Surfing Soapbox: Another long winter storm hits us

The pineapple express is certainly in full effect with relentless rain now going onto the fifth day. It's been at least five years since the last winter like this that I remember and we all know how that year ended up — with the devastating landslide in Bluebird Canyon on June 1, 2005.

And who can forget the winter of 1997-98, when it seemed that every other week, downtown Laguna was flooded, and then there was the horrifying slide in Laguna Canyon. Specifically the Castlerock slide, that lead to the death of one and the heroic rescue of a toddler.

There's a long list of major storm winters and everyone is sure to remember the infamous one of 1984-85. I do as well; I'm just short on actual details, except for one unbelievable photograph that appeared that year in Surfer magazine of an incredibley huge left that was being ridden by a goofy footer.

Speaking of surfing, I was in total shock yesterday driving by Aliso Creek and seeing three surfers out in the muddy and contaminated water. I couldn't even begin to imagine how polluted that water was and is. Believe me when I tell you it's not worth it because I live every day with Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and now, I'm sure there is something even worse out there lurking in those waters.

I've learned my lesson on surfing in contaminated water. Sure, make Laguna Beach a marine reserve, but until we start cleaning up our own mess here on land, will it ever really be a marine reserve?

Because I'm pretty sure that urban runoff has a worse effect on our local fisheries and marine life than our local lobster and fisherman. Long live Laguna traditions and culture in memory of the seven-year anniversary of Joey Petrovich's passing. I wish he were around for this, because I know his commentary and banter on this fishing ban would be nothing less than classic.


JAMES PRIBRAM is a Laguna Beach native, professional surfer and John Kelly Environmental Award winner. His websites include AlohaSchoolofSurfing and ECOWarrior He can be reached at Jamo@Aloha

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