What We’re Fighting For

How many t-shirts you got? 10? 50? {{{100}}}? Even if you had a 1000, it wouldn't be enough to scrawl "Save [insert surf spot here]" and cover all the different breaks threatened by the move to expand oil exploration off the East Coast.

Right now, a mob of concerned citizens are gathering in Atlantic City, New Jersey for the region's sole public hearing on the matter, and though their reasons range from environmental (every rig put up multiples the chance at disaster) to economic (the money being offered to coastal states the smallest fraction of what they take in annual from clean beaches), as surfers we have a more personal motivation: the waves themselves. After all, with areas being put up for {{{lease}}} opening up virgin territory from Maine to Miami, every break in between is now officially at risk: be it Sebastian Inlet, Cape Hatteras, Ruggles or just the sandbar at the end of your block. One big hurricane; one crashed tanker, and entire wave-riding communities will be out of the water for months — minimum.

So, take a look at these 10 photos to see all the different types of waves we stand to lose – and multiply it by 100. Then, if you are anywhere near Atlantic City, NJ come out to tell the government not to gamble your way of life on a petroleum longshot — you have until 8pm to make a statement . If you're on the Gulf Coast, be in New Orleans on April 8. The West Coast? San Francisco on April 16. If you can't make any of the meetings, submit a written comment. And no matter where you are, go to Nottheanswer.org to learn the ins and outs of this issue. Then >send a letter to every one of your elected officials. In one minute you can help save countless breaks for centuries — faster than you can sign a single t-shirt.

For more info on the four meetings, go to the DOI's official website. And for other stories on the financial implications on this issue, click here and and here.

Boca / South Florida

Blue water. Massive numbers of surfers. Some of the only living coral in the whole mainland US. Do your really need another reason to keep oil rigs away from South Florida? Boca opens its big fat mouth.

Florida Panhandle

Yes, the Gulf already has rigs, we know: between Rita and Katrina 750,000 gallons of petroleum products spilled into it as a result. And that number can only increase with the number of platforms – and the number of tropical systems. Florida Panhandle: dirty but still clean – for now.


New England is home to some of the richest coastlines anywhere. For surfers, that means waves; for coastal homeowners, it means money. Remind the wealthy that though their energy portfolio's stand to gain a few points – their property values and surrounding tourist industries stand to lose everything. Maine.

Outer Banks

Powerful winds. Shallow sandbars. Smack dab in hurricane alley. The same elements that make the Outer Banks the most punchy spot on the East Coast is the same reason they call the offshore shoals "the Graveyard of the Atlantic" — home to more than 2,000 shipwrecks since records began. Great place to seek and ship hazardous materials, right? Right? Wrong.

New Jersey

It only took four decades, but New Jersey's gone from being the 'armpit of the Northeast" to the tits — one of the top zones for both talent, and surf potential; home to such epic waves as Casino Pier, Manasquan Inlet, and countless rifling jetties in between. Why dump on it now?


Used to be NSB surfers cried "NBK" – "nobody knows, nobody cares." Then came Gorkin and Johnston . . .the Geiselmans and Schweizers…and so on..and so on…and so on. Today, the whole surf world knows about New Smyrna Beach. Now they need to show they care.

New York

Sick barrels. Epic points. Manhattan to one side; Montauk to the other. One good trip, and we all love New York. So prove it.

Reef Road

You think you got problems? Try living in Palm Beach where the Bahamas bar you in the summer, rich bastards bar you during winter, and a solid north turns Reef Road into a battlefield. A rare 'refraction swell's about the only hope locals got to cling to. In other words: these guys need oil platforms like they need another blind old lady behind the wheel.

Sebastian Inlet

We're not gonna lie: Sebastian Inlet of old has been MIA for years. Still, no spot in the US is home to more world titles, more 'CT players, or more sheer history and modern influence. (Hello: aerials.) Risking an oil spill here is like risking disaster where the pilgrims landed or Jamestown's settlers first stopped for a rest. Shit: come to think of it, that's exactly what they're trying to do off of Cape Cod and Virginia!

South Beach

Four words: "Supermodels smothered in oil." (And not in a good way.) South Beach.