Sunday, January 18, 2009


Up to this point, the Music Outreach Program has based a lot of its work around Surfrider's national Save Trestles Campaign. When conducting outreach at shows, we educated every music fan that we spoke with about this campaign.

"Save Trestles" is a campaign to save California's San Onofre State Park, 6 miles of beaches, a Native American burial ground, a nature conservancy, 9 endangered species, a state campground serving low income residents, biking/jogging paths, and a famous surf spot (Trestles) from the construction of a private 16-mile, $9/trip toll road, and a housing development.

Surfrider has been working on this campaign for 10+ years, in partnership with the Sierra Club, CA State Parks Foundation, Natural Resources Defense Council, Endangered Habitats League, Sea and Sage Audubon Society, Defenders of Wildlife, WildCoast and countless others.

For more information about the campaign, click here.

Or check out this fantastic video, produced by Huell Howser.

In addition to educating music fans about the campaign, and how this would set a precedent for allowing development in our state parks, nationwide, we asked music fans to sign a petition to save Trestles.

By February of 2008 we had collected 26 pages of signatures, representing concerned music fans hailing from California, Washington, DC, South Carolina, New Jersey, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Texas, North Carolina, Nevada, Hawaii, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, and even St Croix in the US Virgin Islands.

On February 6, 2008 the California Coastal Commission held what turned out to be a historic public hearing in San Diego, to determine if the proposed development for the park was in keeping with California state law.

Since a member of the Washington, DC Chapter could not be present at the hearing, we contacted the California Coastal Commission staff, and learned how to submit our petition signatures, and a coverletter declaring our opposition to the development, for the hearing record. Then, we partnered with Dana Flach, a member of Surfrider's San Diego Chapter, who was kind enough to present our petition signatures to the commissioners, in person, at the hearing.

You can see Dana make her statement, here:

Since the hearing was streaming live on the internet, I was able to watch Dana make her speech from my apartment in Washington, DC. Thanks again, Dana!

You can see more footage from the historic hearing, here:

Check out this LA Times article, for more details about the day.

After the California Coastal Commission rejected the development proposal, 8-2, that day, the developers appealed to the US Secretary of Commerce. The US Secretary of Commerce agreed to hold a public hearing, to give the public the opportunity to voice their concerns to the Secretary of Commerce. That hearing took place on September 22, 2008 at San Diego's Del Mar Fairgrounds.

I happened to be in San Diego at the time of the US Secretary of Commerce hearing, and was able to represent the Washington, DC Chapter in person. It was soooooo exciting! I was joined by several members of the Washington, DC Chapter, who have recently relocated to San Diego - Darryl, Peggy, and Jonathan.

In advance of the hearing, I submitted my formal request to make a public statement during the hearing, and was very excited when I was assigned a speaking number - #318. Unfortunately, when the hearing ended at 8:30pm, there were still about 80 people ahead of me, who also didn't get a chance to speak. Ah well! As you can see from the slideshow below, at least I was present all day, and did a lot of sign waving:)

Surfrider - and all of the music fans who signed our petition, plus all of the artists, management, venue staff, and our friends at Walther Productions who made this all possible - received some great news on December 18, 2008, when the Department of Commerce announced that it would uphold the California Coastal Commission's decision!

The proposed development project is FINALLY, OFFICIALLY ILLEGAL under California state and federal law! Woooohoooooooooo!!!!!!

Thanks again to everyone who made the Music Outreach Program's contribution to this historic victory, possible.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Donavon Frankenreiter - The Recher - 11/21/2006

Review by Nicole Parisi-Smith. Originally posted to the Surfrider Washington, DC Chapter message board on December 4, 2006 ---

Megan Kelley and I tabled at Donavon Frankenreiter's show at the Recher in Towson, MD on Nov 21st. It was a big success!!

