Washington Chapters

Dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of Washington's ocean, waves and beaches - More Details
August 19, 2013

Why should I care about marine spatial planning?

Photo credit: Tyna McNair

All this talk about Marine Spatial Planning can be a bit confusing, especially for those of us who do not spend our time tackling legislative issues.  The truth is that the entire process of Marine Spatial Planning is really about the people living near and using the ocean, first and foremost.  Understanding how Marine Spatial Planning relates specifically to you and your recreational enjoyment is vital to the process.

Access to Recreational Areas
With a coastline of over 3,000 miles, Washington has a plethora of coastal areas to enjoy.  Despite its apparent abundance, continued development of the coast has limited public access to our coastal areas and beaches.  This includes public resources that we have a right to access.  This is one reason to take part in Marine Spatial Planning-to help keep industry out of our important recreational areas.  Various commercial activities like oil drilling, coal transport, or energy exploration pose threats to the waves and waters we value for their recreational opportunities like surfing and kayaking.  Anticipating and planning for changes in coastal commercial activity is vital for areas with high recreational value.  We can do this with Marine Spatial Planning.

Health of Recreational Areas
Keeping our recreational areas healthy is an important part of our experience outdoors.  After all, we do not want our children to play in polluted water.  Nor would we enjoy taking in a view of the beach inundated by plastic and other garbage.  We value the areas where we recreate, and part of that means taking care of them properly and making sure that their value is properly accounted for in the Marine Spatial Planning process.

Enjoyment for All
The ocean provides us with many natural resources and provides a myriad of benefits for humans and animals alike.  This is why we need to ensure that recreationalists are not priced out of areas and their hobbies-the oceans and beaches should be enjoyed by everyone.  Surfrider was born from an innate love of the water, and part of our mission is to protect that resource for the enjoyment of all.  Just because the coast has high economic value does not mean that only a subset of the population should enjoy it: the waves are for everyone.

Help with the Marine Spatial Planning process by understanding how it relates to you, and make sure to participate in the public commenting period (see previous post).  Remember, this process aims to bring multiple stakeholders together to create solutions that work for us all.  So help out the process and make sure that you are heard!

August 14, 2013

Surfing and traditions at La Push

Here is what you missed while we were at the beach…
our boards were waxed and ready to go

a paddling song set our intentions right for the day
we got all suited up, with our smiles on

then we circled up

got our bodies moving

practiced our moves (doesn’t everybody need to work on their jumpshot?)

worked on our dunking too!

We learned the ways of the water and how to be safe

and did our best hang-ten!
Then we tried to catch those waves
and we got it!
Success is best when you can share it with your friends! 
*Thank you, thank you so much tribal members for the paddle song, Quileute Housing Authority for the towels and food, US Coast Guard for keeping an eye on us, NOAA and Quileute Tribal Council for your support*
Learn more about what Warm Current is doing on the coast at
Go surf with the kids and make some new friends at Neah Bay this coming Saturday, August 17th,  
or just come say hi and see what it’s all about.

August 14, 2013

Cleanup with WA CoastSavers at Pt. Grenville

What a success! We helped get 1700 pounds of garbage off the beach on July 27th at Pt. Grenville, Taholah on the Quinault Indian Reservation. 40 volunteers showed up- just have a look at our day below.
 We braved the fog and cold while beach driving in search of marine debris.
We found a bit of time to make friends and chat about the ocean with volunteers.
We found so much garbage!  A few common items were fireworks, fishing gear, rope, but we also found a few curious items like a squirt gun, tires, a piece of a boat trailer, and an entire blue tarp!

If enjoying the beach is for everyone, then cleaning the beach is for everyone! 
Join us next time and then enjoy the rest of your day at the beach while you’re at it! 
International Coastal Cleanup is September 21st. Find out more at
August 2, 2013

Protect the Future of Your Favorite Beach

Do you love the beach?  Who doesn’t, right?  Well, now you can get involved in protecting your favorite beach by participating in the process of Marine Spatial Planning (MSP).  If you use the beach and ocean for anything from family excursions to tow-in surfing, then we encourage you to speak up!

Washington State is seeking public comment on the recently released draft goals and objectives for MSP, which is the process of mapping uses and resources of the marine environment so that they can be intelligently managed and new uses can be evaluated with better information.  In addition, a crucial part of MSP is involving stakeholders and the public in the process, and that’s why your input is so valuable.

