Wednesday, June 25, 2014

July 5th Beach Cleanup in Westport

The Surfrider Foundation will host a beach cleanup from 10am-2pm at Westhaven State Park on July 5th.  Registration will be in the parking lot and the majority of the efforts will be focused around the jetty, but adventurous volunteers will be encouraged to patrol beaches to the south for marine debris.

A considerable amount of debris is strewn across Washington beaches following the customary pyrotechnics used to celebrate our Independence Day.  A surge of marine debris in the last few months has deposited plenty of plastics and foam as well.  Collectors may find debris ranging from buoys to glass bulbs to rubber duckies, but the majority will be plastic, foam and fireworks shrapnel.

If you're traveling to the Long Beach area for the weekend, you can join the Grass Roots Garbage Gang ( for their annual July 5th cleanup.

See you on the beach!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Anticipating sea level rise and flooding

If you missed our Ocean Acidification and Sea Level Rise workshop on April 8th, don't fret! You can access pdfs and youtube videos of the presentations here. In Todd Sandell's presentation, he walks you through the use of sea level rise projections in a few coastal areas to open up discussion about how we can use these projections to plan for the future.

Fortunately, more and more resources are available to help coastal communities plan for the future while incorporating these environmental changes. Through the Climate Adaptation Knowledge Exchange you can submit your own community's case study, read about other success stories, and find many planning tools.

Two websites have a mapping tool that can help you visualize the combination of sea level rise and flood risks: Surging Seas and NOAA. Play around with the mapping tool to see multiple scenarios of what areas might be underwater in your community- is it farmland? Hotels? Estuaries?

Many reports on local climate change impacts are also available for you:

California, Oregon, Washington, and the Surging Sea

Addressing Sea Level Rise in Shoreline Master Programs (WA)

Climate Change in the Northwest: Implications for our Landscapes, Waters, and Communities

Monday, June 16, 2014

Introducing Kevin Decker- Sea Grant's Coastal Outreach Specialist

Washington Sea Grant's newest staff member, Kevin Decker, is a Coastal Outreach Specialist based in Aberdeen. As a beach goer and diver, he is not only a recreator, but through the Idaho Wildlife Federation he also has a background in recreation advocacy. He has an academic background in economic development and has developed an economic profile for Latah County, ID that looked at indicators of economic health and an evaluation of the economic contribution of the primary industries for the region. His current doctoral research in environmental science is focused on the economic value of conservation.

Kevin will be doing outreach and education about marine spatial planning to support the public's involvement in the process and also to share the mapping tool at He will also be applying his background in economics to the Washington coast to help communities identify growth opportunities. At Surfrider, we are looking forward to working with Kevin through marine spatial planning.

If you’d like to meet Kevin, his office is at Grays Harbor College, and you can reach him at: or 360-538-2521.

Friday, June 13, 2014

World Oceans Month and International Surfing Day

Wow, it's June already and that means it's World Oceans Month! Surfrider has so many ways for you to celebrate your love for the ocean; come join us in Tacoma, Seattle, or Port Angeles at an International Surfing Day event coming up next week. (Don't worry, you don't have to surf at any of these events!)

The Surfrider Foundation will be offering the following special membership gifts throughout the month of June. Click here!

·    $40: Membership, digital subscription to Surfing Magazine and a limited edition Dane Reynolds tee.
·    $100: Includes the above + a 30th Anniversary Surfrider tee
·    $500: Includes all of the above + a Surfrider license plate holder and reusable bag.

If you are out enjoying your favorite beach next weekend, enter the My Special Place contest. Upload your coolest beach pic on Instagram and make sure to tag it with #ISD14 and #myspecialplace to be entered to win a surfboard, wetsuit, and other sweet beach gear. 

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Scoping period for crude oil facilities in Grays Harbor closing soon

The environmental review process is currently underway for two proposals to expand crude oil processing facilities in Hoqiuam. The scoping period is currently open until Tuesday, May 27- see Dept of Ecology's announcement here.

Many are concerned about the public safety and environmental costs of oil trains due to the recent uptick in derailments and explosions that have caused deaths and toxic spills across the United States and Canada. A New York times article earlier this year brought attention to these dangers to communities and the environment. The current proposal in Grays Harbor would include the export of Bakken crude from North Dakota as well as tar sands oil from Canada. According to the Washington Environmental Council, Bakken is "highly volatile, the train cars being used are old and unsafe, and a safe way to transport it has yet to be found". The proposals for facilities in Grays Harbor would increase the transport of crude by rail through the state- from Spokane to Hoquiam.

