Washington ChaptersDedicated to the protection and enjoyment of Washington's ocean, waves and beaches - More Details
|Nothing like some BBQ after a beach cleanup!|
Washington CoastSavers are people actively engaged in saving Washington’s Pacific Coast from the harmful effects of marine debris. With its roots in the first Olympic Coast Cleanup in 2000, this grassroots effort will be returning to Washington’s coastal and strait beaches on April 19 – in conjunction with Earth Day, with the goal of picking up and removing marine debris. Governor Inslee has declared April 19th as Washington Coast Cleanup Day recognizing that, “Washington’s Pacific Coast is threatened by tons of household plastics, lost fishing gear, and other man made debris polluting the world’s oceans and washing up on our beaches.”
Beaches to be cleaned include multiple Washington State Parks, miles of wilderness coast within the Olympic National Park and Indian Reservations, including some not typically open to the public.
The Surfrider Foundation and Washington State Parks are hosting a cleanup at Twin Harbors State Park in Westport, with BBQ provided to volunteers courtesy of the Seattle Surfrider Chapter.
|A student volunteer from WWU categorizes debris for a long term monitoring program|
“As fears about the amount of Japanese tsunami marine debris washing up on our shores have diminished, we still have a significant and ongoing concern with the “other” marine debris. It will be an issue we deal with for many years. Individuals can make a big difference by volunteering for this or other coastal cleanups”, said Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary Superintendent Carol Bernthal.
Support for this year’s Washington Coast Cleanup came from the Grays Harbor and North Pacific County Marine Resource Committees and NOAA’s Marine Debris Program. Puget Sound Partnership supported Washington CoastSavers expansion into the Strait of Juan de Fuca with grant assistance. Without the help from this diverse group of partners, the cleanup would not be possible.
Washington State Parks has supported the cleanup efforts for many years. “This is really an exciting event every year, because it brings so many people out to help clean up our ocean beaches,” said Don Hoch, State Parks director. “We have one of the most beautiful stretches of ocean beach in the country, and we are grateful to those who come out and join the fun of working together to care for it.”
Washington CoastSavers is a broad spectrum of participating nonprofits, community groups, corporations, and public agencies. Washington CoastSavers is also more than 1,000 volunteers who come to the Washington coast to cooperatively remove tons of trash from the beach.
To sign up for their favorite beach, volunteers should visit the Washington CoastSavers website at www.coastsavers.org/washington.
Contact: Jon Schmidt, Washington CoastSavers Coordinator
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.
Surfrider is hiring a Policy Manager in WA! For more information check out the link. http://www.surfrider.org/
Two trends that will transform Washington’s coast, ocean acidification and sea level rise, are on the agenda for an April 8 workshop in Aberdeen. The 9 am-noon session will focus on emerging research assessing potential to remediate carbon pollution and acidification with marine and coastal vegetation, while restoring estuaries and other coastal areas. Salt marsh plants, sea grasses, kelp, and other natural and cultured vegetation will be discussed and sea level rise considered.
Presenters include Jennifer Ruesink, a University of Washington biologist, and Stephanie Smith from the Oregon State University College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences speaking about current research on seagrasses. Stephen Crooks, Climate Change Director for Environmental Services Associates will report on the carbon-burying potential of estuary restoration then brief participants on coastal climate change adaptation and carbon credits.
The morning will conclude with aquaculture consultant John Forster looking at the proven benefits and potential earnings from farming the sea while sequestering carbon. Macroalgae culture can yield food, fuel, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and other commercial products.
The 1-4 pm session explores options to prepare for ocean acidification and sea level rise through local planning and policy processes such as shoreline management plans. Public officeholders, board and commission members, agency officials, and others involved in ocean planning and policy are urged to attend. Members of the Marine Resources Advisory Council, the Blue Ribbon Panel on Ocean Acidification, and coastal Marine Resource Committees will participate.
“Rising seas will drive a huge expansion of estuaries,” said Brad Warren, director of Global Ocean Health, an initiative of two nonprofit groups that helps seafood producers and coastal communities adapt to changing ocean chemistry. “If we learn to plan for it well, sea level rise might be more than just a problem—which it certainly will be—but an opportunity. Higher water will make more room for estuarine ecosystems that can sometimes chemically shelter vulnerable larvae from corrosive waters. It won’t be a smooth transition, but sea level rise may open up new areas for farming shellfish and marketable marine macroalgae. It will increase coastal habitats that support hunting and fishing, and expand the nursery grounds that support most of the world’s seafood supply. Some of these habitats also bury more carbon than a tropical rainforest.”
The free (including lunch), public workshop is presented by Global Ocean Health and the Surfrider Foundation. It will be held at the Rotary Log Cabin Pavilion, 1401 Sargent Blvd., Aberdeen. More info at http://surfriderwashingtoncoast.blogspot.com/p/ocean-acidification-workshop.html. Registration is not required.
Contact: Eric Swenson, Communications & Outreach Director, Global Ocean Health email@example.com, (206) 334-7333
Casey Dennehy, Washington Pacific Coast Manager, Surfrider Foundation, firstname.lastname@example.org, (360) 556-6509
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.
Last Tuesday, the Seattle Chapter packed the room at the Mountaineers Hall to watch the film Stand. The film is a powerful documentary about the local lives affected by a proposed oil pipeline in the Great Bear Wilderness in BC. Here is a great recap from Alec Ilstrup documenting the night’s festivities.
The Washington Coastal Marine Advisory Council (WCMAC) recently held its quarterly meeting and Surfrider Washington is happy to report that the Council has officially adopted the goals and objectives that will drive the upcoming Marine Spatial Planning Process (MSP)!
This milestone could not have been completed without the support of our members and partners in Washington. As you likely know, we have been working on a long time to provide comments and feedback to the development of the MSP guiding documents. We have been involved in multiple stakeholder workshops, in particular two full-day seminars presented by Washington Seagrant, and we also had over 30 participants at our NW Chapter Summit in Westport in September.
All of this preparation led to a great response in the public comment, and Surfrider members and partners had more comments than anyone else in the State!
One of the biggest provisions added to the MSP Goals and Objectives was specific language that added “protect and preserve existing sustainable uses” to the planning document. These words had been highly debated in previous WCMAC meetings, but in the end our comments led to a specific change in the MSP process that will hopefully directly lead to environmental conservation and recreational access protections on the ground.
In addition, Washington Pacific Coast Coordinator, Casey Dennehy, was instrumental in his role on the WCMAC and also as Chair of the Grays Harbor MRC. Through his leadership, we were able to connect with many stakeholders through the region and ask for these important changes to the goals and objectives.
For more information about the WCMAC:
For more information about Marine Spatial Planning: