America’s Newest National Monument!

Coral Canyons and Seamounts

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Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel

pres-obamaEnvironmentalists are celebrating America’s newest national monument – New England’s Coral Canyons and Seamounts marine ecosystem, located 150 miles southeast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. President Obama declared the 6,000 sq.mi. area a national monument site on September 15, 2016.

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The sea region provides food and shelter for numerous species of fish and other sea life and contains majestic seamounts rising as high as 7,000 feet from the ocean floor – higher than any mountains east of the Rockies.

Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal, an advocate for the monument, said, “There is no better time than this year—the 100th anniversary of our national park system—to establish another ‘blue park’.”

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Making this precious ocean site a national monument will preserve and protect it against oil and gas exploration and industrial fishing and ensure that equipment and pollution don’t damage the fragile environment.

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More than 200 scientists, researchers, educators, and organizations, including the National Geographic Society, spoke out in favor of the monument designation.

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“Protecting special places like this provides an especially important buffer against the impacts of climate change,” said Earthjustice President Trip Van Noppen, in reaction to the news.

Oceanographer Philippe Cousteau called it “A great day for our water planet!’

SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel learned that there are close to 75 types of coral in the Coral Canyons and Seamounts area and 1,000 different kinds of marine life.

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NOAA’s ROV Deep Discover or D2 for short explorers an underwater “forest” of corals. It takes hundreds of years for corals to grow as big as the ones we found in Heezen Canyon. Some deepwater corals are believed to live as long as 6,000 years.

Sea turtles, sharks and endangered sperm whales populate the pristine waters.

Green Sea Turtle. Chelonia mydas. Maui, Hawaii, USA.

seamounts-mapThe four huge seamounts themselves are the only ones found in U.S. Atlantic waters…and are a critical part of this deep sea ecosystem.

Wilderness advocate Arlo Hemphill said, “I think the designation is fantastic, a long-coming win for many hard-working conservationists and organizations that have fought for this for years.”

“The Inland Ocean Community is thrilled,” Vicki N. Goldstein, Founder and Director, Colorado Ocean Coalition, told SurfWriter Girls. “This new designation provides needed permanent protection in a region that has unique formations, cold water corals , and a variety of whales and other marine mammals.”

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The monument got a warm welcome in other countries, too. Dr. Tomas Tomascik, former National Science Advisor for Canada’s Parks Canada Agency, said to SurfWriter Girls, “This is a great contribution by the USA to the conservation of Atlantic deep-sea coral communities and the biodiversity associated with these amazing but fragile deep-water systems.”

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In addition to the scientific community, more than 300,000 people signed petitions on behalf of the Canyons/Seamounts proposal.

Such broad support for the ocean monument is something that Dr. Wallace J. Nichols, Founder of Blue Mind Life, is excited to see. His organization’s goal is to connect people to water. “Beyond economic and scientific reasons for preserving our ocean, humans have a creative and calming connection with the big blue,” he shared with SurfWriter Girls.

Coral Canyons and Seamounts is an ocean treasure not to be wasted. And, now that it is a national monument, it won’t be. Thus providing a window on the sea and on ourselves.

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We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea,
whether it is to sail or to watch,
we are going back from whence we came.

– John F. Kennedy

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Banning Ranch Vote Is In!

Owls 9: Developers 1

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Written By SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel

dsc06610Spartacus – a tiny rescue owl with an epic name – stood patiently on his perch surveying the crowds outside the California Coastal Commission meeting in Newport Beach on Wednesday, September 7, where the fate of the proposed Banning Ranch development project was being decided.

With his damaged eye and beak, Spartacus, a burrowing owl the size of a man’s hand who lives at the Orange County Bird of Prey Center, stood in silent testimony to the need to save Newport Beach’s 401-acre Banning Ranch property from residential and commercial development that would threaten the home of the burrowing owls and other endangered species that live on the coastal land.

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Hundreds of people turned out for the public meeting, which started at 9 a.m. and lasted more than 13 hours.

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Spectators stood along the walls and filled an extra, overflow room. More than 400 people signed up to speak.

 

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Prior to the meeting Steve Ray, Executive Director of the Banning Ranch Conservancy, told SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel, “All of us working together are going to save Banning Ranch.”

And, finally, when the vote was taken late into the night, demonstrators against the project cheered. The commissioners voted 9 -1 against the proposed development, which would have put 895 homes, 45,000 sq. ft. of retail space, a hotel, and more on the site.

