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SANTA MONICA BAY : Chevron Will Build Reef to Re-Create Surfing Spots

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Chevron agreed to create an artificial reef in the Santa Monica Bay to make up for the surfing spots that disappeared after the oil company built a jetty in El Segundo, it was announced today.

The joint agreement between Chevron, the Surfrider Foundation and the California Coastal Commission is the first time a major corporation, public agency and citizens group have joined forces to re-create surfing spots, said Surfrider Foundation Executive Director Jake Grubb.

“It has become fundamental in our society that precious resources such as wetlands, forest habitats and endangered species must be preserved and restored,” Grubb said. “This is the first time in modern history that ocean waves have been recognized and valued in the very same way.”

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Chevron will help restore surf breaks that were lost when the company built a rock jetty to protect tankers docking at an offshore terminal. The jetty, south of a popular surfing spot called El Porto, was built after the fierce winter storms of 1983-84 hammered the bay.

The oil company got permission to build the jetty only after agreeing to evaluate the impact of the jetty on surf conditions over time.

Surfrider Foundation spokeswoman Michelle Kremer said other artificial reefs have been created in the past--usually by sinking an old ship in shallow waters--but those were created for fishing, not surfing. This marks the first time an artificial reef will be built in the United States for the sole purpose of creating waves for surfing.

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