Ben Gravy and the wildlife refuge

Discussion in 'Surfing' started by Chilly Willy, Jun 28, 2018.

  1. Chilly Willy

    Chilly Willy Well-Known Member

    Feb 15, 2004
    USA New Jersey
    I thought this was something worth passing along. We've got a local guy in NJ named Ben Gravy who is earning a name for himself as a daily YouTube vlogger. He posted a video the other day of a few dudes taking an inflatable dinghy out to an empty island along the NJ coast and surfing some miserable little wind slop. It turns out that the island was part of the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, which among other things makes the island off limits to people and activities like trespassing and drone flying*. He was unaware of this at the time, but I have to give him credit -- he seemed genuinely concerned and was responsible enough to own up to his mistake and also taking some time to educate others on it. Good on him.

    Original video:

    Apology video:

    *For any other fellow drone pilots out there, the FAA requires that aircraft maintain a minimum altitude of 2,000' AGL over national wildlife refuges (which essentially prohibits drones entirely). There are a lot of little islands that are part of this refuge, so be careful and stay informed.
    michael likes this.
  2. Veterano

    Veterano Well-Known Member

    Aug 29, 2013
    drones ruined the world.
  3. Lackosense

    Lackosense Well-Known Member

    Apr 25, 2017
    Long Beach, NY
    i can't get over the fact that he keeps saying "refugee"
  4. ElBrooklyn

    ElBrooklyn Active Member

    Oct 17, 2014
    NYC-EH-MTK and LBC
    I do like Ben Gravy. Love his daily vlog in search of stoke. His naivete is endearing, but sometimes he winds up doing stupid shit in search of what he calls "novelty waves." I have no doubt he was sincere in his misgivings.
  5. Killafornia

    Killafornia Active Member

    Oct 1, 2009
    It was like watching the surf lessons at warm waters.
    About the island: "Had no idea" isn't an excuse.
    another sense of entitlement.
  6. Squid

    Squid Member

    Dec 19, 2011
    We used to strap our surfboards to our Hobie Cats and sail up to this same island known as Little Beach, a couple times each summer during the mid-90's without any issues. I don't recall the waves ever being much better on Little Beach than Margate which is were we sailed from but the remoteness and lack of development/people made us feel like we were on an Indo boat trip. On one trip, I recall the Coast Guard pulling up next to us as we were sailing home into a horrendous SW wind that often kicks up on a typical summer afternoon and mentioned to us that the island was protected but informed us that surfing was legal so long as we did not walk above the mean low water line. They also advised us to keep the Hobie Cat at or below that line. Granted, we weren't broadcasting our lives like the current generation which seems to have a 'look at me' compulsion almost to the point of a sickness. I am sure Ben could have driven that dingy up to Little Beach and had a session without any trouble but this incapability of just going surfing without videoing and then sharing it with the world is what got him in trouble. Not that there are any secret spots in NJ but Ben has blown the lid off many spots, even naming them as if he was the first to surf them, that used to be surfed by just a handful of locals prior to him 'discovering' them. Now there is a crowd anytime there is even a minor swell at these spots. I don't pretend to understand the business model of a professional youtuber but it seems like nothing is off limits and even getting in trouble can be a benefit by generating more views. If views are the goal, this will probably work out well for him.
  7. houseofsuffering

    houseofsuffering Active Member

    Nov 1, 2005
    This times 1,000.
  8. SeniorGrom

    SeniorGrom Well-Known Member

    Mar 20, 2012
    USA New Jersey
    It’s the world we live in where people are famous for being famous. Narcissism now rules everything.
    pintail likes this.
  9. SeniorGrom

    SeniorGrom Well-Known Member

    Mar 20, 2012
    USA New Jersey
    Also reminds me of a time where a frothing Mason Ho was interviewed I think during the triple crown. The video that was posted was pretty cool but not watchable because he said the word “like” 400 times in 3 minutes. Some gave him a pass because he’s a North Shore charger in an iconic surfing family. No doubt Ben is a charger. Now I know what a vlog is. Thank God I’m edumacated kinda like sorta proly.
  10. Veterano

    Veterano Well-Known Member

    Aug 29, 2013
    Strike that. Now, social media ruined civilization. I'm totally with S. Grom on this. And it's not just a generational thing. You can see it rotting the social fabric more each day.

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