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June 7-14, 2006

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Ocean Revolution

Viva la Revolution!: Saving our shores, one sombrero at a time.

Nūz: Santa Cruz County News Briefs

What Would Zapata Do?

Instead of a rifle, Emiliano Zapata wields a surfboard--a far more peaceful symbol. Ocean Revolution, a Santa Cruz-based organization, created this image for posters and T-shirts advertising the second annual Ocean Revolution Benefit Concert and Family Festival on June 10. Ocean Revolution, Save the Waves Coalition and the Surfrider Foundation host the festival in hopes of recruiting revolutionaries.

The cause? To save the world's oceans.

"Ocean Revolution is more of a movement than an organi-zation, with a theme to unite the various groups working on ocean issues. And the main way we'd like to do that is through young people," says the organization's co-director Dr. J. Nichols.

At the Benefit Concert, ocean-loving musicians will play as audience members visit tables set up by various local, national and worldwide ocean-conscious organizations.

"We want to give young people access to ocean organizations and projects to help them figure out what to do with their passion and energy," says Nichols.

According to Nichols, the average age of members belonging to conservation organizations is going up, the bulk of members being in their 40s and 50s.

"Most organizations, when looking for membership, target people in the middle class and upper-middle class, people with a disposable income."

But Nichols and others working with Ocean Revolution intend to target a younger generation that might want to be active in a more hands-on way. "We want the movement to be exciting for young people," says Nichols. "And we want to listen to what they have to say. In general, young people today have more knowledge of the environ-ment than we did, and we'd like to help them translate that knowledge into involvement and solutions." In addition to the potentially controversial Zapata logo, Ocean Revolution also distributes blue wristbands in hopes of grabbing the attention of the younger set.

"They're one way to get young people talking," Nichols says. "Pearl Jam's lead guitarist wears one."

Sky Crawford, the graphic designer for Ocean Revolution, says he chose Zapata for the posters "because he's a recognizable, iconic figure to Californians. The board he's holding is a type used especially for charging big surf. It's called a gun board. The message we're sending is 'Go out and do it.'"

Ocean Revolution has no membership fee, and is sponsored by the Save the Waves Coalition, and other small grants.

"We do a lot with a little," says Nichols.

The Save the Waves Coalition works to protect coastal locations ideal for surfing and tourism from encroachment by factories, seawalls, dams or "anything that would alter the water," says Will Henry, founder and executive director of the Save the Waves Coalition.

"The first project we fought against was a marina proposal in Portugal," says Henry.

Ocean Revolution was successful in halting the project. Now their efforts have turned toward stopping the construction of a hydroelectric dam in Panama that threatens to significantly change the shape of the coast.

"Dams are quite destructive. They often rob the sand flow going to the beaches," says Henry. "Citizens are concerned that the beaches will disappear, especially the people near the river, because they rely on tourists."

Henry hopes the upcoming festival will attract some more local membership for his organization.

"Santa Cruz can be described as the heart of the ocean revolution," says Nichols. "We have the world's best surf, the world's best coastline and the world's best ocean research and conservation institutions."

Ocean Revolution Benefit Concert and Family Festival takes place Saturday, June 10, at the Attic, 931 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. The benefit concert is at 8pm; $20. The family festival is from 2 to 4pm; free. Contact 831.426.0337.

Fill 'Er Up

Soaring gas prices and a goodly amount of liberal guilt has made Santa Cruzans more than a bit wary of the filling station these last few weeks. Fortunately for this peace-loving, ecoconscious community, an alternative has arrived.

Local biodiesel company Pacific Biofuel has partnered with the U.S.A Fueling Station at the corner of Seventh Avenue and Soquel to offer biodiesel at the pump. "We're replacing all of the regular diesel with our B99 blend," says Mike Sack, CEO of Pacific Biofuel.

B99 is a fuel mixture of 99.9 percent vegetable oil-based biodiesel and 1 percent petroleum. Most biofuel blends use a much higher percentage of regular diesel, such as B20, which holds up in colder climates, whereas a more biodiesel-rich blend is likely to gel once the temperature drops below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. However, thanks to Santa Cruz's mild climate, diesel users can get more veggie oil for their buck with B99.

According to Sack, any vehicle that can run off of petroleum diesel can also use biodiesel. No special modification to the car is required.

Prior to the opening of U.S.A Fueling's pumps, the bulk of Pacific Biofuel's customers have received their biodiesel via home delivery of 55-gallon drums. Although convenient, this delivery service is not exactly cheap. Customers have been paying up to $3.85 per gallon to have the fuel delivered to their door.

However, the cost of a gallon of biodeisel at the pump is expected to be the same price the station is selling petroleum diesel, currently at $3.19 per gallon.

Pacific Biofuel and U.S.A Fueling will be celebrating their glorious union at a biodiesel kick-off party this Friday at the station on Soquel Avenue. The event will feature music, food provided by New Leaf and the antics of the Pacific Biofuel staff, who will be on hand to answer all of your biodiesel-related questions.

Nūz just loves juicy tips about Santa Cruz County politics.

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