Southern California environment news and trends

International Surfing Day officially kicks off California summer

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Surfer Kelly Slater rides a wave.

Wednesday, June 20, marks the Summer solstice, the longest day of the year. This year, however, the date will also make official a summery surf holiday of which the Beach Boys will surely approve.

As announced by the Surfrider Foundation, the California Assembly this week approved House Resolution No. 30, declaring June 20 as International Surfing Day. Even better, Surfrider Foundation Chief Executive Jim Moriarty has already written an official “sick note” for working surfers to show their employers to excuse any surf-related absences.

The sick note might seem like a well-conceived joke, but it’s already worked for legislative deputy Kevin Bigham, who used it to convince his boss L.A. City Councilman Joe Buscaino to give him the day off to hit the beach. Maybe combining the letter with the video is the way to go for aspiring Wednesday surfers? Send an email to, and they will send back your very own sick note.


Surfrider and Groupon partner on California water quality testing

elfidomx/Flickr/Creative Commons

It was announced this week that popular online coupon site Groupon has joined forces with the nonprofit Surfrider Foundation to raise money for water quality testing at local California beaches.

The campaign, which runs this week through Earth Day (Sunday, April 22), is soliciting $7 pledges through Groupon Grassroots, the recently launched philanthropic arm of the company. For each $7 donation, the Surfrider Foundation will be able to pay for one water quality test. Citing National Resources Defense Council statistics on the pledge site, there were more than 24,000 beach closings and advisories in the United States in 2010. To date, more that 120 donations have been made to the initiative,

“We are excited to employ the collective action model of Groupon Grassroots to raise support for the Surfrider Foundation’s water quality monitoring,” said Alexis Henry, Surfrider Foundation’s communications manager in a press release.  “We look forward to creating new awareness for the Surfrider Foundation as one of the local organizations in Los Angeles to be featured on Groupon Grassroots.”