Want to take action?

Citizens for a Clean Harbor is raising local voices against these proposals.

Sierra Club has provided a script addressed to Dept of Ecology which you can personalize.

To submit an original comment go here.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Recreational-use survey for Washington coast launches

We launched a survey this week to document the recreational use of Washington's coast, which will help determine its value to the state’s economy.

The survey aims to collect data for numerous non-consumptive uses by the public including diving, kayaking, surfing, birding, and camping. Though technically consumptive, clamming will also be included in the survey as it’s a signature use on Washington beaches.  To assist with future planning of Washington's coast, the study is needed to document where and how the public recreate from Ilwaco to the Port Angeles.

Randy Kline, Environmental Program Manager for Washington State Parks is looking forward to using this information. “The Washington State Parks staff are excited about the opportunity for additional data to help us understand the public's use of the coast,” says Randy. “We will use this data to provide better recreation experiences for park-goers.”

The survey will document the growing importance of tourism to the Washington coastal economy and increasing opportunities for non-consumptive recreation. “The Washington coast is an extraordinary place that offers significant recreational and economic opportunities,” says Casey Dennehy, Washington Coastal Program Manager for the Surfrider Foundation. “While there is data regarding traditional industries on the Washington coast, there is very little about the recreation economy.” 

The survey, funded by the Washington State Department of Natural resources and private foundations, is part of a larger coastal planning effort called Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) that will inform policy, decision making, and management of our ocean resources.  The survey is one of  several other projects supported by the state under MSP, many of which have already gathered data on physical oceanography, marine life, shipping, fishing, ecological resources, and economics.  This information has been incorporated into a data viewer that is available to the public at

According to Jennifer Hennessey, Ocean Policy Lead at the Washington Department of Ecology, “This survey will provide much better data on which areas of our coast are most important for different users and how those uses influence the local economy. This new data will help us understand and address recreational interests in developing a marine spatial plan for Washington’s coast.” 

If you are a coastal recreator, please take the survey at: 

Friday, April 11, 2014

Help Clean Up Our Beaches with CoastSavers and Surfrider on April 19th

Nothing like some BBQ after a beach cleanup!
Washington CoastSavers are people actively engaged in saving Washington's Pacific Coast from the harmful effects of marine debris. With its roots in the first Olympic Coast Cleanup in 2000, this grassroots effort will be returning to Washington’s coastal and strait beaches on April 19 – in conjunction with Earth Day, with the goal of picking up and removing marine debris. Governor Inslee has declared April 19th as Washington Coast Cleanup Day recognizing that, “Washington’s Pacific Coast is threatened by tons of household plastics, lost fishing gear, and other man made debris polluting the world’s oceans and washing up on our beaches.”

Beaches to be cleaned include multiple Washington State Parks, miles of wilderness coast within the Olympic National Park and Indian Reservations, including some not typically open to the public.

The Surfrider Foundation and Washington State Parks are hosting a cleanup at Twin Harbors State Park in Westport, with BBQ provided to volunteers courtesy of the Seattle Surfrider Chapter.

A student volunteer from WWU categorizes debris for a long term monitoring program
"As fears about the amount of Japanese tsunami marine debris washing up on our shores have diminished, we still have a significant and ongoing concern with the "other" marine debris.    It will be an issue we deal with for many years.  Individuals can make a big difference by volunteering for this or other coastal cleanups", said Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary Superintendent Carol Bernthal.

Support for this year’s Washington Coast Cleanup came from the Grays Harbor and North Pacific County Marine Resource Committees and NOAA’s Marine Debris Program.  Puget Sound Partnership supported Washington CoastSavers expansion into the Strait of Juan de Fuca with grant assistance. Without the help from this diverse group of partners, the cleanup would not be possible.

Washington State Parks has supported the cleanup efforts for many years. "This is really an exciting event every year, because it brings so many people out to help clean up our ocean beaches," said Don Hoch, State Parks director. "We have one of the most beautiful stretches of ocean beach in the country, and we are grateful to those who come out and join the fun of working together to care for it."

Washington CoastSavers is a broad spectrum of participating nonprofits, community groups, corporations, and public agencies. Washington CoastSavers is also more than 1,000 volunteers who come to the Washington coast to cooperatively remove tons of trash from the beach.

To sign up for their favorite beach, volunteers should visit the Washington CoastSavers website at

Contact: Jon Schmidt, Washington CoastSavers Coordinator
(360) 460-7532