Does Surfrider Foundation think nuclear waste is good for surfing? Let's wonder!
A month ago I drove the thirty minutes north from my bucolic north county San Diego home to San Clemente’s city hall. Traffic was unexpectedly light. There was set to be a vote or discussion, I cannot quite recall, on the mostly approved plan to store millions of tons of nuclear waste in the sand just yards from San Onofre.
Now, I am neither a lefty nor an activist and am skeptical of those who put their faith in politicians but was implored to come by the great Ian Cairns. He and I had traded blows over Facebook. He called me a gutter writer. I made fun of his SUP camp. Then he said, “It’s a fine Australian tradition to joust but this nuclear thing is serious. There’s a gathering at City Hall this evening. Come.”
So I went.
The sun was setting when I arrived, casting a golden tone over the little crowd. A lawyer spoke of the horrors of the plan. Nuclear waste right there in the sand with no real plan on what to do with it next and no contingencies if things went sideways. Earthquakes, storms, surges, etc.
Partisan politics, feelings on the value of nuclear energy, belief on why/if the globe is warming not withstanding, it seems like not burying nuclear waste in a spot that could potentially destroy surfing from Huntington Beach down through San Diego would be an issue all surfers could back.
And a few surfers were at the gathering. Greg Long, Mr. Gudauskas, father of the famed brothers.
Surfrider Foundation, though, was entirely absent.
In case you are unaware, Surfrider Foundation is the biggest, most powerful non-profit that deals with surf-based environmental issues. Its website reads:
Our ocean faces growing challenges from pollution, offshore development and climate change. At the same time, expanding industries, such as offshore oil drilling, threaten to crowd our ocean and degrade its health (and those who call it home!).
Every day poses new threats to our oceans and beaches. Our ocean and special places must be proactively protected before they are threatened and stem the tide before further damage is done to the ocean’s health.
There are 25 active campaigns the Foundation is engaged on in California from trying to preserve the Gaviota coast up near Santa Barbara to saving the wave at Surfside Jetty. You can read about them here.
The one thing there is not a campaign to counter, and/or any mention of on Surfrider’s website, is burying nuclear waste in the sand at San Onofre.
Doesn’t this strike you as the oddest? What, do you think, is the reasoning for the foundation’s invisibility on this issue? You think the board of directors is pro-nuclear sand? Anti-Lowers? I am going to call the offices next week to find out but in the meantime let’s speculate!
It’s the BeachGrit way.