A Resident presents his Balanced Surf Schedule 2013

Resident Patrick Maguire just forwarded the following letter, which he emailed to City Council concerning this summer’s surfing schedule. Patrick believes his idea is a fair and equitable beach access plan. Tell us what you think.


Dear Council Members,

I was glad to see that you addressed the issue of the surfing schedule at the May 7th City Council Meeting.  I believe most residents were very happy that you listened to their response to the schedule and that you have actively engaged the city management to revise the surfing schedule.  I would like to submit a proposed schedule that I feel would be a fair and equitable allocation of beach access.  Since the city does not have any accurate data on beach usage, I would also suggest that the city this summer gather data on beach usage so as next year the management can make better informed decisions regarding beach usage.

This plan has 3 key elements that provide not only a balanced schedule but also share the burden of both the surfing beaches as well as the surf camps across everyone’s “home” beach.  Not one person who spoke at the meeting on May 7th said that surfers do not deserve access, in fact all were supportive of surf beaches but they wanted them set aside fairly and reasonably. I believe the attached schedule provides for that.

Here are 3 key elements:

1)       Rotation of surfing beaches – This schedule provides a balanced rotation of the surfing beaches so that no one beach or neighborhood is unduly burdened with disproportionate number of surfing days.  Since the surfers currently need to travel to the surf beaches, a true “rotation” of the beaches would actually benefit them: under this plan for almost one quarter of the summer their “home” beach will be open to surfing.  The vast majority of beach goers agree and support having surfing beaches and their opposition was to an unfair distribution of the beaches.  This plan submitted limits the time each “home” beach is set aside for full day surfing only 20-22% of the summer or once every 6 weeks.  I would hope most residents, surfers and non-surfers alike would agree that this is fair and reasonable.

2)       Surf camp move with the rotation: – Since the surf camps have no fixed base of operation, it should not be an inconvenience for the surf camps to also rotate and use one of the already allocated surf beaches.  Since the companies need to load their equipment each day, whether they load onto National or Magnolia or Illinois should not be a hardship on them.  Most of the surf camps run their program from Monday to Friday so each individual session would spend the entire time on one specific beach. This rotation will also benefit those residents who avail themselves of the surf camps as they would be able to choose a session on a beach that is closer to their “home” beach, and lessen the impact of getting their children to a “fixed” location, while at the same time not subjecting one particular “home” beach to surf camp all summer long.  Yes this is a new and different approach and may be inconvenient, but I feel it is fairer for a private company to made changes rather than the taxpaying beach goers being subjected to an inconvenience

3)       Use this summer to capture definable metrics – Since there are no actual metrics on the number of surfers vs. non surfers, the city should, this summer, implement a program to objectively capture the usage patterns of the beach goers.  One possible method would be to have a lifeguard take a photo of each beach/water at the top of every hour throughout the summer. At the conclusion of this pilot program the city could analyze the data and provide a report on beach usage and use this information gathered to develop a more data driven plan for next year, a plan based on data and not on suppositions.

Shown below is a proposal for a balanced, fair and reasonable surf beach schedule.  Each surf beach location would run fromSaturday AM to Friday PM.  The “X” below represents a “Full Day Surf Beach” and an “M” represents a “Morning Surf Beach” where surfing would be permitted each morning from 9:00AM to 12 Noon.  As shown, each “home” beach would be only closed for a full day of surfing once every 6 weeks and would either be impacted with [3 weeks of full day + 1 week of Half day] or [2 weeks of full day + 3 weeks of half day].  The morning surf camps could set up camp on any of the “full day surf beaches” for that week.  If this plan works out and the data gathered this summer backs up this usage the subsequent summers could see the starting location shift, so the two cycles are not repeated on the same beach each year.

As you expressed to the community last night, the city management will be addressing the surf schedule with an eye towards alleviating the concerns raised at the meeting.  I feel that this proposed schedule does in fact address many of the concerns expressed at the meeting.  I look forward to any comments and to the ultimate resolution of this issue.


