Washington ChaptersDedicated to the protection and enjoyment of Washington's ocean, waves and beaches - More Details
The biggest surf competition in the state of Washington is under four weeks away. The 13th annual Clean Water Classic will have all the fixings you’ve come to know from great surfing to evening entertainment. The big difference this year is obvious, a change in date to October with hopes for better waves and weather.
Washington’s Pacific coast is home to a world-class marine ecosystem and communities where people’s livelihoods depend on a healthy ocean. Now, with a proliferation of new proposals from shipping oil to exploring offshore energy, we are headed for a traffic jam in an increasingly crowded ocean. Through Washington’s Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) efforts, we can tap local knowledge and the best available science to determine how our ocean is used and protected. We can protect our coastal resources and jobs, and maintain our important recreation areas, along with other traditional uses like fishing, crabbing, and shellfish farming that define Washington coast’s cultural and economic heritage.
Unless you’ve been living in a cave for the past few years, you’ve probably noticed a fair amount of media attention on the subject of oil transportation in our state. By rail, by pipeline, by vessel…there is a massive amount of oil coming into Washington from other regions and unfortunately we are not adequately prepared in the event of a major spill.
The final section of the Glines Canyon Dam on the Elwha River is about to be blasted away, completing the largest dam removal project in US history. It’s pretty amazing to see the large scale restoration of a major river happening right here in our backyard, a project many of us have been anxiously awaiting for many years. Check out some of the latest media on the project…
Greetings Washington Chapter Members! My name is Gus Gates and I recently joined the great Washington staff to fill the Policy Manager position. Some of you may recognize my name, I previously served as the Oregon Policy Manager with Surfrider Foundation over the past 6 years. I’m looking forward to working with all of you on our statewide campaigns, and hearing what issues get you fired up to protect your local stretch of coast! Below is a little bit about me…
Last year filmmakers Chris Hannant and Gillian Montgomery interviewed Surfrider volunteers and staff, business owners, and MRC members as they travelled the state’s rugged coastline. The short film explores the opportunity to protect Washington’s Pacific coast through marine spatial planning. You may recognize a few of the individuals in the video as important community leaders.
“I love the coastal region, I love the coastal estuaries and everything that makes this thing different than some place else. It’s a wonderful thing and we have to preserve it. If we don’t we’re gonna lose one of the most important things in life” -Brady Engvall, Owner Brady’s Oysters
“Marine spatial planning sounds a lot more complicated than it really is. It’s really just about being smart about how we use our oceans…and there’s a bunch of emerging and new uses, increasing uses- the ocean’s getting crowded.” -Chad Nelsen, Environmental Director Surfrider Foundation
“As we move from 7 billion people to 10 billion people there’s gonna be a lot of increased pressure for development out here and I think it’s important to control that development- there will be development- but it’s important to use those resources wisely and to preserve what we can of the ecosystems that we have.” -Doug Kess, WCMAC Chair
Watch the video here for some gorgeous footage of the coast and more heartfelt interviews. Please share this video if you know of someone who could benefit from learning about the opportunity of public involvement in marine spatial planning.
The deadline to register for the annual PNW conference is right around the corner so act fast!!! August 1st is the last day to register for a great weekend of learning and fun in beautiful Yachats, OR August 15-17. If you are seasoned Surfrider vet or new to the organization and want to learn more and get more involved this is a great venue for you. For more information or questions contact Brice.
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.
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.
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! Surfrider also invites all coastal recreational users to take a survey to provide information for coastal planning efforts- please go to our state website here to learn more and find the survey.
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.