Thursday, June 18, 2015

Announcing Surfrider Leadership Program - Washington Coast

We are excited to announce that the Surfrider Leadership Program – WA Coast has officially launched!  This pilot is the realization of a concept that many of us began working on in 2014, and we have been finalizing the design of this program with community members and other partners for the past six months.

Today’s leaders are finding that a more collective approach is best suited for our increasingly networked world. Effective leadership today is less about who is the loudest voice in the room and more about who can mobilize a network to act. This requires leaders to tap into a deep sense of self awareness, as well as understanding how to effectively network and build the larger movement. This leadership program will facilitate a cohort of coastal leaders to develop self-awareness of themselves as leaders, as well as networking and movement building skills through an immersive, in-person retreat and virtual training sessions.

This program is designed to develop strong bonds among cohort members as well as provide time and space for reflection and learning through one weekend retreat, two virtual trainings, and a one-day work session. Along with developing specific skills, the program will also tap into participants’ experiences to facilitate sharing of best practices learned through working in respective industries, coastal areas, and communities.

Over the course of four months, participants will work with their cohort to develop essential skills, build deep relationships, and better understand the power of today’s collective leadership.

Are you involved with natural resource management or conservation efforts on the Washington coast?  If so, apply here (deadline July 3rd):

Do you know someone who is working on the Washington coast that would be a good candidate?  Nominate them here (deadline June 25th):

Click here for the full program announcement.

If you have any questions, contact Casey Dennehy at

Monday, June 8, 2015

Governor Inslee Declares June 20th International Surfing Day in Washington

The anticipation has already begun for International Surfing Day (ISD) as the celebration of surfing and ocean recreation received a proclamation from Governor Jay Inslee declaring June 20th International Surfing Day In Washington! With five chapter events happening around the state celebrating our oceans, waves, and beaches it was a pleasant surprise to receive a proclamation from the Governor recognizing coastal recreation. Events are happening throughout the week of June 20th and as always are sure to get people amped as we head into the summer months.

ISD events will be happening throughout the Washington chapter network over the course of the week prior to Saturday, June 20th. Please check with your local chapter for specifics of each event. Below is a series of brief summaries of what to expect so circle your calendar for the dates, attend a June chapter meeting, and come celebrate ISD with new and old friends as we gather to appreciate our oceans, waves, and beaches.

Starting from the North and around the Puget Sound:

Northwest Straits – Similar to last year the NWS chapter, based in big beautiful Bellingham, will be back at Aslan Brewing Saturday, June 20th for a night of surf flicks, food, drink, and fun. Times are pending but stay tuned for more details or email the chapter for more information.

Seattle – Seattle will be hosting their annual bash at Urban Surf in Greenlake to celebrate surfing, SUPing, and water and beach recreation in general. The event will kickoff Wednesday, June 17th, at 5:30pm and run until approximately 8:30. Come enjoy the SUP race at 7, refreshments, and the traditional raffle. Any questions please contact the chapter.

South Sound – The South Sound will start the morning of June 20th off with a beach cleanup at Owen Beach in Tacoma followed by a BBQ. Bring your SUP, kayak, or other human-powered water craft as members will be sure to get in the water over the course of the day. For details on time and specifics please contact the chapter.

Capitol – A surf movie night is the plan for the Capitol chapter. They currently are organizing the event and working out the details but it will take place the evening of June 19th. Stay tuned or contact Chapter Chair Kendall Farely for more info.

Olympic Peninsula – One of the most anticipated Surfrider events of the year, the always fun OPC ISD celebration at Harbinger Winery is happening Friday June 19th. The party features great food, drinks, a stocked raffle, and live music. For more information and details on the event or how to purchase tickets, please contact the OPC.

And don't forget to go play in the water!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

July 5th Beach Cleanups - Mark Your Calendars!

The 4th of July may be the most American of all holidays.  Firework displays on coastal beaches are dazzling, but unfortunately a considerable amount of debris is left behind.

Help Surfrider, CoastSavers, and the GrassRoots Garbage Gang keep our beaches clean by joining our events on July 5th.  There will be beach cleanup at Ocean Shores, Westport, and Long Beach.  See how they do it at Long Beach in the video below.

And make sure to check back here or at in a few weeks to register!

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  Citizens who have questions about the upcoming workshops or the update process in general can email the county project representative at