It was a sold-out show, and it was a really fun crowd. We met a lot of great people, who had traveled to the Recher from all over the region, in order to see Donavon. A lot of fans already knew about Surfrider, and were familiar with the Save Trestles Campaign. We thanked fans who donated to the cause with Save Trestles gear - tshirts and trucker hats. We actually ran out of hats! My favorite moment of the night was watching a fan take the hat, and then immediately place it on his head. Since he was a bigger guy, I could see the hat, all night, bopping around the room:)

We collected fans' names and email addresses for the chapter email list, and signatures on the national Save Trestles Campaign petition.

Thanks to Julie and Galen for lending Megan and I a folding table, and for providing us with the tabling merchandise. Thanks to Darryl for lending us the Save Trestles Campaign materials. Thanks to Donavon's tour manager, Hugh, for allowing us to table, and for helping us set up that night! We really appreciated the support! Finally, thanks to the Recher staff, and Walther Productions, who were so helpful and accomodating.

photo: Nicole and Megan after the 9/7/2008 Jack Johnson show in Camden, NJ.

The Wood Brothers & Piers Faccini - Rams Head On Stage - 2/6/2007

Review by Nicole Parisi-Smith. Originally posted to the Surfrider Washington, DC chapter message board on February 7, 2007 ---

I got to the venue (Rams Head On Stage, in Annapolis, MD) before the doors opened and had no problem getting in, or setting up. Piers' road manager, Peter, was great and put me in touch with the venue's manager. Megan Kelley was going to join me but got stuck at work- thanks for trying, Meg!

I set the materials up on the baby grand piano to the right of the stage, and hung our chapter banner from the front of the piano.

This was a seated show- venue serves finger food and drinks during the shows. As people came into the show and sat down at the tables, I approached most of the customers, told them about Surfrider, put in a plug for Brett Dennen and Piers Faccini, talked about the Save Trestles Campaign, and gave them copies of our December 06 magazine and Save Trestles info sheets to read while they were waiting for the show to start. People were really receptive- they listened to my pitch, anyway, and at least 2 customers were already Surfrider members:)

I hung out by the piano, next to the stage, wearing a Save Trestles t-shirt, and made sure I was visible to fans who wanted to come up to sign the Save Trestles petition I had mentioned when I handed out magazines.

In the course of this I met Wayne from Everloving, which is Piers' record label, and a gentleman from XM Radio. They were wonderful, and Wayne told me that Surfrider is more than welcomed to table at ANY Everloving artist show we want to! Everloving put out Jack Johnson's first album. See for a list of the label's artists.

Piers' set was fantastic, but too short (about 45 minutes)- I wish they could have played longer. The sound was great, and they received lots of positive feedback from the crowd.

Piers, who plays the guitar, was joined on stage by Adam Topol on drums and Jose Esquivel on bass. Both Adam and Jose are in another band, Culver City Dub Collective. Adam is also in Jack Johnson's band. Adam wore a "Save Trestles" button on stage and asked about the t-shirts, but unfortunately we were out of size large. Jose took a DC Surfrider sticker for his guitar case. After the show, they helped me pack up the table and asked me questions about Trestles.

The Wood Brothers were also fantastic- they put on a great show with a stand up bass and guitar. Made me want to take out the violin I gave up years ago and start playing again:) Educated a bunch of people about Surfrider, got some signatures on the Save Trestles Campaign petition, and handed out some stickers and buttons.

Thanks to all who made this night possible!

ALO & Brett Dennen & Lucas Reynolds - The State Theater - 5/5/2007

Review by Nicole Parisi-Smith.

This show was a co-bill: ALO played a set, and then Brett Dennen played a set. Lucas Reynolds, of the band Blue Merle, opened the show.

Brett was joined on stage by drummer Randy Schwartz, and ALO bassist Steve Adams.

The musicians and their managers were very welcoming to the Washington, DC Chapter, and were excited to have us there! It was a great show!

One of the highlights of the show was when Zach Gill, who plays the keys for ALO (and also for Jack Johnson) gave us a shout-out from the stage, during their set. This was thanks to Surfrider member Jeff DiNunzio, who I met for the first time, at the show. Unbenownst to the Surfrider table, Jeff wrote a message about Trestles on the back of a Washington, DC Chapter sticker, and proactively handed it to Zach, who read it from the stage. Thanks, Jeff!!

