September 23, 2016

Surfrider SLO Launches OFR Program


OFR Program Coordinator Cynthia Replogle, Mayor Shelly Higginbotham, Chop Street Owner Matt Shea and Chair Brad Snook

PISMO BEACH, CA (September 17, 2016) – The Surfrider Foundation’s San Luis Obispo Chapter has launched the Ocean Friendly Restaurants (OFR) program, which works with San Luis Obispo County eateries to institute self­-regulated ocean-friendly practices that reduce disposable plastic waste which sometimes ends up littering our beaches and ocean.

“Plastic food service items are six of the ten top litter types collected in SLO County beach cleanups,” said Cynthia Replogle, the OFR program coordinator. “This means that restaurants can have a tremendous impact on our ocean and beaches by adopting ocean-friendly practices.”

The Ocean Friendly Restaurants program was officially unveiled at Pismo Pier following Saturday’s International Coastal Cleanup Day event. “We collected less restaurant waste on this stretch of beach than in prior years,” said Surfrider SLO’s Chair, Brad Snook, “but there is still more we can do to keep plastic trash off of the sand and out of the water.”

Two Pismo Beach restaurants, Chop Street and Honeymoon Cafe, are the first to join the program. Matt Shea, owner of Chop Street, came out to the Pier to support the program along with Pismo Beach Mayor Shelly Higginbotham. Shea said that his restaurant believes it’s better business to limit waste, maintain a solid recycling program, and use environmentally-responsible products. “Joining the ‘Ocean Friendly’ program was easy and something our staff believes in and is excited about.”

Mayor Higginbotham said that she “fully supports the efforts of restaurants to reduce the use of non-recyclable items, provide items upon request and all efforts to improve our environment for today and the future.”

The OFR program rewards restaurants that agree to voluntary practices that decrease the use of plastic food service items, including Styrofoam containers, plastic bags, straws, and disposable cups and utensils. Restaurants that adopt ocean-friendly policies are eligible for marketing and promotional support from Surfrider.

An Ocean Friendly Restaurant meets the following four requirements:

  1. No styrofoam use

  2. Only reusable tableware is provided for onsite dining

  3. Proper recycling practices are followed throughout the restaurant

  4. Plastic bags are not used to carry out food

An Ocean Friendly Restaurant must also meet at least three of the following six criteria:

  1. Plastic straws are provided only upon request

  2. Takeout food and beverage containers are recycled, recyclable, compostable or biodegradable

  3. Takeout bags are provided only upon request, or pickup customers are asked to bring their own takeout bags

  4. Disposable utensils for takeout food are provided only upon request

  5. Beverages are not sold in plastic bottles

  6. Discount offered to customers who bring their own cup, mug, container, bag or other reusable item

For more information on Surfrider’s Ocean Friendly Restaurants program, go to

September 22, 2016

Coastal Cleanup Day 2016 Results

Here are the totals from our cleanup at Pismo Pier. Less trash was collected there than in past years, which shows the significant effect of recent measures like putting lids on beach trash cans, the city ban on styrofoam food and drink containers, and the county ban on plastic grocery bags. Now, about those cigarettes…

74 volunteers, including 17 children
48 lbs of trash + 3 lbs of recyclables (317 lbs of trash in 2015)
1060 cigarette butts!!!
201 food wrappers
4 foam take-out containers
150 plastic bottle caps
39 metal bottle caps
30 plastic lids
60 straws/stirrers
24 plastic utensils
12 plastic bottles
7 glass bottles
39 plastic bags
32 paper bags
5 paper plates/cups
6 plastic plates/cups
3 foam plates/cups
20 pieces of fishing gear
10 ballons
2 tires
42 pieces of plastic/foam packaging
2 condoms
1 tampon applicator
305 plastic/foam pieces
… and more

We picked up one of the most unusual items in SLO County: a checkbook. Its owner was happy to learn it had been found!

September 22, 2016

23rd Annual Pier to Pier on October 8

Pier to PierKen Harmount is one of the founding members of Surfrider SLO, and for going on 23 years, the chapter hosts the Pier to Pier and donates the proceeds to SLO County Jr. Lifeguard programs.

Saturday, October 8
Registration: 7:30 a.m. at Port San Luis Dog Beach
Start: 8:30 a.m. Paddle from Old Port Beach to Pismo Pier
Jr. Lifeguards and Surfrider members: $30
All others: $40

Please plan to have transportation from the finish line at Addie Street parking lot in Pismo Beach.

Send questions to

September 22, 2016

Special Chapter Meeting on October 11

intothegyreimageforsiteJoin us for a special chapter meeting hosted by the Ocean Friendly Restaurants Program. We will introduce the program and screen the film Into the Gyre at SLO County’s first Ocean Friendly Restaurant, Chop Street in Pismo Beach. Into the Gyre is an award-winning documentary about a groundbreaking expedition to study the location, extent and effect of plastic pollution in the North Atlantic Ocean. There will be free food and drink specials!
Time: 6 p.m.
Location: Chop Street, 779 Price St, Pismo Beach, CA 93449

September 21, 2016

Core Volunteer Orientation on October 25

Have you been wanting to get involved with our chapter, but don’t know where to start? Perhaps you’ve already volunteered with us, but want to get more involved? If so, then join us for our next Core Volunteer Orientation! Core Volunteers are the heart and soul of our organization. They often go on to leadership positions within our chapter and help set our chapter’s strategy. This training will provide you with the knowledge and tools you need to be a Surfrider ambassador. Snacks and drinks will be provided. Attendees will also receive a Surfrider Foundation t-shirt.
Time: 7-9 p.m.
Location: Embassy Suites SLO
Sign Up

September 20, 2016

Pismo Beach City Council Meeting Tonight (9/20) – Rerouting Public Coastal Access

“Our San Luis Obispo chapter has become aware of an overwhelmingly alarming case where the Homeowners Association along Bluff Drive has engaged in a years‐long campaign to improperly restrict public coastal access. We wonder how the Pismo Beach Planning Commission could vote unanimously to deny the rerouting of public access at 0 Bluff Drive, while a reduced membership of City Council could support it.” Read the full letter from our Chair to the Council here.

The issue is on the agenda for tonight’s Pismo Beach City Council meeting at 5:30 p.m. at 760 Mattie Road, Pismo Beach, CA 93449. Attend if you can or send comments to


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