In a nut shell…Volcom had a contest at El Porto and this is the way it looked the following day. I was livid and decided to pipe up about it.
Here is the email I sent to the Manhattan Beach City Government, the County, Surfrider and Heal the Bay.
I’m not sure who is responsible for issuing permits for Surf Contests but here are a few shots of how the Volcom organizers left El Porto after their event on Saturday the 9th.
There is no acceptable excuse to litter a beach like this. Even if the trash can is full you can always walk down to another trash can, (they’re as far as the eye can see), not to mention most of the debris could and should have been recycled.
I am sickened by this episode and hope that someone has to answer for this Third World mentality.
In the future I hope you think twice about giving these guys the right to use our local beaches.
Sincerely, Michael Durand
Here, in chronological is the way the incident was somewhat resolved through a Volcom intermediary..
I received an email about Volcom abusing our beaches via a very good
friend of mine Ron Roebuck.
I am so stoked to see the fire from another south bay local fighting
to preserve our beaches. Good for you. The south bay by default is
one of the only surfable and therefore most impacted beaches in LA.
That is something you and I as locals need to oversee. And thanks for
people like you, there is someone who can actually take action when
our beaches are taken advantage of. Good on ya!
Upon receipt of our friends email I felt I would simply alert the
company of what was going on and how it was affecting our beaches. I
felt as a native of MB, long standing resident of 36 years in the
South Bay, an event promoter, and a veteran of the surf industry
(many of the years dealing direct with Volcom) had the right to alert
Volcom of what was happening in respect to their latest event in El
I understand your frustration, I believe Volcom does, and I believe
that every single surfer understands your mission as it is a
fundamental component to our longevity as humans let alone surfers.
However, there are always circumstances that deviate our ability to
maintain those core values that we believe in. I believe that is what
has happened in this case.
– The city told them to stack the trash around the cans and the city
would pick the trash up
– They left the trash there and the seagulls got to it
– they clean up after every event they have. more often leaving it
more clean than before.
I know the people that run the Volcom events from the highest level (Troy Powell, Troy Eckert and Brad Dougherty) and understated them as well as anyone, and trashing our beach was not their intention.
Apparently there was a major misunderstanding. And as I see it, the
best way to handle these situations going forward is to contact the
Volcom Crew directly before going to the city. The fact is, we are
all trying to do good things for the South Bay and if we can work
together we can collectively keep the beach clean and promote the
sport of surfing…
We are all people who love the ocean and in turn all friends:) Hope
we can work this out.
A Contestant from the contest throws his 2 cents into the ring
Mike-Are you kidding me with this public bashing? As a participant
in the Volcom SeaSlug Series I am blown away by your lack of knowledge as to what transpired on Feb. 9th @ El Porto. The Volcom organizers make it a point at every event location to organize a trash collection by event participants. I personally witnessed an LA County Beaches and Harbors employee give instructions to stack the trash around the trash cans. It amazes me how some people can go public with shit they have no clue about. I see you have since taken down the pictures at Porto after the “trashing” that was done. Hmmm?? Could it be because the trashing was done by the ever present flying “rat”?
Sorry you were upset when you showed up at Porto on the 9th only to find the Volcom contest “taking over” your waves. I understand the waves were good that morning and the contest was set up in front of a crumbling right, but no reason for the bashing. Do you have a patent on the “3rd World Mentality” phrase? It seems to be your go to phrase.
Anyways, do me and a lot of other people a favor and get your facts straight before going public with accusations. And also please put the pictures back up of the “trashing”, they were classic.
Did the LA County Beaches and Harbors employee tell them not to recycle any of that stuff either…looks like boxes, plastic and aluminum to me, and guess what, I walked over there the next morning to investigate and sure enough, it was! As for your flying rat theory, there are now lids on the cans so if the trash, (or recyclable materials), were evenly dispersed, and not piled onto, or next to one can, the gulls wouldn’t have had an opportunity to pull shit out. If that particular can had no lid put one foot in front of the other…there are about a hundred more to choose from.
Common sense should have prevailed. Lug it in and lug it out, end of discussion. There is no reasonable excuse for that shit and yes it is a Third World mentality! I have no personal vendetta against Volcom or surf contests, just people who don’t respect the environment.
You can spin it any way you want but the end result is trash on the
Best Regards, MD
PS, I never took the pics down I just recycled them to another page.