Patrick J. Maguire

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48 thoughts on “A Resident presents his Balanced Surf Schedule 2013”

  1. Its amazing how much political power these surfers have in the City. Peaking with their stopping the 2006 Army Corp plan which could have saved or mitigated the Sandy destruction of the City – they weren’t content with that, they still think the beachfront exists primarily for their hobby.

  2. Love the plan…especially the part about the rotating surf camps. I didnt move to LB to sit next to a camp every day over the summer. I get that its a great thing for the community and especially the kids, but I am tired of looking at their tent every single day. They need to rotate!

  3. Clearly none of you surf. Do you realize waves are dependent on tide, swell, wind, sandbars? This isn’t skiing. Taking away Lincoln and pacific makes no sense. About the only thing good here is making surf camps rotate with the floating beach location.

  4. Why don’t the surfers just do early AM (like 6:00 a.m.) or early PM (like 5:00 p.m.) at any beach they want? They will be out of the way of the swimmers and general public. The camps need to start at 7:00 a.m. and end by 9:00, there is no need for a tent to be set up all morning or all day. There are plenty of way surfers can get time in the water, you just need to be motivated. If you want to get up at 2:00 p.m. and roll to the beach, then go to Lincoln and deal with it.

  5. Why don’t swimmers swim before 9 and after 5. There’s plenty of time to swim if your motivated. Wake up at 2pm hoof it to lido with the rest of those pesky swimmers.

  6. Ban the swimmers. They should be limited to 6 pm to 6 am . Moonlight is fine and searchlights can be Used on dark nights. It’s light at 5 in the summer so get up early.


  8. What about the fishermen? I’ve witnessed, on many occasions, where a fisherman has been fishing since before the sun even came up and surfers just walked right into the water oblivious to where the line might be. Heaven forbid they get tangled in the line, it would be the fishermen’s fault. PS. I’m talking about fishing during the fall and winter when there obviously aren’t any swimmers

  9. My kids go to surf camp, and my understanding is that only a few of the beaches in town are good for beginning surfers. When it comes to surf camps, the safety and learning opportunities for our city’s kids needs to come into account. The local parents who use surf camp as a major summer activity do need more consistency and understanding of where there kids are.

  10. Allison, your statement is beyond dumb. First of all, it is only recently that many neighborhoods in LB were redefined as “flood zones”. The City has a rich history and was developed quite fully before you were born. While it may be impossible to guarantee the long range viability of settlement on this barrier island, sensible mitigation like protective dunes go a long way toward accomplishing the goal of protecting buildings, infrastructure, and allows for an eventual transition away from the barrier island given the increasing cost for insuring property and the fact that Sandy has left an indelible imprint on the image of living near a beach. So, enjoy your hobby so long as you are not one one the many who now engage it selfishly and poorly getting in the way of people who can actually swim and surf. Rethink your understanding of the role of our government, protection of life and property or responding to some concerns of a group that feels their wave action may be impacted by providing such protection. BTW I surf.

  11. Lancer I made dumb statement a lot but I am not certain of what I said that seemed to rub you in a weird way. I much prefer dunes and Btw I surf too.

  12. Sam, suggesting that the surfers have significant political power ignores the fact that this conversation is being held because their proposed schedule was rejected by the city. As far as the USACE plan… saved? Not a chance. Mitigated? Very minimally. The Corps plan was not designed to protect against the level of storm surge brought by Sandy. The majority of council members were opposed to it as far back as 2000, with little outcry from residents. (Disclaimer: I do not surf)

  13. Uninformed people , incapable of analytic thinking have been trying to come up with a simple scapegoat for the Sandy mess. So let’s blame a few surfers who opposed the ACE plan for the entire situation. The ACE plan was rejected for any number of valid reasons not just because a handful of surfers complained about their wave quality being deminished. Most surfers opposed the plan for it’s many failings not because of a possible loss of waves. Many surfers supported the plan. The plan would probably not have done that much in view of the immensity of Sandy. The bay was not included in the plan. The City ignored ,for six years, the alternative plans proposed. The City did nothing to nurture and replenish the dunes. in other areas where the ACE has done beach replenishment the sand has disappeared in a few years.
    But all of this is too complex for many people. So let’s blame the surfers.All of them.
    It makes things easy and we don’t have to figure out what needs to be done to prevent a recurrence.

