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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

March 26, 2013

Talking Crude Workshop March 27th in Elma

March 22, 2013

Ocean Frontiers Film Premier Next Week in Tacoma

Purchase your tickets here:
February 6, 2013 | 2 Comments

Trash Bins, Supplies Deployed to Washington Beaches to Address Recent Increase in Marine Debris

Trash bins, supplies deployed to Washington beaches to address recent increase in marine debris
OLYMPIA – State officials who monitor marine debris on Washington’s ocean beaches say they are seeing an increase in marine debris items this winter such as Styrofoam, plastic bottles and floats, and other portable objects.
While it is unknown whether the latest items arriving on state beaches are related to the March 11, 2011, tsunami that devastated Japan, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) a portion of the debris that washed into the Pacific Ocean has been arriving on U.S. and Canadian shores, including Washington.
To help beach visitors keep our shorelines clean, the Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) has deployed trash bins at Ocean Shores, Surfside north of Long Beach, Grayland Beach State Park near Westport and the city of Long Beach’s Bolstad Beach approach.
Ecology is working with Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission (State Parks) and volunteer groups to assess the need to supply trash bins and litter bags at other beach locations.
The recent increase in debris is coinciding with the next state coastal razor clam season, which starts Thursday Feb. 7.
“While you are out walking on the ocean beach or clam digging, please help us keep our beaches clean. We are encouraging people to pick up and dispose of small, nonhazardous items like Styrofoam and leave the beaches better than they found them,” said Steve Brand, State Parks field operations manager. 
Beachgoers are encouraged to bring their own bags to pick up small, nonhazardous debris. For those who forget, bags may also be available during normal business hours at the following locations:
·         Ocean Shores – Visitors can get bags at the Ocean Shores Police Department, Ocean Shores Visitor Information Center and from State Parks staff. Visitors should place bags with debris at beach approaches for pickup.
·         Long Beach – Beachgoers should call Leanna Reuss, Pacific County Emergency Management Agency, at 360-642-4482. Bags may be available at the Bolstad Beach approach near the trash bin set up for marine debris. Place full bags in the bin.
·         Grayland Beach State Park – Stop in at the park office to pick up bags and get instructions. Large groups interested in performing cleanups should call the park office at least two weeks in advance at 360-267-4301 to help coordinate the event and ensure proper registration.
Global Diving & Salvage, a Seattle-based private contractor, has donated 2,000 bags to the state to help with beach cleanup efforts.
People are urged to report larger items to park rangers when on state beaches or to the 1-855-WACOAST (1-855-922-6278) line. For example, on Feb. 2, a refrigerator with Asian writing and marine growth attached washed ashore at Ocean City State Park in Grays Harbor County. The non-hazardous item was removed from the beach and State Parks is working with state Department of Fish and Wildlife to investigate whether the item harbors any invasive species. Photos are at
Ecology has received numerous reports of nonhazardous debris including Styrofoam, plastic bottles and light bulbs as well as six reports of potentially hazardous items including pressured cylinders and containers with oil or unknown materials.
In a typical year, Ecology responds to six to 10 reports of hazardous items on coastal beaches. Across the state, the department handles about 3,800 reports of oil spills and hazardous material releases and conducts about 1,200 field responses annually.
Guidelines for reporting large or hazardous marine debris to the 1-855-WACOAST (1-855-922-6278) line include:
·         Report oil and hazardous items to the National Response Center and Ecology by pressing “1.” Such materials include drums, fuel tanks and containers, gas cans, gas cylinders, chemical storage totes and spilled oil. 
·         Report large floating debris items that might pose a boating or navigation hazard by pressing “2.”
·         Get instructions for reporting debris that is not large or hazardous by pressing “3” and leaving a message.
With options “1” and “2,” callers will be connected to a person who can dispatch responders and get additional information.
NOAA predicts tsunami debris will show up on state shores during the next several years. However, it is unknown where and what types of debris might arrive. A NOAA map picture with reported and confirmed tsunami debris sightings in Washington as of Jan. 10, 2013, is at
NOAA encourages beachgoers and boaters to take photos of marine debris suspected to be from the Japan tsunami. Photos may help identify the location when sent by e-mail to along with any additional information you may have. If it seems an item may have sentimental value to the owner, NOAA asks people to move the item to a safe place before sending information.
# # #
Media contact:  
Washington State Marine Debris Task Force Information Officer, 855-827-9904.
For more information:
·         People who want to keep track of new marine debris developments in Washington State can sign up for an information listserv established by the state. To sign up, go to Ecology’s Listserv page and choose “marine/tsunami debris.”
·         Washington Marine Debris web portal:
February 5, 2013

Crude By Rail

Preliminary planning to export crude oil from the Port of Grays Harbor has begun.  Last week, a public hearing was held in Aberdeen, and after a brief presentation from Gary Nelson, executive director for the Port of Grays Harbor, questions were opened to the public.  Concerned citizens asked about the ability of the rail system to handle the additional burden, the impact to traffic in Aberdeen, noise of operations, what refineries the crude is going to, and, of course, the risk of oil spills in the harbor. The crowd also made it clear to Port officials that they want more public hearings on the topic.

Citizens for a Clean Harbor will be hosting a public meeting to discuss crude by rail at the Hoquiam High School Commons, Wednesday, February 13th at 6:30PM. Please attend if you’re concerned about this!

More information:

February 5, 2013

We’re back!

After an extended hiatus, Surfrider Foundation’s outer coast blog has returned, with a new address and a new look.  Take note of the new blog address:

This blog is part of the Surfrider Foundation’s efforts to inform public knowledge and engagement of issues that affect ocean health and coastal communities of Washington State’s Pacific coast.

Visit this page for information on Marine Resource Committees, the Washington Coastal Marine Advisory Council, Marine Spatial Planning, beach cleanups, public hearings, and more!

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