In hindsight I probably should have contacted Volcom first but even with the excuses I still feel the same way. I pasted a correspondence I had yesterday with a Volcom contestant so you can see the reasoning behind my outburst. I am not out to trash Volcom and do not plan on pursuing this any further. I just think that someone needs to speak up…
Thanks for your response.
I am stoked you spoke up. Regardless of what happened with the Volcom event, since you spoke up, I guarantee you that event organizers in the south bay will walk the trash to an empty can instead of waiting for Waste Management to pick it up. That is a good thing. In the end, I guess my point is that we are all part of the same surfing community and should give each other the benefit of the doubt. If we can’t work together who can:) Thanks for your attention to this Mike. You are coming from a good place and we need more people to think like you.
I have never met you but have heard good things about you form mutual friends and look forward to meeting you someday soon. I also hope the opportunity presents itself (or I can present it) to introduce you to Troy Powell who runs the Volcom events from a management standpoint. He is a passionate surfer and very good guy. Perhaps this all can end up benefiting the community from an environmental and from a local events perspective.
I appreciate you getting back to me MIke. Stoked we had this correspondence.
Sounds Good Jeff,
Like I said, I’m not trying to bring Volcom down…I would had done the same thing had my Mother trashed the beach. I’m not in this to make enemies and I definitely hope the surf community can work together to not only educate the public but set an example of how to treat the environment. I’m not really a soap box type of guy but my website has put me in a position where I can do some positive things. Our world can be a fu%#ed up place and instead of just conceding that I want to make a difference whenever possible.
I have no hard feelings for the brass at Volcom but whoever was in charge of that contest needs a little shot of common sense.
Good job, the both of you. I see no problem with Mike putting the photos up. And, I think we have all learned from the experience.I know from watching Mike’s website that his heart is in trying to help our ocean environment, and I am glad that he has used the website as a means to push for the unacceptable way our beaches are treated. He saw a situation and commented on it. I don’t think that there was malice toward Volcom intended. Some people got a little hot, and sometimes that’s a good thing; I am willing to bet that the situation won’t happen again, even if the county guys (who probably couldn’t care less) told them to stack them up by the can, the extra yard will be taken to be sure the trash gets where it is supposed to go.
Here are my communications with the County
Your email regarding trash left on site after the Volcom surf contest on February 9 was received via the City of Manhattan Beach and Supervisor Knabe’s field office.
We adamantly agree with you that this should not have happened and have contacted the representative from Volcom to express our dissatisfaction with the way the beach was left after the contest. I believe they have a very clear picture of what is expected and doubt that this will happen again. It’s a shame we can’t have this same conversation with much of the beach-going public. It is our understanding that you have been contacted directly by Volcom with regard to this matter.
We appreciate your bringing this to our attention and should you have any concerns or questions in the future, please feel free to contact us.
I certainly hope they get a little more than a verbal warning from the county. That’s a multi-million dollar company that thinks they can do whatever they want to, wherever they want to, (and they market themselves as environmentalists).
How about, at the very least, a 2 year ban from using the LA county beaches for their events. Or maybe a Volcom sponsored beach clean up… Their contests don’t pump any bonus revenue into the community and are little more than the equivalent of an aquatic little league game.
I for one am fed up with the “someone else will clean up my mess” attitude and don’t think the county should be so quick to forgive and forget.
I truly feel that a harsher punishment is needed to convey that this type of disregard for the environment is unacceptable!
Finally, no, Volcom didn’t contact me.
Please let me know how you plan on handling this matter, and by the way, what does getting a surf contest permit entail?
Best regards, Mike
Although the Department of Beaches and Harbors respects your opinion, we have done what we consider appropriate at this time and we consider this matter closed.
With regard to beach use permits, we have a policy in the El Porto area, which was put in place by the Lifeguard Division. The number of surf contest are limited to five per year, with only one per month, no holiday weekends and all contests in this area must be held at 42nd St.
A Permittee completes an on-line application, which is processed and must be approved by the lifeguard captain of the area. The permit fee is $150, with a refundable security deposit, based on the number of attendees. If there are entry fees or sponsorship attached to the event, the County is entitled to gross receipts (10% for participants under 18 and 15% for 18 and older). We require an insurance certificate with limits of One Million General Liability, with an Aggregate of Two Million and an Additional Insured Endorsement, naming the County of Los Angeles as an Additional Insured.