Sunday, April 13, 2014

Celebrate Mother Nature in April – Part II

Earth Day – April 22
Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel hold the exclusive rights to the following copyrighted material. For permission to reprint or excerpt it and/or link it to another website, contact them at 

Earth Day, which was started in 1970, was created from flower power – when hippies turned their attention from protest movements and love-ins to focusing on Mother Nature.

Realizing that, if they didn’t do anything, the earth would be overtaken by toxic chemicals and pollution, people rallied together, channeling their energies into safeguarding the environment.   

Since then Earth Day has become an event with worldwide activities dedicated to promoting ways to protect the planet.

Local communities in Orange County will be holding events you can get involved in at schools, parks and beaches to collect trash, plant trees, and help with other beautification projects.

SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel learned that the Earth Day Network (EDN), the non-profit conservation organization that oversees Earth Day, has many plans to protect the earth’s natural resources of water, energy, and wildlife.

Its Green Cities and Green Schools programs are helping to educate people about sustainable practices to reduce pollution and waste and to safeguard the environment.


Through EDN’s Acts of Green project you can get involved, too. There are lots of ways, like planting vegetables in your garden.

Sunny and Patti helped her husband Greg plant these tomatoes...and SurfWriter Cat Smokey helped, too.


You can also grow fresh herbs to liven up your meals.

SurfWriter Girls’ friend Ed Acosta’s garden…

has all the herbs in Simon & Garfunkel’s song Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme.


EDN is also asking people to join in its Canopy Project to plant trees in our communities, providing shelter from the sun and filtering the air.

There are many other things you can do to help, as well – year round.

So, check out what your community has planned for Earth Day and see what you can do to lend a hand. 

Now that spring is here, it’s time “to open” the door…

to experiencing the spirit of ohana and to all the new “acts of green” that we can do to honor Mother Nature.  
  Happy Spring!

Happy Easter!

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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Celebrate Mother Nature in April – Part I

Surfrider’s Ohana Day – April 13

Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel hold the exclusive rights to the following copyrighted material. For permission to reprint or excerpt it and/or link it to another website, contact them at  

The month of April’s name comes from the Romans and means “to open.” It refers to the season when trees and flowers begin to open and bloom.

SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel think that this makes April the perfect month to celebrate Mother Nature. And, fortunately, there are two special days to do it – Surfrider’s Ohana Day in Seal Beach, on April 13, and Earth Day, April 22.

Ohana Day celebrates the spirit of ohana, which originated in Polynesia. It was ohana – the belief that “we are all connected to each other and to the earth itself” – that emboldened the early Polynesian seafarers to make their long, migratory journey in outrigger canoes to the Hawaiian Islands in 200 A.D.

Likening themselves to the shoots of the taro plant, which come from a common bulb (oha), the Polynesians felt that we are all one family (ohana) and must work together, taking care of each other, and honoring the land that nurtures us all. 

“Ohana is all about the kids and showing them how to respect others and the environment,” said Tony Soriano, Chairperson of the Surfrider Foundation Huntington Beach/Seal Beach Chapter.

Surfrider is hosting its annual Ohana Day celebration Sunday, April 13, from 9 am – 1 pm, at the Seal Beach Pier. SurfWriter Girls love this fun-filled beach day that brings friends and families together to relax and learn about our earth – especially the ocean.

Volunteers from event sponsor Kohl’s will be out in full force joining Surfrider and the community in a beach cleanup. 

There will be lots of time for fun and environmental education activities, too…free surf lessons from Michael Pless Sr. and the M&M Surf School team, 

a marine biology class provided by Science to U., 

and a body boarding clinic put on by Alternative Surf.

Plus lifeguard try-outs to watch, music, and a raffle with prizes from local businesses.

Surfrider is eager to share information about its many environmental programs, which include:

Blue Water Task Force water quality testing,

Rise Above Plastics to get rid of plastic in the ocean, 

Ocean Friendly Gardens sustainable, non-polluting gardens,

Butts Out to get cigarette butts off the beach, and more.

There will be lots to do on Ohana Day. So wax your surfboard, slather on some sun screen, and join the party at Seal Beach! 

To be continued – Join SurfWriter Girls Sunny and Patti to find out ways to celebrate Earth Day on April 22.

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Monday, March 24, 2014

It’s Time to Help California’s Sea Otters

Your Tax Donation Makes a Big Difference

Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel hold the exclusive rights to the following copyrighted material. For permission to reprint or excerpt it and/or link it to another website, contact them at  


California’s sea otters are as iconic a part of our coastline as surfers on boards riding the waves. Just seeing the otters playing with delight in the ocean and diving for abalone and mussels will put a smile on your face.

Happy as they appear, though, the otters need your help. Over the years their population has dropped considerably due to hunting, disease, pollution, oil spills, and more.

In 1977 sea otters became a protected group under the Endangered Species Act and since then their population has stabilized at around 3,000.

Now that it’s tax season you can help the otters simply by designating a voluntary contribution to them on your tax form. If each person gives a little, it can make a big difference to the otters.

SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel talked to Dana Michaels, a spokesperson for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, to find out more. Michaels explained, “The voluntary tax check-off program makes it easy to help the otters and other endangered species.”

There are two programs in particular that Michaels pointed out.

Both programs are listed in the “Contributions” section of your California State Tax Form: California Sea Otter Fund, Line 410, and Rare and Endangered Species Preservation Program, Line 403.

Michaels emphasized, “Thanks to people who make these voluntary contributions on their tax form we can save important wildlife research programs that benefit everyone.”

The California Sea Otter Fund provides crucial funding to help scientists learn about and trace the causes of sea otter mortality, examine the factors limiting population growth, and prevent pollution of California's marine ecosystem.

This fund is especially critical now, given that the bad economy has decreased or even eliminated support for sea otter conservation and research.

To see the otters for yourself, check out their page on Facebook.

Like us on Facebook!

The Rare and Endangered Species Preservation Program helps ensure that critical habitat for California’s endangered plants and animals is conserved for future generations. 

Did you know that California supports more than 5,000 native plants and more than 1,000 native animals? At least one-third of these plants and two-thirds of the animals are “endemic species” – species that are found nowhere else in the world.

But, many of these species have been pushed to the brink of extinction and more than 300 are designated by the state as rare, threatened or endangered. Some of the reasons for this include loss of habitat, water management conflicts, invasive species, hunting, and climate change.

These animals and plants are part of our heritage and need our support. By donating whatever you can to the Rare and Endangered Species Preservation Program you can help save California’s wildlife.

In talking to Michaels, SurfWriter Girls were reminded that, in helping the sea otters and other endangered species in the wild, we are also helping ourselves since we are all mutually dependent on each other.

“In wildness is the preservation of the world.”


Henry David Thoreau, 1817-1862

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