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After a 20-year battle, environmentalists who want the oil company land restored and preserved, could breathe a sigh of relief and celebrate.

dsc06626Protesters of the development included the Sierra Club, environmental organizations and representatives of the Native American Nations, who view the Banning Ranch land as sacred.

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Darrel Ferguson and Tony Soriano, chairpersons of the Surfrider Foundation’s Newport Beach and Huntington/Seal Beach chapters, showed up to protest the development. Soriano said, “The Surfrider Foundation is about protecting the natural environment for everyone to enjoy.”

dsc06621Merle Moshiri, of local organization Residents for Responsible Desalination, said, “We share the victory of the Banning Ranch Conservancy, but we have to remain vigilant. There’s too much exquisite land for developers to give up on.” Quoting the late Peter Douglas, the commission’s executive director for 26 years, she added: “’The coast is never saved, It is always Being saved.’”

Information booths were set up outside the civic center including one where people could make their own handmade signs.

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The Coastal Commission’s acting executive director Jack Ainsworth told the audience he had made a promise that “our recommendations are based on facts, sound science and the law.” He emphasized “It is critically important that we get it right because we may not get a second chance.”

bird-in-flowers-2aAlong with the owls, 93 species of birds and many endangered wildlife reside in Banning Ranch and it is a resting point for migratory birds. (See SurfWriter Girls previous story in Surf’n Beach Scene Magazine. Just click: Owls)

In making its ruling, the commission said that the developer Newport Banning Ranch LLC can resubmit another proposal in six months.

Like his historical namesake who led a rebellion against the Roman army in 73 B.C., Spartacus, the owl, showed that he could win against a powerful force, too.

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The little owl and its endangered brethren prevailed, charming people’s hearts.

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Owls in Newport Sanctuary At Risk

Developers Have Eye on Banning Ranch

Give A Hoot!

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Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel

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Banning Ranch, a 401-acre stretch of private land that parallels the Santa Ana River and ends at the Pacific Coast Highway above Newport Beach, CA may not look like much…just scrub brush, wildflowers, cactus, wetlands, and some oil pumps. But, to developers it’s a potential goldmine.

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And, to the Burrowing Owls that live there it’s home.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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Now that home – where the owls nest, hunt for food and raise their young – is threatened by a ruling in May from the California Coastal Commission that deems Banning Ranch “appropriate” for development…

with 895 homes, 45,000 sq.ft. of retail space and a hotel possibly going on the site. Plus a sports park and skateboard park, two parking lots and 4-lane, 50 mph roadway.  (The developer Newport Banning Ranch LLC wants 1,375 houses.)

The ruling is controversial not only for going against staff recommendations to reject the project, but because it came after the firing of previous coastal commissioner Charles Lester, which upset environmentalists, who fear the commission is becoming politicized.

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Now, on September 7 the Coastal Commission is voting on whether or not to approve the project.

Steve Ray, executive director of the Banning Ranch Conservancy, says the commission’s current recommendation underestimates the amount of natural habitat the owls need to survive. He notes that it fails to consider the owls’ daily activities. “The birds don’t just need a place to sit on a bush where their nest is. They need to forage and disperse.”

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SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel learned that the Burrowing Owls are federally protected in the U.S., Canada and Mexico by the U.S. Migratory Birds Treaty Act.

They are also considered to be at risk at the state level and, depending on the state, are designated as “endangered,” “threatened,” or a “species of concern” (in California).

What’s more, the owls aren’t alone.

To date 93 species of birds have been identified at Banning Ranch, including the endangered California Gnatcatcher and Cactus Wren.

Cactus Wren -- Tahana Chule Park, Tuscon, Arizona -- September 12th, 2006

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Assorted mammals, reptiles, amphibians and aquatic creatures live there, too. If the development proceeds, these animals and many of the site’s native plants could be threatened.

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In addition to serving as a home to the Burrowing Owls and other animals, Banning Ranch is an important stop for migrating and wintering birds, who are increasingly finding fewer and fewer places to rest and nest in today’s urbanized environment.

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After more than a century of development in Southern California, Banning Ranch is one of those rare stopping points and is the largest parcel of coastal open space and wetland property remaining in Orange County.

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TongvakiAlong with this, SurfWriter Girls found out that Banning Ranch was once a ritual and trading hub for the Tongva and Acjachemen Native American Nations. Eight Native American cultural sites have been identified at the ranch.

