First Coast Chapter

Protecting your oceans, beaches and waves! The First Coast Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation was founded in 2002 and spans the First Coast of Florida, from the Georgia border to the end of Anastasia Island. More Details
September 18, 2013

September Social


When: Thursday, September 19 @ 7pm
Please note the day of the week. We are meeting on Thursday based on feedback from members about their availability during the week.

Where: REI Jacksonville
4862 Big Island Drive, Jacksonville, Florida 32246

Don’t miss our September Social!
We are changing the location of our social for this month only and we will be meeting in the community room at the REI Jacksonville store at the St. Johns Town Center. We will have a special presentation on seismic testing by a guest speaker from Oceana Florida. You will not want to miss this!
Guest Speaker: Alex Catechis, attorney with Oceana will do a presentation on Seismic Airgun Testing off the East Coast, including Florida. For more information on this issue:


Also on the agenda:
International Coastal Clean Up September 21st
Rise Above Plastics month in October
Annual FCSR/SOS Art Auction Nov. 9th – call out to artists

Let us know you’re coming on Facebook.

All ages and non-members welcome!

May 16, 2013


The First Coast Chapter is also home to the University of North Florida QUAD Club. They work with the Chapter to protect and promote the waves, beaches, and oceans of our beautiful, local environment. Click here to learn more!


April 19, 2013

Black Tie & Baggies Gala 2013

Get out your snazziest formal wear and give it some surfing style! Black Tie and Baggies is finally here! It’s First Coast Surfrider’s biggest fundraiser of the year, and it’s name is also the dress code: formal wear (black tie) mixed with surf wear (baggies). There’s going to be food, music, raffles, auctions, a best-dressed contest, drink specials, and more! Please join us to support your oceans, beaches, and waves for what promises to be a great night!

$10 at the door. Ages 18+
$2 drinks (cash bar)

February 21, 2013

FL Legislative Update – February


This information was presented by Surfrider Foundation FL Regional Coordinator, Holly Parker, at our February meeting.

State Issues:

Ocean Outfall Bill

It’s back! Since the Surfrider Foundation successfully passed an Ocean Outfall Closure bill in 2009, there have been numerous attempts to delay or weaken its implementation. This year, like the last two years, is no exception. Senator Diaz de la Portilla (Miami-Dade) submitted SB444, titled “Domestic Wastewater Discharged Through Ocean Outfalls”.

Learn more here:

Oil Drilling in Blackwater River State Forest

You may have already heard rumblings of a new bill proposing oil drilling on state lands. There is a bill proposing oil/gas exploration on state lands, but it is limited to the Blackwater River State Park (near Milton). We will be keeping an eye on this bill to make sure it doesn’t morph into anything broader, but the good news is that identical legislation was filed last session and promptly killed after substantial public outcry.  Stay tuned for more as there are additional developments. Learn more here:

FLORIDA DEP Beach Management Funding Assistance Program

The DEP has released its list of local projects though the Beach Management Funding Program. Once this list is approved, these projects will be fast tracked and we’ll have a much harder time stopping them.  You can also see each individual funding request application here:

Nassau County Shore Protection Project

Nourishment of approximately 4.4 miles of Atlantic shoreline between DEP Monuments R11 and R34.  Restoration was completed in 2008 and nourishment is scheduled for nourishment 2014.


FEDERAL  $2,997,938

STATE    $282,138

LOCAL  $325,394

TOTAL $3,605,470

St. Johns County Shore Protection Project

Nourishment of approximately 2.9 miles of shoreline between DEP Monuments R137 – R151 in St. Johns County. The project includes 0.9 miles of beach within Anastasia Island State Recreation Area. Restoration of the federal project and the non-federal extension within the state recreation area was completed in 2003. Emergency nourishment was completed in 2005 based on damages sustained during the 2004 hurricane season.



STATE    $138,317

LOCAL   $179,215

TOTAL   $317,532

Federal Issues:

Seismic Testing Delay

Good news! The US Department of the Interior has delayed a decision on whether to conduct seismic surveys in the Atlantic until October. For those chapters working on this campaign, that means you have several more months to push petitions, sign-on letters, and public outreach events. Learn more about seismic testing here:

Surfrider at the Florida State Capitol!

Save the date for our lobby day at the State Capitol on April 4, 2013. Details to come.

