championed this cause and the ones who compromised to allow this,” said Steff Zellinger, volunteer with the New York City Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation. Check out more photos here.

 

Campaign: New Surfing Beach in NYC

  • Completion Date: July 2007

The New York City Chapter convinced the NY City Parks Department to open an additional surfing-only beach in Rockaway at 67th Street. Check out more photos here.

Check out these links for more details:

Campaign: Long Beach NY Beach Fill

  • Completion Date: May 2006

City of Long Beach, NY voted against poorly designed beach fill plan of the Army Corps of Engineers.

Check out these links for more details: