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Surfrider Public Meet up Information and Newsletter

16th September 2016

What’s been happening with Surfrider Pacific Rim this August?
As part of a clean-up project funded by the Japanese government, Surfrider Pacific Rim & Pacific Rim National Park Reserve (PRNPR) cleaned up Radar and Cox Bay beaches, filling a total of 18 super sacks with marine debris, litter and Japanese driftage. This debris will be transported onto a barge that is travelling around Vancouver Island collecting super sacks from remote and isolated coastlines and beaches. It will all be taken to Vancouver where it will be sorted and the debris data will be recorded. Thanks to volunteers Bree, Mark, Marcel, Adam, Alan and the PRNPR!

Surfrider volunteers went to the Broken Group Islands to assist Karla Robison and the District of Ucluelet, which has been a supporter of this Japanese funded Marine Debris clean up project for the last four years. Read more and see what was collected here: Karla coordinated groups of volunteers and spent a total of four weeks cleaning up the Broken Group Islands. Last year, the total amount of marine debris and Japanese driftage from the tsunami four years ago totaled one million pounds! Sadly, this is the last year that Japan will fund these clean up projects, so what next? Voluntourism? How can we continue to protect this coast, and everything that we love? Volunteer Lily Woodbury interviewed Karla about the entire project and the sadness behind the debris. Look for the article in the October edition of the Tofino Times.

Tofino's Canadian Junior Surf team ran a Surfrider beach clean-up in collaboration with PRNPR and other local organizations. Amongst hundreds of other items they picked up 4000 small plastics from Wickanninnish Beach. Through fundraising at previous events including beach cleans, the 'GROMS RULE' bake off, and the 'SUP Challenge' Salmon BBQ, Surfrider were able to donate $360 towards helping get these kids to the World Junior Surfing Championship in Portugal. Look out for these kids in the Olympics for sure! Keep updated here: Big thanks to Volunteer Trinity!!!

Surfrider Pacific Rim were invited by Tofino Yoga kids SUP camp, to talk to the groms about protecting what we love! We discussed different types of plastics found on the beaches, and effects that has on wildlife. Amongst other items, the 12 grommets picked up 92 cigarette butts in just 20 minutes from Mackenzie Beach. Cigarette butts were the most common item found on Mackenzie beach in both this clean and the one done in June. Do you think a no smoking ban should be enforced on the beaches, and butt canisters provided by the businesses?

Check out the GROMS RULE beach clean up video done by volunteers Matty Westcott & Lilly Woodbury! Special thanks to Live to Surf for sponsoring the event and giving the groms some free lessons! 

Surfrider Vancouver Island presented the campaign STRAWS SUCK on behalf of Tofino, at the recent Surfrider Washington conference, and our chapter received some great feedback and a congratulations from the organizers for the campaign success! We invite everyone to check in with their local business to ensure we keep Tofino plastic straw free.

Don't forget about how awesome this community has been making this change together!

Surfrider Pacific Rim continues to work on launching a new campaign “Ocean Friendly Business”, and is stoked to announce WILDSIDE GRILL as the first business to sign up and lead the way for this 1 year program. The program will look at reducing single use plastics, and waste. The first item that Wildside Grill has pledged to work on is eliminating plastic water bottles! EPIC NEWS!! Check out the criteria below for all businesses, and get in touch to find out more about how YOUR business can become a SURFRIDER APPROVED Ocean Friendly Business. Thanks to volunteers Lily Woodbury for her research, and Tina Bean for a great LOGO!

Mandatory Criteria:

Optional Criteria:

  • Eliminate plastic straws

  • Reusable tupperware/packaging options

  • No plastic water bottles

  • No Plastic bags

  • “Hold onto to your butt campaign supporter” no smoking areas / butt canisters

  • No single use plastic items used


Pre purchase Tickets available at Caravan Beach Shop!

Surfrider welcomes a two new EPIC volunteers to the Surfrider Executive Committee!

Matty Westcott takes on the Media & Videography Director role, expect to see lots more of what Surfrider does, in film!

Karla Robison becomes a Surfrider Ambassador & Advisor, and shares her skills and expertise on Marine Debris and the ocean systems, as well as coastal safety management. Surfrider Pacific Rim are excited and blessed to have such great volunteers in Tofino & Ucluelet!



Surfrider Pacific Rim are ALWAYS looking for volunteers to work on projects and campaigns that suit their schedules and what they are passionate about. This month for September we have the following events, collaborations & volunteer opportunities for the taking. Come get involved, there is plenty to choose from or create your own role & project!



Saturday 17th September 9am-4pm – Bruhwiler Kids Classic! Volunteers needed for help with clean up, kids micro plastic workshop, craft, and booth information.

Saturday 24th September 10-4pm – Weird Off surf comp! Volunteers needed for Surfrider booth information, fundraiser BBQ, and clean up!

Saturday 1st October – Queen of the Peak! Beach clean with Surfrider Vancouver Island! Booth babes needed for everything!

Sunday 9th October – Surfrider mini film festival at Cedarwood Cove, with volunteer appreciation awards. Volunteers needed for technical support, and hosting.


STRAWS SUCK – after the success of Tofino eliminating plastic straws, the campaign was introduced to Ucluelet. Volunteers based in Ucluelet are needed to make contact with the businesses again, and press forward with the resources and support needed to help encourage Ucluelet to give up plastic straws AND/OR to sign up to Ocean Friendly Business Campaign. This is approx a 1-3 month commitment and will be supported fully.


Ocean Friendly Business – Looking for volunteers who can commit to working with a business(es) for up to 1 year max, helping them complete the criteria to become an Ocean Friendly Business.



Surfrider Pacific Rim Instagram – do you love sharing the love on social media? Get in touch, in fact send us a pic :)


Surfrider Pacific Rim Twitter – we need a volunteer to tweet all the awesome stuff that’s happening in Tofino for our chapter! Would become part of the media team.


Writers – who are passionate about the ocean and the community, and have great stories to share including what’s happening with Surfrider Pacific Rim. Working with Tofino Times, Westerley news, Chek News, Tuff City Radio and Surfrider newsletters.


The Surfrider public meet up is the first Wednesday of every month, and a friendly mixed group get together and welcome new people ALL of the time. It’s a great chance to get involved in your community, make new friends, and find out about volunteer opportunities. You can also email



Topic 1: Cox Bay Development

If you are not already familiar with this development proposal for Cox Bay, you can download plenty of information from their site here at Phase one of the draft resort development site includes building 30-50 units, with up to 300 units being constructed over a 10 year span. See the diagram for the proposed plans.


The boards for Surfrider Pacific Rim and Surfrider Vancouver Island have some concerns regarding the rezoning application for the Cox Bay Development. Some of the concerns listed below:

  • public beach access & public car parking

  • extra pollution on the beach and ocean

  • density of people in most popular surfing spot

  • green building regulations. eg: water catchment system

  • set backs are too close to the beach

  • retail use; not keeping it ‘local’

  • staff housing in a wildlife area & preserving the natural environment & trees


Notes from the discussion group….

  • Are we developing a "tourist town", or a TOWN that also has "tourism"?
  • Main goal is to take capitol gains out of Tofino in order to provide funds to the pension fund.  
  • Once the property is rezoned, that's it. So they could sell or go "bankrupt" and the next person could do whatever they wanted without needing the same approval.
  • Surfrider are against the rezoning application as it currently stands.
  • Tofino DOES NOT have to rezone this land. It won't be built by locals, run by locals, owned by locals, or lived in by locals who can live there longer than 5/6 months.
  • The present zoning is suitable for Tofino's needs, and is far less damaging to the land and the beach.
  • The units cannot be lived in full time, 5-6 month allowance given to live in them, then they are rented out.
  • The 5-6 month allowance for living is just an example that the units will not be for full-time residents. 
  • Small locally owned businesses are much more likely to reinvest capitol gains back into the community (building homes, or contributing to community)
  • There are 200 units in total on Cox Bay currently, this development would add an extra 300 units over 10yrs
  • How will downtown will deal with the additional traffic & parking issues.
  • Canadian owned organization, pension fund investment. This would mean the organization are in it for the long haul, its not a development that would get out and sell. They have patient capital.
  • A campground was previously on that site, which was seasonal and not year round
  • Feedback on campground?
  • 1st September the application to rezone was submitted to council.
  • The lot next to WITF has taken 2yrs to get through the application process.
  • What is the environmental impact of traffic from a potential extra 1000 people coming to the beach.
  • When are there too many people on the beach, to determine if it will affect environmental issues?
  • What is harmful to the environment?
  • More people on the beach will effect wildlife ie. shorebirds. 
  • Extra people on the beach will effect the plant life at the top of the beach. 
  • Can we mandate 30 units per year over the next 10yrs?
  • Why was Cox Bay Beach resort a failure?
  • Impact on rainwater runoff when more impervious surfaces (concrete) are added?
  • No Airbnb allowed.
  • All new builds are required to have solar hot water capacity. A conversation for all new builds to have water catchment systems is just as important.
  • Don’t be blinded by the ‘Whats in it for Tofino’ but think about what amenities could be given in return for such a development; a pool; affordable housing; recreation centre; MUP extension; public access car park
  • Lot on Maltby could be a rental.
  • Considering that Cox Bay is the most popular surf spot, a beach house for showers, toilets and change rooms provided for public access.
  • Washrooms & showers were proposed by Parkbridge in the last open house - they proposed a new additional public access trail at the dead end of Braiden. 



The Mayor will let Surfrider know when that 1st reading is, and Surfrider will let the community know.

Who would like to form a working group on this? Gather concise and valid concerns, and ensure that ‘homework’ and research is done before the public hearing?

Topic 2: Hold onto your BUTT

Surfrider does a monthly beach clean and every month cigarette butts are a commonly found item. The MUP clean up count for butts in the drains was 1215! More recently the town clean up hosted by Jess Taylor produced a LOT of butts, and people again started to think of solutions to this. Nice work Jess on the clean up!

The Surfrider Hold On To Your Butt campaign was started in Victoria. They have successfully installed 60 butt canisters all over downtown, and have helped educate and promote non smoking and non butt littering on the streets of Victoria.

These butts not only pose a waste management challenge for local governments financially and logistically, they also can find there way to the marine environment, as run off in storm drains. In the marine environment, they pose a threat to marine life and a health and safety risk to individuals.”

We would like to help make Tofino another town that successfully messages business, community, and visitors to ‘hold onto their butts’. We are looking for businesses to sponsor a butt canister, and for volunteers to work on this. The municipal hall and Mayor Osbourne will become leaders on this issue, and we will be installing a butt canister on a trial.

What do you think? Where are the hot spots? Should something else be done?

Get in touch!



Michelle Hall
Surfrider Pacific Rim

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Surfrider Pacific Rim · PO BOX 964 · 1292 Pacific Rim · tofino, British Columbia V0R2Z0 · Canada

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