The Surfrider Foundation takes on plastic bags

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On a warm Wednesday evening, on a beautiful roof-deck in Soho, I attended my first meeting with the Surfrider Foundation’s New York City branch. The monthly meeting, held Wednesday, August 8, was set to talk about Surfrider’s upcoming campaigns and the proposed plan to dredge at Rockaway Beach. The Surfrider Foundation is currently focusing on a campaign to get rid of single use plastic bags in New York City. They are targeting the Queens County Library, which is the only library in New York City to give out plastic bags to library patrons — and they are asking the public to write a message to the Queens Library, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Mayor Michael Bloomberg to get them to ban single use plastic bags in all of New York City. They are also asking for the support of local and national organizations.

The meeting continued with a discussion of the plan to dredge at Rockaway Beach; the current plan by the Army Corps of Engineers is to move sand from East Rockaway inlet to Rockaway Beach in order to restore beach removed during Hurricane Irene. The plan is met by mixed reviews as it will fill in surfing spots along Rockaway Beach and will only act as a temporary solution to recovering lost beachfront. The Friends of Rockaway Beach seemed very receptive to the ideas proposed at the meeting and were willing to consider other ideas towards recovering the beach.

The Surfrider NYC branch is a small community, but within this community, much is being accomplished through the hard work of the board members and volunteers. And although it was my first meeting and I’m not a surfer, I felt included. Can’t wait for next month!

For more information on how to get involved, visit The Surfrider Foundation, NYC.

Top photo and cover photo of roof-deck in soho: Hallie Miller