  14. And where were all the Monday morning quarterbacks back when the plan was being debated? Could they please give us copies of the position papers they submitted in support of the plan.

  15. Beachguy, not too many people are attempting to skapegoat surfers. You are the one who is hung up on being a surfer… congratulations, you surf. Now get over it.
    Meanwhile Allison’s statement speaks for itself and “I Forgot…” you forgot the first word of my post but you are funny. The only ones to blame for the rejection of the ACE plan are the members of the City Council that voted against it while succumbing to pressure from interest groups who , despite your continued blather Beachguy, made a phony issue out of bay protection(separate and complex), talk about an alternative plan but not how that could be funded by a City with financial problems, and continue to suggest that the engineered dunes would not have mitigated ocean side destruction despite evidence to the contrary. If it makes you feel better, I also was against the ACE plan. I’m sorry we didn’t listen to Harvey Weisenberg and Morris Kramer and ACE. Now it’s time to think straight. I don’t think Allison’s statement is an example of thinking straight in the aftermath of a disaster for my neighbors and friends. Enough with the surfer stuff. PS I don’t know Allison but apologize for my rudeness in response to her post.

  16. I have no affiliation with these surf camps whatsoever. just wanted to point that out. These camps are run by individuals who were born and raised in long beach. You moved here. Move one boulevard over if you don’t want to look at their tent.

  17. I feel any plan should factor in wave size. If the waves are big enough, every beach should be open to surfers. Once waves reach a certain size, it becomes a safety issue having swimmers in the water without a “floatation device.”

  18. The rejection of the ACE plan was the fault of the council, who were in way over their heads while being in the position to vote on the matter. They caved.

    Never again. If the feds offer you a $90 something million replenishment project, you take it. Period.

  19. Lancer- I’ll lay off the surfer business when people stop simplistically laying the blame at their doorstep. Both here and on The Patch this continues to occur which only serves to distract people from analyzing the real causes of the tragedy. There are no simple answers as anyone who has given this thought realizes. It all starts with the premise that we really don’t belong living on a sandbar that was built up 100 years ago by a guy named Reynolds whose Channel now floods bayside residents. Add on overbuilding, global warming, rising sea levels, inept , neglectful City officials who failed to build up protective dunes as City policy, large cuts through the dunes, no dunes in the City center at the boardwalk, an arrogant ACE with a take it or leave it attitude and asuper storm of unprecedented proportions and we all know what happened. Sandy produced 35 foot swells at the Ambrose buoy. It was almost 1000 miles across. It caused devastation in NJ, NYC and LI. But we still see posts blaming the “surfers” for the havoc here in LB. Maybe some of these people can put their brains in gear and come up with thoughtful ideas rather than trying to suggest that a small bunch of vocal surfers are the cause of everyone’s misery. BTW- there’s no need to personalize this discussion. But if you want to I will oblige.Time for you to go out and catch a few waves. Mellow out dude.