Thanks to Jason Rubin, who came to the show to help me run the Surfrider table!

Xavier Rudd - 8x10 & 9:30 Club - 7/28/2007 & 7/29/2007

Review by Nicole Parisi-Smith.

Thanks to support from the concert promoters, Walther Productions, we were able to set up a table at both of Xavier's DC-area shows. Saturday night at the 9:30 Club, and Sunday night at the 8x10. Thanks to Eli Kiljanek, who helped me run the table at the 9:30 Club!

These were fantastic shows. Xavier has a really dedicated fanbase. At the 9:30 Club show, our booth served as a meeting place for fans who had come to the show from all over the region, and were staying at area hotels. I really enjoy providing a conduit not just for us to engage in conversations with fans about Surfrider and the artists, but also as a conduit for fans to meet each other, and make new friends.

I have a lot of respect for Xavier because he strongly supports ocean conservation issues, including Australian free surfer Dave Rastovich's stance against the slaughter of dolphins and whales. Check out this video, filmed at an Xavier Rudd show, towards the end of 2007:

The 8x10 show was a lot of fun, too. It was a sold-out show, and fans were standing out in front of the venue before the show started, holding big hand-made signs indicating that they were looking for tickets for sale. I saw a lot of fans get in that way, which was awesome:) I heard that Xavier had wanted to say hello, but did not have a chance to come by the Surfrider table. Thanks to everyone who made this possible!

ALO - 8x10, The State Theatre - 10/12/2007 & 10/13/2007

Review by Nicole Parisi-Smith. Originally posted to the Surfrider Washington, DC Chapter message board on November 1, 2007 ---

Both of the ALO shows went really well.

The band gave a shout out to Surfrider from the stage on both nights and mentioned one of our campaigns. They were really interested in the plastic marine debris information that I printed out for them off of Captain Charlie Moore's Algalita Marine Research Foundation website.

Zach Gill (keys) stuck a Save Trestles sticker on one of his instrument cases. Their manager, Jenna, took a DC Chapter sticker for her scrapbook:)

I tabled by myself on Friday night at the 8x10. Eli Kiljanek tabled with me on Sat night at the State. In both cases we met a bunch of Surfrider members who haven't come out to an event in a while. We encouraged them to come out to movie night, etc!

We also collected signatures on Surfrider National's BEACH Act petition addressed to US Senators from MD and VA, and also continued to collect signatures on the Save Trestles petition.

We handed out the sustainable seafood guides to fans(which Dan from ALO was very interested in) and info on plastic marine debris.

It was a lot of fun! Thanks again to Eli, and to Jenna, ALO, the 8x10, and the State!

The John Butler Trio - 9:30 Club - 11/6/2007

photos: Nicole Parisi-Smith, Joyce Rosado, Eric Dean; JBT; Nicole and Joyce

Review by Nicole Parisi-Smith. Originally posted to the Surfrider Washington, DC Chapter message board on November 10, 2007 ---

Previous note -
Just wanted to let everyone know that we will be tabling on Tues Nov 6 2007 at the John Butler Trio show at the 9:30 Club.

The John Butler Trio is sponsored by Clif Bar's Green Notes Program. The band is working with MusicMatters to green their current tour. Media is handled by Grist.

from the Clif website:

CLIF Bar and GreenNotes are incredibly proud to team up with JBT to help them grow their message of hope and peace on the road, and to give fans a Good Excuse to join them. Through the partnership with CLIF Bar, JBT is taking the following steps on tour:

Fuelling the tour bus with biodiesel
Offering an organic cotton t-shirt option to fans
Using 100% recycled paper and soy based inks for all printed materials Reducing the amount of waste produced while on tour
Recycling on board the bus and backstage at venues
Requesting organic food backstage at all shows
Minimizing the idling of their bus when not in use
Staying at hotels identified as more sustainable
Offsetting the tour's remaining CO2 emissions by purchasing renewable wind energy credits from NativeEnergy

They are inviting one non-profit to table at each show. We were selected to partner with JBT on Tues Nov 6. Woohooo!

