Kauai Surfrider attends state conference

The biennial Surfrider State Conference took place in Honolulu and was attended by six state Surfrider chapters, including Kauai.

The two-day conference was held Aug. 17-18 at the New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel in Waikiki, and provided an opportunity to network with fellow activists in a setting that promoted interaction.

State Surfrider Chair Stuart Coleman and National Chair Ed Mazzarella welcomed the crowd of 60 and set the agenda. Kauai Chair Robert Zelkovsky gave a presentation on a summary of recent victories and accomplishments. There have been 236 chapter victories in 20 years of Hawaii Surfrider, including beach access issues, plastic bag bans, smoking bans and water pollution victories.

Keynote speaker Gary Gill, deputy director of the Hawaii Department of Health, spoke of the role of government in the environment and how to best access government.

Other topics included legislative coordination and litigation, the Rise Above Plastic campaign, leveraging corporate sponsorships and ocean friendly gardens.

Carl Berg of Kauai Surfrider gave a presentation on water quality issues. There was also a field trip to Hawaii Kai Shopping Center to look at some ocean friendly garden installations, and a visit to Waikiki would not be complete without surfboard rentals and a few waves at famed Kuhio Beach Park.

Surfrider is a world wide organization with over 60,000 members in 18 countries. It started in California in the mid -1980s with the mission of protection and enjoyment of oceans, waves and beaches through a powerful activist network.

The Kauai Chapter was started seven years ago and does regular beach cleanups, derelict fishing net removal, water quality testing and legislative and environmental recommendations. Monthly meetings are open to the public on the second Tuesday of each month beginning at 5:30 p.m. at Cafe Coco in Wailua.

For more information visit www.kauai.surfrider.org or call Robert Zelkovsky, Chapter Chair, at 822-4893.

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