Washington ChaptersDedicated to the protection and enjoyment of Washington's ocean, waves and beaches - More Details
Arnold. Photo credit: Debbie Schouten
Arnold is a member of the Clallam County Marine Resource Committee (MRC) and Olympic Peninsula Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation. He has surfed the Olympic Peninsula since the early 1980’s and frequently uses local beaches for walks, birding, watching sunsets. His intimate knowledge of the Olympic Peninsula combined with his passion for clean waters and a healthy ecosystem has made him a vocal supporter of the Surfrider mission to protect oceans, waves, and beaches for our enjoyment. Additionally, through the Clallam MRC Arnold works to educate and inform the public and officials about eelgrass beds, ocean acidification, and bluff erosion. He has also been involved in oil spill prevention and has responded to three local oil spills.
One of the challenges that Arnold sees facing our coastal communities is the strained relationship that can occur between beach users and coastal property owners. Surfing has become so popular in Washington that “surfers come to the beaches in great numbers on the weekends and during summer vacation which puts more pressure on access points and can frustrate land owners…sometimes surfers can wear out their welcome, party too hard, or leave trash on the beach”. These bad habits of some beach goers have led to land owners closing off access to beaches and breaks that were once publicly accessible.
Surfrider members like Arnold are hopeful that through empowerment and education we can change the behavior of all beach goers to be more socially and environmentally responsible. The Olympic Peninsula Chapter has been carrying out the Surfrider mission by taking action at several beach access points. The chapter provides sanicans at a few surf spots where sanitation was an issue and local residents were frustrated because there were no toilets. These sanicans enable the public to leave the beach clean when there is no access to a public restroom. Arnold believes, “As a chapter we do a good job of developing partnerships; we built a shower at the La Push campground with the support of the Quileute Nation and everyone that uses it appreciates it.” Though not all surfers are Surfrider members, all still benefit from the public outreach that Surfrider chapters perform. Surf etiquette signs are set to be put in place at Westhaven State Park, one of our most popular breaks, to educate the many beginners who surf there, improve safety in the water, and reduce conflict between water users. These local actions promote responsible beach behavior and have resulted in a variety of partnerships with local and state parks, private land owners, and tribal nations.
Kalaloch Beach, Olympic Peninsula. Photo credit: Barbie Clabots
“We’re fortunate to live in a pretty unique area here”- Arnold Schouten
We agree, Arnold. Let’s protect and conserve what we love. The Olympic Peninsula Chapter, as all Surfrider chapters, welcomes you to join the conversation and help solve our challenges by taking action at your local beach. You can see the Olympic Peninsula Chapter’s website here; get involved by attending a monthly meeting or beach cleanup!
Photo from Twin Harbors annual Earth Day beach clean with Surfrider
You know how the beaches look after 4th of July festivities? Covered with fireworks litter and party remnants; not so great for making our beaches beautiful and waters clean. Please come join us for a beach clean at Westhaven State Park this Saturday, July 5, 10am-2pm, rain or shine. You can see event details on our coastal blog and come kick off the unofficial first day of summer sunshine in the Northwest. Or if you’re headed to Long Beach, join the Grassroots Garbage Gang for their July 5th cleanup.
Remember, though, you don’t have to be at a beach clean to be a beach cleaner-upper. Pack an extra bag on your trip to the coast, pack out the litter you find. See you out there!
June 20 is our favorite holiday- International Surfing Day! These events are all about building community, having a good time, learning about Surfrider’s work in your neighborhood and fundraising for these efforts. Raffle prizes are always highly anticipated as well! Check out all the options at the ISD website or our statewide events calendar. A sneak peek at this week’s lineup of events in Washington:
Wednesday- Seattle chapter’s event: free entry- food and drinks, raffle fundraiser, SUP race
Friday- Olympic Peninsula chapter’s event: $20 entry, pizza and wine, raffle fundraiser (win a surfboard!), live music
Friday- NW Straits chapter’s event: surf films, beer, raffle fundraiser
Saturday- South Sound chapter’s event: food and drinks, raffle fundraiser, live music
Don’t forget to take pics of your special places to recreate on the water and upload to instagram to join the ISD Instagram contest for some awesome prizes! And to celebrate World Oceans Month, we hope to see you out out there enjoying your local waters and keeping those beaches clean, don’t forget to #WorldOceansMonth to share the stoke. Learn a little bit more here about Surfrider’s work during World Oceans Month.
Whether you surf, paddle, or just love raffles and good company, we have an event for you to enjoy! From surf camps with youth on the coast to stand up paddle races in the Puget Sound to art shows in Westport and Port Angeles, we will be out and about this summer. Look for a blue Surfrider tent and you’ll find friendly faces and a passion for clean beaches.
Can we protect our favorite beaches for future generations? Yes, we can! Today marks the launch of our Recreational Use Survey and we couldn’t be more excited to share this opportunity to shape our shorelines with you. The goal of this survey is to find the dollar value of coastal recreation to our state as well as document prominent locations of coastal recreation; this spatial data is needed as Washington state, coastal tribal nations, and collaborating federal agencies move forward with a process called marine spatial planning. A similar study by Surfrider Foundation in Oregon found that four million permanent residents take 27 million individual trips to the coast annually and spend about $2.4 billion on the Oregon coast. This is impressive data that gives recreation a voice in coastal planning, but to gather that information we need your help. This survey is for all of Washington’s coastal beach-goers- paddlers, surfers, divers, sand-castle builders- if you enjoy the beaches here, then we want you to take the survey HERE.
FAQ? Get more info under our Rec-Use tab.
Photo credit: Mike Coverdale
Despite unfavorable weather conditions across the coast over one thousand volunteers showed up for the annual coastal cleanup. Surfrider once again had registration stations and BBQS at Hobuck beach, La Push, and Westport. Thanks to all who came out! To find out about more cleanups in the upcoming future check with your local chapter for one in your area.
Surfrider and Global Ocean Health held a workshop yesterday about ocean acidification and its impacts on the WA coast. Over 50 people attended with experts from the OA field, shellfish industry, coastal advisory boards, and other entities. The discussion was collaborative and dynamic with many questions brought up about OA impacts and potential measures to address unwanted issues. Stay tuned for a recap of the workshop and learn how you can get involved with future events.
Surfrider is hiring a Policy Manager in WA! For more information check out the link. http://www.surfrider.org/
If you are as excited for sunshine and warmer weather as we are then we have some great opps in April to get outside and get involved. Surfrider hosted and associated cleanups are currently scheduled for La Push, Neah Bay, Westport, Tacoma beaches, Bellingham areas, and Seattle all happening in April! Contact your local chapter to see what beach cleanup is happening in your region.