We were invited to send 2 volunteers. Joyce and I will be there. If you are coming to the show then please come by to say hello!

Our website will be featured on Our info isn't up yet, however. So check back soon!

Thanks to the John Butler Trio, Clif Bar, MusicMatters and Grist!

Show Review -
Joyce Rosado and I received help on Tuesday night from chapter member Eric Dean who came to the show on his own. Thanks, Eric!

It was a great night.

The night started off with a brief meeting with JBT's tour manager. We then found JBT's merch manager, Julie, who had the MusicMatters, Clif Bar and Grist materials for us, for the table. Another member of the tour crew stopped by our table to learn about Surfrider. Julie asked us for some Surfrider materials for John Butler to read backstage. They were all really nice and very helpful.

In order to attact fans to our table, MusicMatters provided us posters advertising a free raffle, with raffle tickets to be picked up at the Surfrider table. Joyce hung these posters all over the inside of the 9:30 Club. The raffle prize was for an autographed copy of JBT's newest cd, a JBT hat, and a box of Clif bars. NICE!

The raffle tickets asked for the contestant's name and email address. As a result of completing the raffle ticket contestants will be put in touch with Grist and our Surfrider chapter. NICE!

At the table, in addition to handing out and collecting raffle tickets, we also distributed free Clif bars, information about Grist, and Surfrider materials- including information about:

*Safe Seafood Choices wallet sized guides
you can download and print one for yourself here.

*Information about Marine Debris

We also collected signatures on 2 Surfrider National petitions:
*Save Trestles (see below for more info)

*BEACH Act Reauthorization

We connected with former and current Surfrider members unaffiliated with our chapter, a lot of very enthusiastic JBT fans, and members and staffers from other DC based environmental organizations who were interested in learning more about Surfrider.

Joyce did a great job taking photos for us! Check out the slideshow, featured on this blog, as well as 2 of the 3 photos associated with this post.

The JBT show was amazing. They are very socially conscious musicians. This was definitely reflected in their fanbase. For example we met an Australian wearing a "One" t-shirt who recently moved to DC to work for Greenpeace. Awesome show, awesome people.

Thanks again to Joyce and Eric! You are awesome:)

Incubus - Virgin Festival - 8/4/2007

Review by Nicole Parisi-Smith. Originally posted to the Surfrider Washington, DC Chapter message board on February 21, 2008 ---

We partnered with Incubus in August 2007, to conduct outreach to their fans at the Baltimore, MD Virgin Festival. The festival took place at the Pimlico Racetrack.

We were orginally supposed to set up a traditional Surfrider table at the festival, but due to space restrictions we weren't able to have our own booth.

However Eli Kiljanek and Felipe Bermudez partnered with Incubus and their greening partner, MusicMatters, and helped distribute MusicMatters-produced postcards to fans explaining the things that Incubus was doing to "green" their 2007 tour.

Thanks to Incubus and their manager, who were really great to Eli and Felipe. I was on-site with the Spitfire Agency, helping to "green" the overall event, and got to catch the Incubus set, too. I really enjoyed it, knowing how much the band and management support Surfrider:)

Matt Costa - 9:30 Club - 3/5/2008

Review by Nicole Parisi-Smith. Originally posted to the Washington, DC Chapter message board on March 10, 2008 ---

We had a great Surfrider turnout! Julie Lawson, Chris Woods, Felipe Bermudez, Eric Dean and myself! Thanks, everyone!!!

The 9:30 Club was very welcoming from the moment that Julie and I arrived at 6:30pm, and set up a table (with their own 9:30 Club tablecloth) for us, in a great spot inside the venue.

We talked with a lot of Matt Costa fans, many of whom had arrived early in order to get a good spot in front of the stage, and had some time on their hands, and were attracted to our very prominently located table, and attractive table layout.

The people we spoke with - average age, early to mid 20's - fell into 2 catergories - had never heard of Surfrider before, or were members from other chapters rececently relocated to DC.