Some sites, estimated to date back over 3,000 years, are so significant that they have been listed as “sacred land” by the California State Native American Heritage Commission.

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Any proposed development would have to ensure that these ancient sites are protected – a difficult task considering the project requires moving 2.8 million cubic yards of earth as part of the planned grading activities.

Given all this, do we really need another real estate development on Orange County’s coast? How many more shops, restaurants, coffeehouses and bars do we want?reduce-your-carbon-footprint

How big will our carbon footprint be? How much increased water usage, energy consumption and urban pollution can we tolerate?

Big_Yellow_TaxiNow is a good time to think about the lyrics in Joni MItchell’s song Big Yellow Taxi:

Don’t it always seem to go
That you don’t know what you’ve got
Till it’s gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot

The California Coastal Commission is meeting again on September 7, 2016, at 9 a.m. in the Newport Beach City Council Chambers, 100 Civic Center Drive, N.B., 92660, to vote on the fate of Banning Ranch.

Will anyone speak for the owls? Hoo?

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National Park Service Celebrates 100 Years

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Eight Coastal Treasures to Discover!

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Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel

100 Birthday CakeJoin the party! America’s National Park Service is celebrating its centennial anniversary.

After decades of lobbying by passionate conservationists, including President Theodore Roosevelt and John Muir, for a special agency to oversee the country’s national parks and monuments, finally they succeeded.

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On August 25, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed the act creating the National Park Service, a new federal bureau in the Department of the Interior, to protect the 35 national parks and monuments that existed then and any future parks.

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Thanks to the vision and pioneering work of nature lovers who saw the beauty and value in America’s undisturbed forests, mountains, valleys, deserts and coasts, these areas –

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from Yellowstone and Yosemite to the Grand Canyon. Denali and the Everglades

– are now protected and preserved for future generations to enjoy.

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Keep it for your children, your children’s children,
 and for all who come after you. – Theodore Roosevelt

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Today there are 58 national parks in all with California and Alaska – with eight parks each – having more parks than any other state.

SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel, who were both Girl Scouts, grew up camping and know how lucky we are in America to have so many national parks to explore and enjoy. What’s more, many of them are right on the beach! Each of the eight parks below offers a unique coastal experience that celebrates the world of nature.

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Eight National Parks On the Coast

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Redwood Forest National and State Park, North of San Francisco, combines the majesty of the giant Redwoods with 40 miles of pristine coastline.

 

Santa Monica Cave National Park

The Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, near Malibu, is a breathtaking ocean retreat just a short drive from Los Angeles.

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Channel Islands National Park, off the coast of Santa Barbara, CA, encompasses five islands that are home to many rare species of plants and animals and archaeological and cultural sites.

Olympic National Park, in Washington, has close to a million acres of beautiful vistas from glacier-topped Mt. Olympus and old-growth rain forests to over 70 miles of raw coastline.

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Cape Cod National Park, Massachusetts, has over 40 miles of beaches, marshes and ponds. Observing its tranquility, Henry David Thoreau said, “A man may stand there and put all America behind him.”

Acadia National Park, Maine, a 47,000-mile getaway on a rugged coast, offers the chance to see moose, whales, and bears against a backdrop of deserted beaches and granite mountain peaks.

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Haleakala National Park, Hawaii, on Maui, is considered a sacred spot and offers the opportunity to see glorious sunsets over the Haleakala volcanic crater.

biscayneBiscayne National Park, Florida, is an ocean enthusiast’s dream with turquoise waters, barrier islands and vibrant coral reefs to explore.

These coastal treasures – and America’s 50 other national parks – would be standouts on any Bucket List!

Whether you want to swim, surf, hike, walk, or just admire the view, there’s a park waiting for you to discover and to celebrate on this National Park Service Centennial.

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Party Aussie Style!

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Fashionista Kathryn Porritt Shares the Look

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Presented by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel

Say “G’day!” Throw a shrimp on the barbie and get ready to party in style the way they do in the Land Down Under.

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With summer parties still going strong in the Northern Hemisphere there’s always the question “What to wear?”

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When it comes to fashion, guys are lucky. Just pull on a classic T or Hawaiian shirt and you’re all set. But, what’s a gal to do?

SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug  and Patti Kishel just heard from Aussie fashion stylist Kathryn Porritt, the owner of online beach fashion website Bondi Lifestyle, that the answer to that is easy.

In a word, she says,”Kaftans!”