This spring and early summer Washington SeaGrant convened local, state, and federal agency staff with members from the Washington Coastal Marine Advisory Council to develop goals and objectives that will guide decisions regarding MSP, resulting in the draft that is now open for public comment. MSP is currently focusing on the coastal waters of Washington, ranging from Ilwaco to Port Angeles and includes the estuaries, such as Willapa Bay and Grays Harbor, up to the tidal mean high water mark.

Coastal recreators should be interested in this process because it can offer better protection of the ocean and beaches that we use for walking, clamming, surfing, kayaking, bird watching, and escaping the hustle and bustle of modern life.

Please take time to read the draft goals and objectives for MSP and provide any comments.  Your time investment will pay off in the future when your favorite beach is protected!  You can find the draft (called the “scoping document”), and comment cards here:

In addition to any issues you find, we recommend making the following suggestions:

  • Suggest adding this overarching goal: “Protect and preserve existing sustainable uses.”
  • Convey how important protection and access to recreational areas are to coastal communities who economically benefit and to the general public as a whole whose quality of life is enhanced by playing outside.
  • Emphasize the importance of protecting the marine ecosystem including important habitats, biodiversity, and ecological functions

Please email your comments to by September 23, 2013.  Your voice is very important in helping shape the future of our valuable coastline.  Now is your chance to be heard!

More information about MSP can be found here: and

July 31, 2013

Washington Chapters Main Page is Live!

Hey there friends, the day has come where we have a central hub of information  in WA to best distribute information about the various chapter activities. This will serve us well to share info, events, and bring all of us a little closer together and more in-tune with each others work and efforts. So big cheers and send any questions, advice, or general inquiries or notions of shenanigans to Brice.

July 23, 2013

Kids + Surfing at Neah Bay = Awesome

By 9 AM the cars were steadily rolling into Hobuck camp ground in Neah Bay on Saturday.  The kids climbed out – many already in swimsuits – excited to participate in the surf camp put on by Warm Current.  Some kids remembered surfing with us last year and were back for another go!
The whole crowd did some warm-up and stretching before learning the surfing basics and safety.  Things got pretty silly as we practiced paddling in the sand.  We also did a little beach clean up – it seems there is always garbage to pick up at the beach.

Photo credit: Tyna Mcnair

And then we all got in the water – the kids did great and really showed off how quickly they can learn surf skills!

 Photo credit: Tal Vick

Some kids were more hesitant than others…

Photo credit: Tyna Mcnair

But some were ready to stand up!

Photo credit: Tyna Mcnair

Photo credit: Tal Vick

Photo credit: Tyna McNair
Getting kids stoked about playing in our ocean was a success! Their smiles were big- and we hear they’d like to have even more surf camps.

Photo credit: Tyna Mcnair

Volunteers from all over Washington and Oregon arrived the night before the surf camp to get to know each other- we hope you can join us next time!

Check out what Warm Current is doing on the West Coast and how you can join in the fun at an upcoming event on the WA Coast at:

See you at the beach!

July 16, 2013

Art Gallery Kickoff and Surfrider Fundraiser a Success

There was a solid turnout for the summer kickoff of Todd Fischer’s surf art gallery in Westport last Saturday.  Check out his rad surf art at drop by the gallery next time you’re in town. 
There was lots of sun and live music to enjoy, and bonus – there were homemade desserts and plenty of ‘Wetsuit Wheat’ beer donated by Westport Brewing Co (Thanks guys!).  Todd revealed two gorgeous murals and many lucky raffle winners went home with his donated original artwork in the form of a framed print, snowboard decal, hoodies, and tees!  Watch out for his art on Surfrider swag and buy some raffle tickets to have your chance next time.

Taking a break from entertaining us

Just hanging out

Revealing one of the murals

Enjoying the shop

Over $200 was raised at this event to support Washington Surfrider chapters!  These funds can be used for all kinds of projects by local chapters, like keeping our beaches clean.  Want to become a member? Go to: We’d love to see you at an event this summer! Check our Facebook page or request to get our email newsletter for details.

June 26, 2013

Clean Up the Beach with Surfrider and Washington State Parks at Westport on July 6th

The 4th of July is a great time to visit the beach and spend time with the family.  Another tradition of this All-American holiday is watching and using fireworks.  Too often, when fireworks are used on the beach, their remnants are left behind and get taken out to sea during the next high tide.  To remove this and other debris before it joins the ocean, the Surfrider Foundation is partnering with Washington State Parks to coordinate a beach cleanup in Westport on July 6th, from 9:00AM to 1:00PM.
Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission is commemorating its 2013 Centennial Celebration throughout the state. Pease join us in supporting the Commission by volunteering to clean up part of the public lands they manage.  Registrations will begin at 9:00AM at Westhaven State Park. During the cleanup, there will be refreshments and interpretive displays. Volunteer hours worked during the cleanup can be accumulated toward earning an Annual Discover Pass (Requires 24 total hours and volunteers need to sign up before starting the volunteer project). 