We spoke with a lot of people about the BEACH Act and collected signatures on a petition, educated people about sustainable fishing practices and seafood choices, and handed out the Monterey Bay Aquarium wallet-size seafood guides, and talked about marine debris and plastics in regards to human health. We also helped a VA resident register to vote, and distributed "I Surf, I Vote" stickers, as well as Chapter stickers and Trestles stickers and pins.

The most popular item was a small pocket-sized Chapter upcoming events calendar that Julie had prepared especially for the concert, that listed some of our events including movie night, chapter meetings and cleanups. If everyone who took one of these flyers comes to one of our events (or checks out our website, printed on the calendar) then we should have a large turnout of new folk at our next few events:)

We met members of other chapters who were just in town for Matt's show, who wanted to know what kinds of campaigns and activities our chapter is up to, most notably a member of Surfers Against Sewage/Surfrider Europe from the UK!

While we were setting up the table I ran into Mitch, a member of Matt's band. He was very familiar with Surfrider and was happy that we were at the show.

The show itself was really good. It wasn't sold out (unless it sold out the night of), but was near to capacity. Matt played one long set and an encore. The first set ended with my favorite song off of the new album - "Emergency Call". For the encore, Matt played the first song solo - "Astair", off of the first album. Then the band joined him for "Sweet Thursday" also off the first album. And they ended the show with what Matt said was a new song.

The band lost a lot of their equipment and instruments while on tour in Canada - it was stolen one night, from a venue, where the stuff was stored for the night. Matt is asking anyone with info about this to contact the Canadian police. It was good to see, at the 9:30 show, that this hasn't affected their senses of humor, or the music:) They put on a great show:)

Thanks to Matt and his band, and the 9:30 Club, and Matt's manager, Chris, for hosting us at the show!!!!

Thanks to everyone who came out to help out at the table, and to enjoy the show. It was a lot of fun!

Matt is on Jack Johnson's record label, Brushfire Records. Here is a BBC performance that tells some of the story regarding how they met:

Jessie Baylin & Newton Faulkner - Jammin Java - 5/2/2008

Review by Nicole Parisi-Smith. Originally posted to the Surfrider Washington, DC Chapter message board on May 7, 2008 ---

The show went really well. Megan Kelley, JD Krohn and I were there, to represent the Chapter and run the Surfrider table. Thanks to Eric Dean who tried to make it, but got stuck at work.

We had no problems getting into the venue - our names were on the list. I have never seen that many people at a Jammin Java show! The venue did not have room for a folding table, so we shared space with the merch booth.

Jessie Baylin came over to check in with merch before the show, and introduced herself to Surfrider. She came back after her set to talk with us about our chapter and our campaigns, and signed our Trestles petition addressed to the US Secretary of Commerce. She was SO nice! There were a lot of people there from the very start, and people were crowding in front of the stage for her set, which was great! Then she had fans coming up to her after the show to get her autograph and take photos with her:)

Jessie is really interested in working with us again - anytime she comes through town! She said when it's her own show then she can do a shout-out from the stage, hang a banner up for us, etc. She is soooo fantastic!!!! When she comes back to DC, then please go to her show and support her - she is so wonderful! She also has a CD coming out at the end of June!

Newton's set was great, but he had so many fans who wanted to talk with him, that we didn't get to meet him:) Next time! I'm sure he'll be back! I was streaming my favorite San Francisco radio station on the day of the show, and heard the DJ's talking about Netwon. I thought that was a pretty good coincidence - it was great to actually get to see him.

We had quite a few music fans come by our space at the merch booth to say hello and learn more about Surfrider. We gathered signatures on our petition, handed out info about RIPPLE (our upcoming fundraiser at a DC art gallery, with Surfrider supporter/artist Erik Abel, the new 10 Ways card that was provided to us by the Surfrider National Office, and the Rise Above Plastics fact sheet that Chrissy Patrick created for us.

During the break between Jessie and Newton's sets, and then after the show, we circulated through the crowd, handing out a fact sheet about plastics, and talking with fans one-on-one about safe baby bottles, etc. We got a lot of positive feedback, and a lot of people really took the time to listen to us talk about plastics - it was really nice!

Thanks, particularly to the artists and artist management, who set all of this up for us! And thanks to Megan and JD, who came out to help with the table!