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Whether it’s cotton or silk, casual or chic, there’s a style of Kaftan that’s just right for any party occasion. Take a look at this story Kathryn wrote for Surf’n Beach Scene Magazine and channel your own summer fashion fantasies.

Kaftans are your Ultimate Summer Party Choice

Written by Kathryn Porritt

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The famous set are all wearing them at LA pools.  The glitterati are swanning around yachts in the Mediterranean in them.  The glamorous at the beach resort are all relaxing with a cocktail in them.

They’re everywhere, and they’re chic.  They’re kaftans and they’re your ultimate summer party choice.

For a Summer wedding or a party around the pool, a Kaftan embellished in crystals and sequins in the color of your choice, is the ultimate in party glam.  You’ll be ultra comfortable and incredibly chic all at once – and how many pieces of clothing do that for you?

A Maxi Kaftan in Silk

Feathers-Silk-Maxi-Kaftan-002Kaftans come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, but the most chic are maxi kaftans that fall to your ankles – either plain or embellished – and have sweeping batwing sleeves and low necklines.

This shape suits every size and shape, from the petite among us to plus size divas.  Showing off your décolletage with encrusted jewels at the neckline and floating in a silky maxi dress is the ultimate in summer chic.

The maxi kaftan evokes glamour and style – effortless resort chic, that never clings and always feels cool to the touch.  From hand painted kaftans that would look at home in a Grecian resort to a rainbow of sunset colors sparkling at dusk, your pick of hues that suit your mood and the theme of your soiree is unlimited.

A Little Bit of Indie Party Chic

Indie and boho chic is everything right now, and if you want to get the boho look, but you left your inner hippie in the 70’s, kaftans will bring the look you want to your party style without compromising on your contemporary glamour.

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A linen, cotton or silk kaftan in a midi or maxi cut can be worn with sandals or brightly colored heels for an elegantly indie party look.  Add as much bling as you dare to your necklaces, wrists and ears with boho accessories that offer romantic sparkle. Natural loose hair in waves is just perfect with a fun plait on the side to bring a little bit of cheeky fun to the look at night.

Kaftans for Beach Weddings

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A destination or beach wedding always brings excitement!  Planning the perfect outfit can be a disaster, though, if you’re not mindful of cool fabrics and easy to wear pieces.

A kaftan can be the perfect choice because the shape is flattering to every shape and size from petite to plus size, and the fall of the fabric never clings, so you’ll always feel cool, no matter if you’re scorchingly hot!

Depending on the time of day the wedding is being held, and whether it’s a resort or beach ceremony, wear your kaftan with high beaded sandals or low slung flats, masses of gold jewelled necklaces, stacked bangles, and a big statement cocktail ring.

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As you can see, Kathryn Porritt is a fashionista extraordinaire!

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Bondi Lifestyle, her beach fashion and leisurewear website – named after Australia’s famous Bondi Beach – is a top online marketer with customers from around the world seeking it out.

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Kathryn told SurfWriter Girls, “You’ll find a beautiful range of Australian kaftans shipped worldwide. Every season, shape and size are catered to.”

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Animals Go On Surfin’ Safari

Pets are Hotdog Surfers

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Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel

Let’s go surfin’ now
Everybody’s learning how
Come on and safari with me

People aren’t the only ones who are following The Beach Boys song and going on a Surfin’ Safari. Dogs of all sizes and shapes, cats, pigs, goats, and more are heading out on surfboards to enjoy the beach action.

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Every year surf dogs from around the world come to California’s Huntington Beach and Imperial Beach for Petco’s Unleashed Surf Dog Competition.

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With paws on the nose and tails wagging, the canine competitors go all out to see who’s Top Dog.

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Didga, the Aussie skateboarding cat phenomenon, shows that she’s got some surf moves, too, and isn’t afraid to get wet. Go, Didga! Go!

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SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel love seeing all the animals out in the water having fun. Our friend Huntington Beach surf artist Dave Reynolds is a sight to see when he goes surfing with his best buds Nacho and Lance, a Chihuahua and a Labrador mix. Nacho may be little, but he holds his own against the big dogs.

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When you’re on dry land, to keep the fun going for groms (and adults, too!), take a look at this book we discovered:The Surfing Animals Alphabet by Jonas Claesson, a Swedish artist and designer who lives in Australia.

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Featured in Surfer magazine, this illustrated alphabet book with animals in the ABCs lineup, is just the thing to get little surfer dudes and dudettes on board about reading.

