Surfrider South Bay Celebrates Re-Launch of Local ChapterApr 01, 2023 08:32AM ● By Jeanne Fratello
"We took over [the South Bay Surfrider chapter] at the beginning of the year, and we're hoping to do more things like this," chapter co-chair Tammy Pao told the crowd of about 100 who gathered at the pier on a windy afternoon.
Pao said that the South Bay chapter - which had suffered some drop-off during the pandemic - was hoping to rebuild its core of supporters and volunteers.
The group is looking for help with its beach cleanup events - not only for the cleanups themselves, but to organize and run the cleanups, said Pao.
Co-chair Mary Simun also put in a plug for students to enlist in the chapter's flagship program, Teach & Test, a student-centered ocean water testing program. Throughout the school year, students
coordinate with Surfrider leaders to collect water samples
from various South Bay beach locations and the Ballona Wetlands. The water samples are then analyzed by students and researchers at a lab at Dive N’ Surf in Redondo Beach.
Pao and Simun urged interested community members to visit the chapter's volunteer page to get more information and learn how to get involved.
"The ocean is a precious, precious gift that we've been given, and you are extra special for taking care of it," Manhattan Beach Mayor Pro Tem Joe Franklin told the Surfrider group. "On behalf of the city, we really appreciate your work."
Franklin added that Manhattan Beach's clean sandy beach is an attraction for people from all over the world. "Some days I'm down here on the pier, and I see people pulling their luggage. They've got a three-hour stopover at LAX and they're coming down to see beautiful Manhattan Beach," he said. "So what you do is very, very important."
Surfrider Foundation Aims to Preserve Ocean Health
Today, the Surfrider Foundation has 80 chapters - including the South Bay Chapter - and 96 student clubs. Its volunteers are currently working in over 100 active campaigns around the country.