Friday, May 15, 2015

Surfrider's Recreational Use Study Released!

The Surfrider Foundation, in partnership with Point 97 and the state of Washington, recently completed the Washington Coastal and Ocean Recreation Study and today released the final report. The study collected economic and spatial data on “non-consumptive” recreational uses such as beach going, kayaking, wildlife viewing, hiking and biking, and surfing. These recreational uses are widely practiced along the extent of Washington’s coast (Pacific Coast & Strait of Juan de Fuca). Information from the study will be used as part of the state’s marine spatial planning process, which is a collaborative endeavor to analyze and allocate the spatial and temporal distribution of human activities in marine environments to achieve ecological, economic, and social objectives.

Beach going and hiking are some of the most popular recreational activities along the Washington Coast
Download the Full Report
Download the 2 Page Executive Summary
Download the Fact Sheet

As expected, coastal recreation provides significant economic and social benefits to coastal communities and the state—these include direct expenditures, as well as social benefits such as citizen enjoyment. In 2014, Washington residents took an estimated 4.1 million trips to the coast, with nearly 60 percent indicating their primary purpose was recreation. That recreation included a variety of activities including beach going (67%), sightseeing (62%), photography (36%) hiking and biking (33%), surfing/kayaking/boating (7%) and wildlife viewing (40%). When at the coast, the average respondent spent $117.14 per trip, translating to an estimated $481 million dollars in total direct expenditures for coastal communities and the state, through hotel visits, shopping, dining and other trip-related expenditures.

36% of respondents listed photography as one of their main activities over the past year

“This study offers new information about recreation patterns that provide significant economic benefit to Washington’s coastal communities,” says Casey Dennehy, the Washington Coastal Program Manager for the Surfrider Foundation and recreational representative on the Washington Coastal Marine Advisory Council. “The data will be used by various organizations to identify ways for improving access and to protect recreation areas as demand for coastal and ocean resources increase.”

The annual Clean Water Classic always brings a big crowd to the community of Westport where visitors spend their money on food & beverages, lodging & camping, and fuel. Photo credit: Mathew Marino
Information was collected from recreational users through an online survey between June 2014 and February 2015. The survey included a mapping tool that allowed participants to mark locations of recreational use along the Washington coast. More than 250 recreational groups and businesses throughout the state were contacted, and respondents completed nearly 6,500 surveys resulting in over 17,500 data points.
Map product with results from all recreational activities from the Opt-In portion of the study
Coastal recreation is widely practiced throughout the United States, but little data exists on what activities people participate in, where these uses occur, and the related economic benefits. To address this need, Surfrider and Point 97 have conducted similar studies across the U.S., including completed efforts in Oregon and the Mid-Atlantic, and a recently launched study in the Northeast. For more information about the Surfrider Foundation’s recreational use studies, check out our Coastal Recreation Studies Page.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Workshop on Flood Hazard Reduction and the SMP update - Thursday, March 19 at 6:30 PM


Flood hazards along our rivers, lakes, and marine waters are a significant problem for many Grays Harbor County residents, farms, and businesses.  How should our community protect lives and property along our shorelines through the Shoreline Master Program?

Come learn and share your thoughts about this important topic at an upcoming public workshop on Thursday, March 19, 2015, 6:30 PM, at the Montesano City Hall Banquet Room, 112 N. Main Street, in Montesano.

 The first part of the workshop will discuss why and how we plan for flood hazard reduction through the Shoreline Management Act.  The second part of the workshop will collect ideas from those in attendance about potential approaches they support.  The ideas and concerns people share at the workshop will help guide the Grays Harbor County Shoreline Planning Committee in updating the Shoreline Master Program.

While these workshops will focus only on those shorelines that are outside of the cities in the county, the county invites all Grays Harbor citizens who own property, live, recreate, or work along these shorelines to attend this workshop.

To find out more information about the county’s Shoreline Master Program and the update process, go to the project website at www.ghcsmp.org.  Citizens who have questions about the upcoming workshops or the update process in general can email the county project representative at ghcsmp@gmail.com.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Ocean Frontiers II: A New England Story for Sustaining the Sea

Please join us for a screening of Ocean Frontiers II next Tuesday, March 17th.  Doors open at the Aberdeen Museum of History at 5:45 and the film begins at 6:00.

"Off the shores of New England, in a region steeped in old maritime tradition, comes a modern wave of big ships, energy industries, and a changing climate, now testing the limits of an already crowded sea. But in a pioneering trial of far-sighted planning—pushed by blueprints for offshore wind energy—old residents and new are coming together to keep their ocean and livelihoods alive."

