SMYRNA ON THE ROCKS

posted by / News / December 18, 2003

Only you can prevent the destruction of New Smyrna Beach. Once again the Army Corps of Engineers has set its sights on the destruction of another A class wave. Plans to extend the south end jetty of the Ponce de Leon Inlet threaten the survival of Florida’s most consistent surf spot.Most surfers recognize New Smyrna as the Sunshine State’s most popular playground, a favorite spot for everyone from aerial prince Aaron Cormican, to four-time World Champ Lisa Andersen. As current touring WCTer Shea Lopez says, “Smyrna, you’ve got the whole three to four hundred yards to surf, maybe even more; that whole beach peaks up like little Duranbah or something.” However, to non-surfers it serves as just another boating inlet, necessary for fishing and recreation. And, with shoaling making the inlet harder to navigate, the powers that be will do anything to protect it.New Smyrna’s Ponce de Leon Inlet today is a long north end jetty and shorter south end jetty; a formation that produces a well-concentrated energy of waterpower toward the south end jetty and gives birth to the renowned waves. By extending the southern jetty the ACE hopes to maintain safe and navigable ocean access through the inlet, adding 1,000 feet to the south end jetty the hazardous interior shoaling in the channel will be forced to retreat. Though this may all seem fine and dandy in theory, the effects of this project on the surfing community could be sdevastating if the waves are affected.As New Smyrna stands as one of Florida’s greatest surfing resources, a visceral voice of concern has arisen from surfers around the country and petitions are already filling with signatures. “I’ve had guys from Maine to Miami calling me to express their concern and asking if there was anything they could do to help,” says NSB shaper and activist Randy Richenberg. There is.Go to the Save Smyrna Inlet website, and sign their online petition. State contacts are also available in order to persuade people to voice their opinions directly with leaders who have influential power in the jetty extension project.As the development of water structures become more commonplace and more often a threat to world-class waves the surfing community must become more involved with standing guard over state actions and become more involved with preservation. In the words of Shea Lopez, “Smyrna’s the spot.” Help keep it that way. Danny GalliganiFor More Information or to Sign a Petition go to:
www.savesmyrnainlet.orgPhoto courtesy of Eastern Surf Magazine. For more East Coast coverage go to www.easternsurf.com

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