All five Washington chapters and the Western Washington University club celebrated Earth Day with cleanups, parties, and rollouts of emerging programs like Ocean Friendly Restaurants (OFR). While all chapters have begun to promote OFR, several have taken steps in registering local businesses. Chapter’s, in partnership with OFR businesses, are hosting cleanups and post-celebrations much like what the Northwest Straits chapter did for Earth Day with Aslan Brewing.
The Earth Day weekend began with a fundraiser and table opportunity at Red Hook Brewlab on Capitol Hill with the Seattle chapter, who enjoyed some tasty brews and conversation with event-goers. They, like the South Sound, Olympic Peninsula, and Capitol chapters then took to the coast the following day to run cleanups and BBQs as part of the Washington Coastal Cleanup. Major thanks to all who attended the cleanups and to the volunteers who led them!
The final event of the Earth Day weekend was the Northwest Straits (NWS) chapter’s beach cleanup and associated after party as Aslan Brewing. The chapter and Western WA club’s cleanup at Locust Beach was a big success with almost 80 attendees, many who arrived via the Baker Bus that left Aslan and then returned after the cleanup to celebrate with some surf videos and a Captian Planet IPA. The NWS chapter recently launched their OFR program and formally announced at the event Aslan brewery becoming Bellingham’s first OFR during their Earth Day party. Other local businesses who have registered for the program in the Bellingham area include Culture Cafe at Kombucha Town (who donated delicious beverages for the cleanup), the Bellingham Co-Op, and Wild Whispers Cafe. Wonderful work by Surfrider volunteers engaging with businesses and beginning dialogues and taking steps to reduce single-use waste before it reaches the waste stream.
It was a fun weekend for all chapters conducting beach cleanups and celebrating programs like OFR. The buzz keeps getting louder about this important program as a recently released article by Thurston Talk discusses OFR’s expansion in the Olympia area. Also, be on the lookout for news in the coming weeks on an exciting partnership between the South Sound chapter, MetroParks Tacoma, Pierce County Conservation District, and Point Defiant Zoo related to OFR. Lastly, check-out where all the current OFRs are in Washington and pay these businesses a visit next time you’re in their community. With program growth and sunny weather now is a perfect time to drop in to your chapters next meeting to learn how you can get outside for a beach cleanup or help with programs such as OFR for cleaner and healthier beaches. For any questions, please contact WA Field Manager Brice Boland.