See you there!


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Grays Harbor County Shoreline Master Program Update Public Outreach Program

Marine Resources Workshop

How should the Grays Harbor County manage marine resource areas through its Shoreline Master Program?  Come share your ideas about this important topic at an upcoming public workshop on Thursday, February 19, 2015, 6:30 PM, at the Montesano City Hall Banquet Room, 112 N. Main Street, in Montesano. 

Marine resource areas in Grays Harbor County include the estuary and ocean environments.  These environments support a rich natural ecosystem that plays a vital role in our local economy and cultural heritage.  State law requires local Shoreline Master Programs to manage future uses and structures in the marine environment in a manner consistent with the Shoreline Management Act.
The workshop will begin with a brief overview about state requirements for addressing marine resources through the Shoreline Master Program.  The workshop will then focus on a facilitated discussion for citizens to share their ideas and concerns about marine resources management.  The ideas and concerns collected at this workshop will help guide the Grays Harbor County Shoreline Planning Committee in updating your Shoreline Master Program.

While these workshops will focus only on those shorelines that are outside of the cities in the county, the county invites all Grays Harbor citizens who own property, live, recreate, or work along these shorelines to attend this workshop.

The Shoreline Master Program plans for future development activities in the water and 200 feet upland from shorelines along ocean beaches, sections of rivers and streams with a mean annual flow 20 cubic per second or greater, lakes 20 acres or greater, and wetlands associated with these waterbodies.

The county’s Shoreline Planning Committee is a group of citizen volunteers appointed by the Board of Commissioners who have the responsibility to draft an updated Shoreline Master Program for county consideration.

To find out more information about the county’s Shoreline Master Program and the update
process, go to the project website at www.ghcsmp.org.  Citizens who have questions about the upcoming workshops or the update

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Shoreline Public Access and Recreation Workshop


Would you like to see more public access and recreation opportunities along our county rivers and ocean beaches?  Come tell us your ideas about this important issue at an upcoming public workshop on:

Thursday, January 22, 2015, 6:30 PM
           
If you like to boat, fish, surf, walk, hunt, picnic, bird watch, camp, or simply sit along our rivers and ocean beaches, this is the workshop for you!  Grays Harbor County is updating its Shoreline Master Program and needs your ideas about how we can plan for new or improve existing access opportunities along our shorelines.  The ideas shared by citizens at these workshops will help guide the Grays Harbor County Shoreline Planning Committee in updating your Shoreline Master Program.

While these workshops will focus only on those shorelines that are outside of the cities in the county, the county invites all Grays Harbor citizens who own property, live, recreate, or work along these shorelines to attend this workshop.

The Shoreline Master Program plans for future development activities in the water and 200 feet upland from shorelines along ocean beaches, sections of rivers and streams with a mean annual flow 20 cubic per second or greater, lakes 20 acres or greater, and wetlands associated with these waterbodies.  State law requires Grays Harbor County, as well as each city in the county with shorelines, to update their Shoreline Master Programs.

The county’s Shoreline Planning Committee is a group of citizen volunteers appointed by the Board of Commissioners who have the responsibility to draft an updated Shoreline Master Program for county consideration.

To find out more information about the county’s Shoreline Master Program and the update process, go to the project website at www.ghcsmp.org.  Citizens who have questions about the upcoming workshops or the update process in general can email the county project representative at ghcsmp@gmail.com.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Huge storm results in more houses falling into the ocean at Washaway Beach

The combination of high surf, heavy rainfall and extreme tides caused several more houses to be claimed by the Pacific Ocean at Washaway Beach, south of Grayland.

Here's a short video from yesterday:

YouTube link (for tablets and smartphones): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3sZ1IaSkeD0

The Daily World also had an article on the front page:
http://thedailyworld.com/news/local/erosion-claims-two-houses-north-cove

As did Komo News:
http://www.komonews.com/news/local/More-homes-eaten-by-raging-Pacific-Ocean-at-Washaway-Beach-285438771.html

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

SMP Visioning Workshops in Grays Harbor County


Grays Harbor County is hosting two visioning workshops to share and discuss what the future of the counties shorelines may look like in the future.  These meetings are part of the county's Shoreline Master Program update process that is currently underway.

Make sure to attend at least one of these meetings and share your vision for a healthy and vibrant shoreline.

Thursday, December 9th, 6:30-8:30
Grayland Community Hall
2071 Cranberry Road
Grayland, WA

Wednesday, December 17th, 6:30-8:30
GHFD 8 Fire Hall
4576 SR 109
Pacific Beach, WA