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As for the animals, now that the dog days of summer are here they want to have fun!

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Vans US Open of Surfing 2016

Surfers Head to Surf City!

2016 US Open Surf logoWritten by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel

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Cowabunga! Vans US Open of Surfing is back in Huntington Beach (July 23-31) with 500,000 people hitting the sand and streets to watch the week-long surfing action.

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Some of the largest cash prizes in the sport are at stake and the opportunity to accumulate ranking points on the surf tour.

Last year’s USOS champions Hiroto Ohhara from Japan and Johanne Defay from France will be trying for repeats. They were both underdogs when they staged their upset wins. But,that’s definitely not the case now.

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Brazilians Felipe Toledo and Alejo Muniz – both former USOS champions – want to get back on the winners’ platform. Local favorite Courtney Conlogue from Santa Ana, who won the event in 2009, is eager for another shot at the crown, too. And, as the top ranked woman in the world, she is a strong contender.

Courtney Conlogue

Two-time champion (2009 & 2010), HB’s own Brett Simpson, is on the scene, too, and is a fan fav with supporters hoping he can three-peat.

Brett Simpson

With so many returning stars and up-and-coming surf athletes, there’s no telling who will take home the men’s and women’s champion trophies.

Celebrating its 50th anniversary in style, Vans – the Off the Wall shoe company – has transformed this year’s Vans USOS into a festival of discovery with creative workshops,

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classic games and interactive activities for all.

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The event is about surfing and more. It has evolved into one of the premiere action and sports festivals in the world.

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Kevin Bailey, VF and Vans Global Action Sports and Outdoor Brand President, says Vans has been “counting the days” until the event and is excited to be “once again in iconic Surf City, USA to celebrate the world’s greatest athletes in surf, skate, and BMX.”

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In addition to putting the best men’s and women’s surfers on center stage, the USOS is also the setting for new inductees into the Surfing Walk of Fame (Thursday, July 28) and Surfers’ Hall of Fame (Friday, July 29).

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Among the new inductees are sentimental favorites, brothers Ryan and Timmy Turner, whose family runs HB’s Sugar Shack restaurant on Main Street, and surfing pastor Rev. Blaine “Sumo” Sato.

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And longboarding fans won’t want to miss the Vans Joel Tudor Duct Tape Invitational part of the Open (July 29 and 30) that has longboarders in the spotlight showcasing their best moves.

Skate and BMX enthusiasts can watch the world’s top skaters and riders compete in a custom-designed concrete bowl on the sand.

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SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel are always amazed that there’s so much to see and that the Open is an event the whole community can enjoy. It’s a week to have fun at the beach, take a break and let yourself chill.

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Hosted in partnership with the World Surf League and event owner and operator IMG, official sponsors of this year’s USOS include Vans, Samsung Galaxy, Jeep, Go Pro, AirBnB, Pacifico, Workday, Credit Karma, G-Shock, and LifeProof.

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With so much going on,

 it’s time to put on your sunscreen and head to Surf City!.

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The Bungalow HB Opens!

Lounge Stakes Claim in Huntington Beach!

Hosts Surfrider Foundation Benefit Bash

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Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel

There’s a new instant-classic place to chill in Huntington Beach these days – The Bungalow.

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A lounge with a private clubhouse feel…and a killer view of the HB Pier, it’s perfect for relaxing with a cool sangria, meeting friends, playing a game of pool or listening to music groups.

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Announcing its presence with a pre-opening bash July 7th, the event benefited the non-profit Surfrider Foundation Huntington/Seal Beach Chapter.

Featuring Brandon Boyd, Mike Einziger and Ben Kenney from multi-platinum-selling rock band Incubus, The Bungalow was jammed with people waiting to get inside.

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Surfrider’s Huntington/Seal Beach Chapter Chairperson Tony Soriano was at the door eager to greet everyone and help get the party going.

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Soriano told SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel that he’s excited about “the support The Bungalow is giving to Surfrider’s environmental cause and to the beach community.”

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Brent Bolthouse

 

Located in the trendy, beach-themed Pacific City mall (21058 Pacific Coast Highway), The Bungalow is the vision of owner Brent Bolthouse, who has another The Bungalow lounge in Santa Monica.

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Bolthouse says the goal of both lounges is to provide an “intimate setting” that’s like being in someone’s home. The 6,000-sq-ft.space is divided into separate rooms with sofas, comfortable chairs, pool tables, fireplaces, and a patio overlooking a million-dollar view of the beach.

