Our Chapter General Meeting-January 8, 2013 kicked off the New Year with a bang. What was promoted as a ‘lively meeting’ discussing the amount of litter and drug paraphernalia along Cowell’s Beach and West Cliff Drive proved to be just that and more. In attendance was a mix of the community that we have not seen at one of our meetings for many moons. Surf icons like Ken Collins and Nat Young, City of Santa Cruz Councilmember David Terrazas, County of Santa Cruz Health worker Amiee Morgan, Regional Transportation Council Rail Intern Brianna Alexander,many Surfrider volunteers and members plus folks from Surfers’ Environmental Alliance, the Santa Cruz World Surfing Reserve, and the MBNMS Santuary Advisory Council round-tabled the problem, venting frustrations and discussing possible ideas to turn around what is a growing menace to beach lovers on the West Side. It was agreed by all that the amount of used syringes just littered any where (on the beaches to in the streets, parks, and public places) not only create an environmental hazard but more importantly expose the Community to a big health hazard. Stay tuned folks, there was a lot of positive energy that came out of our meeting, so look for future announcements and action items on this issue moving forward.–Gary Pezzi, Surfrider, Santa Cruz
FIRST OF ALL: PLEASE, PLEASE SIGN THIS PETITION CREATED BY THE SANTA CRUZ CHAPTER OF THE SURFRIDER FOUNDATION AND SURFERS’ ENVIRONMENTAL ALLIANCE (SEA). THIS PETITION IS DESIGNATED FOR THE SANTA CRUZ CITY COUNCIL AND THE SANTA CRUZ COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS AND IS INTENDED TO DEMONSTRATE THAT MANY, MANY, MANY COASTAL RESIDENTS ARE DEEPLY CONCERNED BY THE INCREASING PROBLEMS OUTLINED IN THE PETITION AND DEEPLY FRUSTRATED BY THE APPARENT WEAK ACTION BY OUR ELECTED OFFICIALS.
SHARE THIS PETITION WITH ALL YOUR CONTACTS–FAMILY, FRIENDS, EVERYONE YOU KNOW, BECAUSE THIS IS A SERIOUS COMMUNITY ISSUE, POTENTIALITY EFFECTING YOUR HEALTH AND SAFETY AND THE HEALTH AND SAFETY OF OUR CHILDREN.
To: Santa Cruz City Council and Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors
Growing problems associated with IV drug use and manufacturing camps are taking a tremendous toll on our community. Access to safe, clean beaches is becoming obsolete. Used needles potentially containing Hepatitis and HIV are being discarded by drug users at our beaches, shopping and dining venues, and public recreation areas. They are spilling over into the streets where our children play. On January 8, the body of a homeless man was found at the mouth of the San Lorenzo River, where river meets ocean at the popular River Mouth surf break.
Further up that same river, homeless camps abound. With this season’s heavy rainfall, raw sewage, needles and other trash from these camps is coursing into the ocean, right into the Monterey Bay Natural Marine Sanctuary, where we surf and fish. The combination of heavy rains flushing bacteria into the ocean and surfers frequenting the River Mouth is a public health emergency in the making. Indeed, surfers are reporting ear infections, staph infections, and unidentifiable rashes, to name a few. Clearly, this issue is having an impact on the health and livelihood of our citizens. Santa Cruz, which depends on tourism to fuel its economy, is keeping tourists away with its skyrocketing crime and drug paraphernalia-littered beaches. Many now choose to avoid downtown due to the increase in violent crimes and panhandling. Big wave surfer and Santa Cruz World Surfing Reserve Ambassador Ken Collins reports that more and more of his out-of-town friends refuse to visit him because of what our town has become. Is this what we want for our children and our community?
We and are in the midst of a public health crisis. Something must be done. Speaking on behalf of the community, the Surfrider Foundation Santa Cruz Chapter, Surfers’ Environmental Alliance, and the surfing community demand that something be done.
Please sign this petition if you support the protection of our natural resources and our rights to have access to safe, clean parks and beaches.
For the Oceans, Waves and Beaches
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP:
“Attend City Council and County Board of Supervisors Meetings and let them know that you are concerned about this public safety/health issue.” Community voices and opinions are important to hear in local government. We all have a right to free public speech, so let’s use it!
SEE A PROBLEM? DRUG TRASH? REPORT IT!
General Reporting: http://www.cityofsantacruz.com/index.aspx?page=1318
Contact Numbers for Refuse: http://www.cityofsantacruz.com/index.aspx?page=1903 –
(click on view larger map for a listing and click on color codes for numbers in different areas.).
SCPD Webpage – http://www.cityofsantacruz.com/index.aspx?page=56 Report any suspicious activity to the Santa Cruz Police–CRIME TIP LINE–Use it!
ATTEND BEACH CLEANUPS and help keep our beaches and coastal waters clean and safe.