Two Minutes.

A joy, and responsibility, of the DEL MEM is the opportunity to be in the world throughout the program’s two years. Whether private sector, public sector, or nonprofit, MEM students are expected to continue their work while applying the knowledge and skills developed through their curriculum.

So it’s entirely fitting and appropriate that I found myself in before the California Coastal Commission, the state agency responsible for coastal and shoreline management, at their recent meeting in Santa Barbara. Part of what I do when I’m not thinking about Durham.

Members of the public, like myself, were given two minutes to advocate for a project that’s taken state and county staff more than ten years to develop: the Land Use Plan (LUP) for the Santa Monica Mountains. Covering over 55,000 acres (80 square miles) LUP would provide Los Angeles County officials planning authority along a set of environmentally progressive guidelines, including: zoning, riparian setbacks, agricultural use, and animal boarding.

You can read more about the Santa Monicas, the LUP, and those who supported or opposed here, here, here, and here.

What does two minutes look like? Our prepared remarks are below. The result? 12-0 in favor of the LUP.

Our work in the world continues.


Remarks to the California Coastal Commission
April 10, 2014
Santa Barbara, California


Honorable Chair and fellow Commissioners.

Good day. My name is Michael Blum and I am the current Stewardship Chair of the Malibu Surfing Association. Formed in 1961, MSA is one of California’s oldest surfing clubs and an all-volunteer organization. Our home surf break is world-famous Malibu Surfrider Beach, one of surfing’s ‘perfect waves,’ and dedicated in 2010 as the first World Surfing Reserve for its contribution to the history and culture of our sport.

Our members, who collectively represent over 800 years of surfing at Malibu, value living near the coast, value surfing as their primary recreational activity, and value Surfrider Beach as both a world-famous surfing beach and exactly that coastal resource where most of their surfing takes place.

That surfing at Malibu depends on any number of factors NOT related to the Santa Monicas and the proposal before you is without question: good waves, access to the beach, and on-site improvements, among other factors. Still, that surfing at Malibu DOES depend on factors DIRECTLY related to environmental quality within the Santa Monicas is a also without question: clean water and a natural sediment cycles among other factors.

To protect the Santa Monica Mountains as one of the state’s most important resource conservation areas, and to protect adjacent and valuable resources such as Malibu Surfrider Beach and the activities that take place there, the Malibu Surfing Association urges certification of the Santa Monica Mountains Land Use Plan (LUP). MSA agrees with all of Staff’s Suggested Modifications.

We thank Commission Staff, County Staff, and others who’ve worked diligently on this LUP. In particular we appreciate their recognition that the LUP provisions protect environmental quality within the Plan area and deliver benefits to recreational users like ourselves, who are outside, but nevertheless dependent upon, the Santa Monica Mountains.

Thank you for the opportunity to speak today.


US West Coast Surf Forecast

NOAA/NCEP significant wave height model, SE Pacific, 180 hr fcst