November 19, 2012

OFG Tip O the Month 4

When I moved to Jacksonville seven years ago and moved into our new home I wanted to do some landscaping to make my yard more ocean friendly. Unfortunately I had very little clue as to what plants and coverings were native to the area. I incorrectly assumed that what was being sold at the box stores was so and as a result I made a number of poor purchases.
Since getting involved with Surfrider’s Ocean Friendly Gardens program and joining the Florida Native Plant Society I can now see the mistakes I made and am now better equipped to make the right decisions for my yard going forward.
So before starting your own OFG project please consider the following. You might first want to consult with a landscaper who is knowledgeable regarding native plants and OFG landscapes. There are also a number of garden centers in the area that specialize in native and Florida Friendly plants and ground covers. Another great resource is the Florida Native Plant Society that has chapters in our area. Last but not least please check out our own OFG program. There are great resources to be found on Surfrider’s national web-site and our chapter will be looking to hold OFG seminars and hands on events during the coming year(s).
So get involved and become more knowledgeable while at the same time saving yourself time, money and resources as well as our waves oceans beaches and rivers.
November 14, 2012

November Update from Paul

There is a part of me that truly believes that the sport of surfing and the ocean have saved my life. Both have given me strength, comfort and confidence when it was most needed throughout my life as well as a great deal of joy and happiness.

It is often said that when someone saves your life you them yours. I think this can be expanded to include activities or experiences that impact you significantly. I certainly feel this way about surfing and our oceans. In part, this is why I have devoted so much of my time giving back to both as best I can.

I feel extremely blessed to have had the privilege to serve as the chairman of the First Coast Chapter for the past two years. I have been associated with a great bunch of activists and learned a great deal.

As I leave my post at the end of the year I do so feeling very good about the things our chapter, including our executive committee and members, have accomplished and the progress we have made. At the same time, however, I wish I could have accomplished more. There are so many threats to our sport and coastlines and seemingly so little time and bodies to accomplish all we would like to.

I know that none of what we accomplished would have been possible without the dedication, time, talents and contributions of our executive committee, volunteers, members, sponsors and donors. I owe you all a great debt of gratitude.

Although I am stepping down as your Chairman I want you to know that I am planning on staying on as an advisor to the EC and plan to head up the Ocean Friendly Garden Committee and help out the Chapter in any manner required.

I am confident that I am leaving the chapter in very capable hands with Erin Handy as our new Chair – and the team she is putting together – and I expect great things to come.

Recently we sent out a survey to our members. We received a great response to it which will help us immensely to build the foundation of the chapter. We will be sharing the results with you all and personally contacting those who indicated they would like to get further involved.

We also recently held our seventh annual art auction. Thanks to the talented and generous artists that donated their work and the hard work of our volunteers, headed by Jamie Sauer, the auction was a huge success and the income from it will certainly help us accomplish our mission.

Thanks so much for your support of me and the chapter and I will look forward to seeing you at a future event.

Paul Hayden, Chair
Surfrider Foundation
First Coast Chapter
November 14, 2012

Member/Volunteer Survey

In an effort to fulfill our mission the chapter needs to engage it’s members and make best usage of their background and talents.

Each member joined Surfrider with a specific purpose in mind and brings with them special background and talents that they believe will help make a positive impact on the environment. This survey is intended to help us get a better idea of what our members bring to the table and how we might tap into the collective talents of our membership.

We thank you in advance for your completing the survey and for your continued support of The
Surfrider Foundation and the First Coast Chapter.


Paul Hayden-FCSR Chairman

August 21, 2012

OFG Tip O the Month 3

When considering establishing an OFG at your home, business or community it is beneficial to know your rights to do so under Florida law. In 2009 the State of Florida passed a new law, Statute 373.185 regarding Florida friendly landscaping which in part states

a deed restriction or covenant may NOT prohibit any property owner from implementing Florida-friendly landscaping on his or her land

A local government ordinance may not prohibit or be enforced so as to prohibit any property owner from implementing Florida-friendly landscaping on his or her land.

It should be noted however that the law has not yet been tested in court with regards to HOA covenants that may prohibit Florida-friendly landscaping and, as such, it could be costly for a homeowner to go to court to fight the HOA. As such it might be wise to discuss your plans with your HOA board to see where they stand on the issue before starting your project.

For a complete copy of the statute you should visit the Official Site of the Florida Legislature.

June 27, 2012

OFG Tip O the Month 2

A great deal of run off that enters our waterways and oceans comes from yards, gardens, and golf courses. Due to the heavy usage of fertilizers and pesticides on our yards and grassy areas coupled with extensive watering, a substantial  mix of these substances ends up running onto our streets and down the street drains. This can be mitigated by limiting our grassy areas to a minimum, using ground covers that need less watering, fertilizer, and pesticides and that are well adapted to the local climate. Water runoff can also be restricted by planting borders along driveways, patios, and streets.


Paul Hayden, Chapter Chair

April 25, 2012

Spring Into Native Plants

Are you interested in:
- Reducing your water bill?
- Increasing your leisure time?
- Eliminating costly lawn care?
- Attracting birds & butterflies?
Then don’t miss this fabulous, FREE event from our good friends at the Florida Native Plant Society.

When: Saturday, April 28, 10 am – 2:30 pm
Where*: UNF Student Union Auditorium
One UNF Drive, Jacksonville, FL 32224
(*enter the campus from Kernan Blvd.)

More information here

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