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Local actions.

Significant local progress thanks to Surfrider Coastal Defenders

Surfrider’s fight against pollution and projects that threaten the ocean knows no borders. Whether on the mainland or thousands of miles away, the commitment of the Coastal Defenders has once again this year added a number of major victories to the association’s list of achievements, and raised awareness of the issues involved in protecting the Ocean.

Water quality: coastal defenders active
on the international stage

In Guadeloupe, Surfrider took part in a legal action with the OFB to denounce inadequate wastewater treatment infrastructures, which led to bacteriological pollution on Petit Havre beach in March 2023. The suspicion of widespread pollution led to the implementation of in-depth monitoring of bathing water quality at two sites, Le Gosier and Petit Havre, in order to gather more data.

Although the collective has refocused some of its work on air quality, Surfrider has continued to support efforts in Wijk aan Zee, in the Netherlands, to denounce the pollution of beaches and bathing water in the vicinity of the Tata Steel factory. The organisation contributed to the creation of an awareness-raising video on this issue.

Finally, in Martigues, legal action was taken against the company KEM ONE for ferric chloride pollution. Although the outcome was moderately positive, this action illustrates Surfrider’s unwavering commitment to the fight against pollution and the preservation of the aquatic environment.

Marine Litter:
2023, a year of action against IPM

In Roscanvel, a request has been submitted to the Finistère prefecture concerning an old, incorrectly listed landfill site located less than 100 metres from the coastline. The landfill was eroding, causing waste to be released into the sea.

As a result of these efforts, the landfill was included in the list of sites at risk of dumping waste at sea, paving the way for funding to clean it up.

Coastal development and climate change

Once again this year, the Coastal Defenders have been actively involved in preserving the coastline, intervening in several controversial development projects.

In the case of the Castets Surpark, a notable victory was achieved when the project was abandoned in March 2023, after the technology supplier and builder withdrew. This success underlines the importance of vigilance and action in preserving coastal ecosystems.

In July, legal proceedings were launched in Canéjan to prevent the construction of a Surfpark. Surfrider has applied to the Bordeaux administrative court to have the planning permission cancelled. The Surfrider Coastal Defenders have done a great deal of work gathering additional data in order to consolidate the legal case, with the aim of cancelling the construction of this infrastructure and preserving local ecosystems and groundwater reserves. The association has also launched a petition that has attracted 60,000 signatures, demonstrating public opposition to the project.

In Tehaopoo, Surfrider Foundation has become involved in the protest against plans to build a control tower for the 2024 Olympic surfing events in Teahupoo. The association criticised the lack of transparency and dialogue in the decision-making process, pointing out that stakeholders were informed after the decision had already been taken. Surfrider called for greater dialogue between all parties involved, stressing the importance of consultation and of taking environmental and community concerns into account in such projects.