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Warm and welcoming, The Bungalow is just steps from the sand, making it an ideal watering hole for beating the heat and savoring the lounge’s craft beer and signature drink selections.

Drinks on Surfboard

Add in an assortment of tacos, sliders and flat breads brought in from the lounge’s culinary partner The Bear Flag Fish Co. located downstairs and you’re all set.

Surfwriter Girls can easily see whiling away an afternoon or evening with Greg Kishel watching the beach action from The Bungalow’s patio or taking in one of HB’s picture-perfect sunsets.

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With The Bungalow on the scene, now there’s another reason for everyone to say “We’re goin’ to Surf City, gonna have some fun.”

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Five Best Surfing Spots in Europe

Epic Waves Await You!

surfboard with Union Jack

Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel

sign to beachLooking to escape the summer crowds at the world’s top surfing spots?

Then put Hawaii, Australia and Indonesia on hold and set your course in a different direction – to Europe.

cologne cathedral

It turns out that Europe isn’t just a premiere ski destination, it also offers epic waves and beautiful beaches that are perfect for surfing.

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Bundoran Beach

 

From a world-class surf break In Ireland on a beach with 300-million-year-old fossils…

 

to sun-kissed waves on golden sands in Spain, everything you’re looking for is just across The Pond.

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And, don’t worry that the waves won’t be big enough.

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At one EU surfing spot on our list legendary surfer Garrett McNamara made the Guinness Book of World Records in 2011 when he rode the biggest wave in history, a 78-ft monster…a feat he repeated at the same spot in 2013, riding an even bigger, 100-ft wave.

Garrett McNamara and surfboard

100 ft wave

SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel were excited to discover these off-the-beaten-path, European surfing gems.

To check out the Five Best Surfing Spots in Europe for yourself, take a look at the feature story our friends at BookSurfCamps.com shared with us. Written by Cristina Costea, a self-described “passionate traveler,” it will have you packing your board and heading to the airport. Just grab your passport and click here: Surf Europe

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Pollinator Decline Puts World’s Food Supply at Risk

United Nations Issues Warning

Bees, Birds, Butterflies Under Siege

pollinators in garden group

Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel

A recent report from the United Nations warns that pollinator species worldwide – the bees, butterflies, birds and bats that pollinate plants – are in danger of extinction. At risk are 40% of the bees and butterflies and 16% of birds and bats.

blue butterfly

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hummingbird

This decline in pollinators of all kinds is critical to our food supply since 75% of food crops are at least partially dependent on pollination.

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“Pollinators are important contributors to world food production and nutritional security,” said Dr. Vera Lucia Imperatriz-Fonseca, who co-chaired the study. The health of the pollinators “is directly linked to our own well-being.”

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There are many reasons – both man-made and natural – that pollinators are declining: habitat loss due to farming and urban development, pesticide usage, parasites, disease, and global warming.

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The increasing trend of agribusinesses to plant giant areas of farmland devoted to single crops is eliminating the grasslands and wildflowers that the pollinators seek. The pollinators need the wildflowers, which, in turn, need the pollinators to reproduce.

wildflowers

bees in comb

 

SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel learned that more than 20,000 species of wild bees help to pollinate plants.

Plus, many species of butterflies, flies, moths, wasps, beetles, birds, bats and other animals do, as well.

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bat with flower

bird pollinating

Ladybug

Crops that depend on these pollinators include fruit, vegetables, seeds, nuts and oils – many of which provide essential vitamins and minerals to our diets.

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vegetables

coffee and chocolate

 

Others, such as coffee and cocoa, not only provide welcome indulgences, but needed income to developing nations.

The report, which was the work of researchers from 124 countries, highlighted the interdependence between animals, plants and man. It also noted that a number of steps can be taken to bring back the pollinators.

united-nations-reportU.N. Pollinator Report – 2016

These steps include:

Planting patches of wild flowers in agricultural areas could attract pollinators to crop fields.

wildflowers with crops

Cutting back on pesticide use in favor of organic farming methods is another way to protect and attract pollinators.

organic-gardening

Something as simple as planting flowers in our yards and putting out window boxes of flowers on ledges could make a difference, too.

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pots on ledge

SurfWriter Girls are reminded of the classic folk song Where have all the flowers gone?

Where flowers gone

For the sake of the pollinators, the answer is more important than ever now.

pollinator week poster

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