  20. But my point is that ignoring those people and focusing on what Hamburger said is what must be done. Continuing to suggest that those ACE plans wouldn’t have protected the ocean side from the level of devastation it experienced despite expert testimony to the contrary is counterproductive as well.
    And, dear God, Hamburger, why would you threaten to skeg anyone? First of all, check the case law on that issue, you might want to increase your liability insurance. Secondly, there are many people on boogie boards, fins and torps, or waveblades who can handle as big a wave as they choose to. Some of the newbie surfers or totally out of shape surfers, flotation device or not, ought to be thinking twice before entering the hard surf, and they do, just as swimmers, boogie boarders and body surfers judge the ocean for their skill and stamina. The ocean is big. On good surf days big boards should dominate the scene with locations defined for other ocean sports like surf kayak, boogie and body. On weekdays, no reason why surfing couldn’t be every other beach. But no one owns the ocean or the waves during beach park hours. Also Beachguy, I don’t think I have personalized anything especially since there are no people involve here, just psuedonyms. But my point remains that the way to deal with this is to have the humility to accept the advice of experts and to respect the beach as a place where everyone should have a place to enjoy their sport or to simply bob in the waves. Mellow is not my thing and I’m no dude.

  21. If there is “expert testimony” that the USACE plan would have protected the ocean side from the devastation it experienced, someone please post it. If we’re going to have a serious and honest discussion about the Corps and protecting our community, we need more evidence presented on either side of this issue. I know the main discussion is about the surf schedule (my opinion: if you don’t like looking at someone’s tent, move. The beach is 3 miles long. Get some exercise) but since the USACE keeps being brought up, facts and evidence would help for that discussion to be a productive one.

  22. Keith, there have been press conferences held after the fact regarding the relative impact of areas with dunes vs not, but your point is well taken in that I was primarily referring to USACE as the engineers/experts. I know they have had some failures re engineered beaches which, along with the sand quality and surf impact issues , caused me to be happy when the plan was rejected. My comment simply refers to the highly educated engineers who have no skin in the game but the goal of protection.

  23. Lancer . You sound like a dude. But you’re right , you’re not mellow. If Hambuger intentionally skegged anyone his insurance company would disclaim coverage since intentional acts are not covered. I can’t disagree with most of what you and Keith are saying. But the fact remains that the City was negligent in not building up and nurturing the dunes through sand grass, snow fencing and Christmas trees. Not at all expensive.Many seaside communities do this regularly and escaped much of the devastation that we suffered. Unfortunately it’s a very complex issue and I don’t think there is a silver bullet answer. Would implementation of the ACE plan have ameliorated the damage? yes, probably. But it was a flawed plan in many ways and ACE was arrogant about it. This caused a lot of resentment and opposition. If someone’s crystal ball had foreseen Sandy then I suppose we should have gone along with the plan which might have lessened the damage. Someone said that if the ACE wants to spend a fortune on this project then go for it. Maybe they’re right . But I’m still anxious about where the sand is coming from what with nearby offshore areas called The Cholera
    Banks, Acid Grounds, Tin Can Grounds etc. NYC dumped their garbage not too far out for years. Stand in the water after a few days of SW winds and it’s so murky you can’t see your feet. Doesn’t sound good to me. Where are the killies, blue claws etc that we used to have?
    But so what. After a few hurricanes and northeasters most of it will be gone anyway, in my opinion. Go catch a few waves but watch out for Hambuger. Sounds like he’s a snake.