Follow Up: Check out Jessie performing "Was I On Your Mind" at the Recher in Towson, MD on 10/3/08-

Brett Dennen - Jammin Java, Rams Head On Stage - 1/30/07 & 1/31/07

photo: Jason Rubin on stage at Jammin Java, between set breaks, talking to fans about Surfrider's mission. He's holding the issue of Making Waves that features Brett Dennen. We had extra copies of the magazine at the Surfrider table, in the back of the room.

The photo in this blog's heading was taken backstage, at this show. Left to Right: Mike Childs (Surfrider activist), Nicole Parisi-Smith (Surfrider activist), Randy Scwhartz (Brett Dennen), Brett Dennen, Matt Montee (Brett Dennen), Jason Rubin (Surfrider activist), Steve Adams (Brett Dennen).

Review by Nicole Parisi-Smith. Posted on the Surfrider Washington, DC Chapter message board, the Surfrider National Blog, and the Save Trestles Blog, approximately February 7, 2007 ---

I volunteer with the Surfrider Foundation’s Washington, DC Chapter, where I am in charge of tabling at Surfrider-friendly shows. This usually involves identifying Surfrider-friendly musicians, watching venue calendars to determine when the musicians are coming into town, and then contacting them to ask if we can table.

But Brett Dennen is far from typical- he is outstanding! Brett has a non-profit coordinator for his “Love Speaks” Tour. Sarita researched non-profit organizations who work in the communities that the Love Speaks Tour would visit, and contacted those organizations to invite them to table at Brett’s show in their town. In addition to tabling, each organization gets to speak on the mic during the show and receives a financial contribution from Brett. This is Brett’s way of giving back to the communities he visits. We (my Surfrider Chapter) were invited to table on Jan 30th at Jammin Java in Vienna VA, and on Jan 31st at Rams Head On Stage in Annapolis, MD.

On January 30th, two of my friends from the Chapter, Mike and Jason, and I set up our Surfrider gear on a table already provided for us, next to a wildlife conservation organization. Brett, Randy Schwartz (drums), Steve Adams (bass) and Matt Montee (road manager) stopped by the tables before the show started to check in and contribute to our Save Trestles Campaign ( ). Their interest and support meant a lot to us!

The show was great. It was a sold out seated show, with lots of very appreciative fans. Brett invited us to speak on the mic before he came on stage. Jason got up there and spoke about Surfrider for a few minutes. So great! Brett, Randy and Steve played a great show, opening up with “Ain’t No Reason”. Brett talked a lot between songs, and he was hilarious. Everyone loved it!

After the show the non-proft organization reps caught up with the band backstage. It was so nice to see Steve, and to meet Brett, Randy and Montee. Yes, they are fantastic musicians- but more importantly, they are incredible people. I can’t put it into words- you just had to be there- and SHOULD be there when they come through your town on this tour.

On January 31st, my friend Blake helped me table. This was another seated, sold out show, full of dedicated Brett fans. Montee helped me orchestrate the Surfrider table set up, and made sure to get me on the schedule so that I could speak on the mic about Surfrider. I got up there, told everyone about Surfrider, our chapters, invited everyone to stop by the table to sign the Save Trestles petition, and gave a sincere thanks to Brett and crew. I also mentioned that trash discarded on our streets flows from the curb into the sewers, then into the nearest river, and then flows into the ocean- the stuff is never filtered/cleaned. There is a mass of plastic trash, twice the size of TX, floating around in the Pacific Ocean. Please don’t litter, and if you see litter then please pick it up!

The show was great. Started off with “Ain’t No Reason” and closed with a really nice acoustic encore. The audience was so respectful- no one spoke during the performance and people were looking for Brett to get autographs following the show. It was so nice to see!

Hung out a little after the show ended, helped pack the RV, and then said goodbye. So sad to see them go, but hey- they might be coming to a town near you soon, and so you can experience it, too- def check the show schedule!!

A BIG thanks to Brett, Sarita, Montee, Randy and Steve for all of their support and for being soooooooo great:)!!! Hope to see you all again soon.