Following this event will be a BBQ at Todd Fischer’s Surf-Art Gallery in Westport’s marina district (across the street from the Islander), with food and beverages for volunteers provided by Washington Surfrider Foundation Chapters.
May 29, 2013

Governor Jay Inslee signs legislation to establish the Washington Coastal Marine Advisory Council under the executive office of the governor

Olympia – Washington State advances a more collaborative approach to deal with pressing issues facing the Pacific coast. On May 21, 2013, Washington Governor Jay Inslee signed legislation to create the Washington Coastal Marine Advisory Council (WCMAC) under the executive office of the governor. This council convenes stakeholders and managers to advise the State on issues facing the state?s marine waters and shorelines along the Pacific coast.
“This is a big step toward stronger recognition of coastal community interests,” said Dale Beasley, President of the Columbia River Crab Fishermen’s Association. “Many of us on the coast have been pushing the State to take a stronger role in collaboratively managing our valuable coastal resources. In Pacific and Grays Harbor counties, over 30 percent of all the jobs are dependent on marine resources.”
A broad coalition of coastal stakeholders, co-managers and scientists worked to design the new council and then coastal commercial and recreational fisherman led the charge to formalize the body under the executive office of the governor with support from the Surfrider Foundation, the Nature Conservancy and business interests.
“Washington’s Pacific Coast lags far behind other coastal states and Puget Sound when it comes to collaborative management and conservation of ocean and coastal resources,” said Surfrider Foundation Policy Manager, Jody Kennedy. “When you consider how remarkable and valuable our Pacific coastline is for state residents and coastal communities, protecting coastal marine resources should be a priority for the State,” Kennedy added.
Members on the Council represent ocean and coastal interests for the Pacific coast, including commercial fishing, shellfish growers, conservation, science, ports, recreation and economic development. Each coastal marine resources committee has a seat. Under the new legislation, State agencies also have seats and federal, tribal and local governments are invited to participate.
One of the first issues the WCMAC will tackle is assisting state agencies with Marine Spatial Planning in order to protect existing jobs and healthy coastal ecosystems from new competing demands on ocean resources.
“The signing of Senate Bill 5603 to establish the Washington Coastal Marine Advisory Council, represents a significant advancement for the representation of coastal communities in the Marine Spatial Planning process and in the planning and regulation of coastal affairs. It provides us a greater degree of access and influence that many people have been striving to achieve for a long time”, said Doug Kess, the Chair of the Washington Marine Advisory Council.
“Right now, funding to support Marine Spatial Planning on Washington’s coast is uncertain as the State Legislature continues to grapple with budget negotiations,” said Paul Dye, the Washington Marine Director for The Nature Conservancy.  “A diverse coalition of coastal stakeholders, including conservationists, shellfish growers and fishermen are advocating hard for Marine Spatial Planning funding and we hope that legislators are listening,” added Paul.
April 4, 2013 | 2 Comments

Coastal Marine Resource Committees to Host Marine Spatial Planning Workshops

The ocean is a tremendously busy place, and as it gets busier, managing the resources and uses of the ocean will become more and more complex.  Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) is a process of mapping those uses in order to provide planners and decision makers the information they need to make wise decisions when managing resources or considering new uses.

More information about MSP can be found here:

This month, coastal Marine Resource Committees (MRCs) will be hosting a series of workshops to educate the public and solicit feedback regarding MSP.  This is a tremendous opportunity for coastal communities to get a better understanding of MSP, and also to meet members of their respective MRCs.

If you have any interest in MSP, or just want to meet your local MRC, please attend one of these workshops, and spread the word to others who may be interested.  Snacks and beverages will be provided.

Here are the times and locations:

Pacific County

Tuesday, April 9th – 6:00 – 7:30
Willapa Harbor Community Center
916 West First Street, South Bend, WA

Wednesday, April 10th – 6:00 -7:30
Ilwaco Community Building
158 First Avenue North, Ilwaco, WA

Grays Harbor County

Tuesday, April 16th – 5:30 -7:30
Rotary Log Pavilion
1401 Sargent Blvd, Aberdeen, WA

North Coast Counties

Thursday, April 18th – 5:30 – 7:30
Olympic Natural Resource Center
1455 S. Forks Avenue, Forks, WA

Wahkiakum County

Monday, April 22nd – 5:00 – 7:00
Johnson Park
4188 W SR4, Rosburg, WA

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