  24. I know I’ve steered this thread a bit away from surf schedule debate to Army Corps plan, but I get set off a little when I see naive revisionist history (ie, “the surfers bullied the council into voting it down”) or blanket statements suggesting that, if implemented, the Corps’ project would have saved us from Sandy. Clearly there are a few of you who have done your homework and understand that nothing about it is that simple. Full disclosure: I was editor of the Herald from ’00-03, during which we easily ran around 15-20 articles analyzing every aspect of that plan. In ’02 I wrote an editorial strongly against the project. I received exactly one letter of disasgreement – Morris Kramer, of course. He knew far more about the subject than I did, but I still felt very confidant of my position. And no one else seemed to disagree, or even much care. I also know the majority of the city council at that time was prepared to vote against it, and that was a very different council than the ’06 one that finally took the vote. I don’t have any scientific data to back me up, but personally I just don’t believe that project would have protected us from the storm surge Sandy brought. Mitigated? Maybe. But mitigation is not just a government responsibility, it’s what we ALL need to be doing now if we want to survive the next one. Earlier today, PBS ran a town hall special on Sandy that included a civil engineer from NYU – with a significant background with the ACE – who basically said that engineered beaches along the South Shore could have protected us from Sandy.. had they started the work somewhere around 1650. So, who knows. This is why I’d just like seeing any testimony or evidence of any kind on the topic, just so we can learn from it going forward. Like it or not, the Corps is now coming. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t study as much as we can about the Corps’ work, successes and failures, as well as understand our responsibilities as a city and as citizens to ensure the community survives on this island. When the water wants to come, it’s going to come. And dunes, alone, aren’t going to stop it. Which is why this is an issue that requires a lot more research and discussion than blaming the ’06 council or blaming all you damn surfers. Now as far as the surf schedule goes, here’s my thought: if you show up on the beach and there are surfers or a camp there, execute a left-face and walk half a block to the next beach! Just because it happens to be nearest to your house does not make it YOUR beach! There’s long been a sense of entitlement in this community that I really wish had been washed away by Sandy. One friend called it the “my my my” factor. Is it inconvenient? Tough. Suck it up. Focus your energy on something useful and productive that will help this town recover. Share the beach, and be thankful we still have a beach to share at all.

  25. Now you really better watch out – seriously. I may elect to skeg you if I can get close enough. I will make the decision at that time. The decision to skeg you.

  26. I’m not in disagreement with what you say Keith. I just think you are putting your spin on it. Again, there is not really any specific blame being placed, the storm was a monster. But some interest groups were actively involved and there was a Council that voted it down.
    You agree that mitigation would have been accomplished to some degree, and that Mr. Kramer and USACE know much more and that you don’t have the scientific evidence to back up your position(of what I’m not entirely clear). Yes we must all work on achieving mitigations for our properties and all around town you see this happening. Yes, we must follow the process and progress of future planning but have the humility to acknowledge the education/expertise of the USACE and recognize that at best we may have good questions (I think one is “Will the new plan take into account the recommendations of the alternative plan the City commisioned at that time?”)
    Yes, the beach should be shared. I wonder though what you mean by the YOUR beach statement… aren’t the Westholmers just saying that they would like to have one beach, to their east or west off the ramp they walk down to be unrestricted? Meaning? You walk down Monroe and can use either Licoln(east) or Monroe(west)… that is asking too much as taxpaying residents of a beach park that operated with a deficit made up by our tax $? Moms and dads with kids in tow and beach equipment ought to suck it up while carloads of out of towners get here at 7am offload onto the beach of their choice, grab an early spot(on public/ not OUR streets) to beach/surf all day without paying? So do you agree that going left or right ought to be reasonable? Most of these LBers are focusing on useful and productive things that enhance their neighborhoods, one of those things is paying about $4000/ year in real estate taxes. I don’t see the “my my my ” factor at play in anything I’ve said or in most LBers who support more surfing beaches to accomodate the growing numbers and have allowed the camps to flourish.
    Beachguy, I just hate that term dude, and yes, I am not mellow in discussing this subject as I know of some ruined lives from this event and also feel very strongly that Hamburger’s remarks re skegging underly the disagreements on this issue all too often… disagree with me, prevent me from being anywhere I want to surf or I’ll skeg you. Keith, perhaps you can comment on that type of sharing. Beachguy maybe you can come up w/ something better than noting his liability insurers wouldn’t pay due to the intentional nature of his act(I guess it is now called assault?) Anthony you have admonished others on your blog for untoward language. Really, skegging someone? I hope you make the right decision at “that time” Hamburger. I wonder though, how’d you skeg a swimmer if you are on a surfing beach?

  27. Alright, settle down. I was using the word in a figurative way. My apologies for the “untoward” language. LOL

  28. Hamburger- the problem is that there are many surfers with serious attitude problems towards ANYONE who dares to interfere with their wave. They snake people, drop in and will take a run at swimmers or boogie boarders or anyone else who gets in the way. They give all other surfers a bad name and sane Surfers pay the price. Lancer- you know, now that you mention it I’ve never met anyone named Dude. Have you? Maybe you can get a name change if you like it. Would you be Lancer Dude? Dude Lancer? lancer The Dude? And it’s intentional acts that are excluded from insurance coverage. An assault would necessarily , by definition, be such an act but they are actually two different things although very closely related. And I’m not mellow Either when I see these stupid posts, 7 years after theFact, laying the sole blame for everything on the “surfers”. That’s when I start, as you described it, to blather. But it is refreshing to see some serious discussion of the situation by you and Keith instead of the usual nonsense found here.

  29. If they gave me an attitude, they should then consider themselves as good as skegged. If not today, then down the road it would be inevitable that a skegging would have to be administered, in keeping with the Surfing Code.

  30. Thank you Beachguy and Hamburger. I’m just too old to be called dude Beachguy. And too old to get skegged Hamburger. I still appreciate your passion Hamburger. I hope you realize however that Surfing Code or not, when surfers are on a non surfing beach, skegging, snaking, and intentional drop ins ought not be part of the action and that ocean action involves all kinds of ocean sport. I think this is why there needs to be more surfing only beaches to lessen crowding and increase safety for all. Watermen ought to respect watermen at all times. It is never about injury, it’s about the joy of the experience of riding a wave, whether by kayak, paddle surfing, long board, boogie, body or waveblade. Some of these sports are incompatable in the same stretch of break, but cooperation and acknowledging the enjoyment of all is possible as is good beach management that provides the safe locations that everyone needs to enjoy their day at the beach. I think the best breaks ought to be for the surfers and that would mean that Lincoln and some other beaches not rotate. But adjacent beaches to the best break ought to be maintained for swimmers and areas within those for boogie and body so that all constituencies are addressed. Lifeguards seem to do a pretty good job of this but the rights of all need to be officially acknowledged. I haven’t done this yet, but surf kayaking while very intrusive ought to be accomodated somewhere and when surf is really good, even if boards dominate the scene as they should, reasonable accomodation must still be available for adult, properly geared, physically able body and boogie surfing during beach park hours. After hours, all bets are off. But hell Hamburger, that still doesn’t justify intentional skegging or aggro wave jumping. The ocean’s big, life is short. Not only that Hamburger, untoward is a good word as is figuratively. My genuine wishes for a good summer to both of you.

  31. No waves in the summer Dude. Oops, sorry. I meant Lancer.that’s why in a sense this entire debate is bogus. There are no waves until , at the earliest, mid August. But you do get hoards of newbies in ankle slappers and it can get crowded so there has to be an accomodation for everyone.
    Hamburger- maybe you can explain this to me since you’re probably right in the middle of things. On a good day some breaks are a bit better than others. So you’ll get 30-40 surfers packed in elbow to elbow getting a few waves but probably never alone and resulting in frustration and anger. Meanwhile 2. Beaches down , where the waves might be not quite as good, there are 3 people out picking off one wave after the other. Herd mentality? Hubris(I’m better than all those Lancers out there and will out surf and skeg all of them). Where i hang out with all the Lancers? Theres a Lancer on the beach with a camera and i probably will end up on the cover of Surfer? Seen this all over the world. Do you do hot dogs too? Maybe you can start training for the Nathans contest. Joey Chestnut watch out.No surf in Coney Island though.

  32. Guys, I just skimmed through some comments and it’s getting ugly here. You are all neighbors. Hate to do this, but gonna have to lock the tread. There will be an update posted by Patrick the author. Just please be kind when you comment.

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