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

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Ocean Acidification Workshop Tuesday April 8th in Aberdeen

Two trends that will transform Washington’s coast, ocean acidification and sea level rise, are on the agenda for an April 8 workshop in Aberdeen. The 9 am-noon session will focus on emerging research assessing potential to remediate carbon pollution and acidification with marine and coastal vegetation, while restoring estuaries and other coastal areas. Salt marsh plants, sea grasses, kelp, and other natural and cultured vegetation will be discussed and sea level rise considered.

Presenters include Jennifer Ruesink, a University of Washington biologist, and Stephanie Smith from the Oregon State University College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences speaking about current research on seagrasses. Stephen Crooks, Climate Change Director for Environmental Services Associates will report on the carbon-burying potential of estuary restoration then brief participants on coastal climate change adaptation and carbon credits.

The morning will conclude with aquaculture consultant John Forster looking at the proven benefits and potential earnings from farming the sea while sequestering carbon. Macroalgae culture can yield food, fuel, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and other commercial products.

The 1-4 pm session explores options to prepare for ocean acidification and sea level rise through local planning and policy processes such as shoreline management plans. Public officeholders, board and commission members, agency officials, and others involved in ocean planning and policy are urged to attend. Members of the Marine Resources Advisory Council, the Blue Ribbon Panel on Ocean Acidification, and coastal Marine Resource Committees will participate.

“Rising seas will drive a huge expansion of estuaries,” said Brad Warren, director of Global Ocean Health, an initiative of two nonprofit groups that helps seafood producers and coastal communities adapt to changing ocean chemistry. “If we learn to plan for it well, sea level rise might be more than just a problem—which it certainly will be—but an opportunity. Higher water will make more room for estuarine ecosystems that can sometimes chemically shelter vulnerable larvae from corrosive waters. It won’t be a smooth transition, but sea level rise may open up new areas for farming shellfish and marketable marine macroalgae. It will increase coastal habitats that support hunting and fishing, and expand the nursery grounds that support most of the world’s seafood supply.  Some of these habitats also bury more carbon than a tropical rainforest.”

The free (including lunch), public workshop is presented by Global Ocean Health and the Surfrider Foundation. It will be held at the Rotary Log Cabin Pavilion, 1401 Sargent Blvd., Aberdeen. More info at Registration is not required.

Contact: Eric Swenson, Communications & Outreach Director, Global Ocean Health, (206) 334-7333
Casey Dennehy, Washington Pacific Coast Manager, Surfrider Foundation,, (360) 556-6509

Friday, March 7, 2014

2014 Surfrider Foundation Internship

Internship Opportunity
Washington Ocean Recreation Outreach Coordinator

The Surfrider Foundation seeks a Washington Recreation Outreach Coordinator to support stakeholder engagement in marine spatial planning. The position’s main responsibility is to identify, communicate with, and engage recreational interests throughout Washington in the state’s marine spatial planning process for the Pacific coast. The intern will work under the direction of Casey Dennehy, Washington Pacific Coast Manager, and Brice Boland, Washington Field Manager, and requires 10-15 hours per week for 6-12 months.

Position Responsibilities:
1.     Identify groups, associations, and businesses that broadly represent ocean and coastal recreation in Washington
2.     Conduct outreach to recreation interests by email and other media, phone, and in-person meetings on ocean planning and Surfrider’s engagement in the process
3.     Organize workshops and public forums to present data from Surfrider’s recreational use study and solicit feedback on draft maps and other study products
4.     Promote opportunities for the recreation sector to participate in ocean planning through public meetings, comment periods, and workshops.
5.     Manage and update the Washington Recreational Gatekeeper Database
6.     Implement a social media campaign to promote engagement of recreational users in the ocean planning process
7.     Develop outreach materials for recreational users on regional ocean planning
8.     Meet and collaborate with project partners including The Nature Conservancy, Point 97/Ecotrust, Resource Media and others

Desired Qualifications:
1.       Ability to communicate effectively with ocean stakeholders, using both in-person and written strategies
2.       Proficient with Facebook, Twitter, Mailchimp, and other digital communications
3.       Knowledge of ocean and coastal recreation in Washington
4.       Ability to work flexible hours from a home office or on the road
5.       Proficient in Microsoft Word, Power Point, and Excel
6.       Access to a vehicle

Hours and Compensation:
The position is 10 – 15 hours per week for 6 - 12 months. Compensation is $12 per hour and travel is reimbursed.

To Apply:
Interested candidates should email a cover letter, resume and references by March 21st 2014 to: Casey Dennehy at

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Fukushima Radiation Frequently Asked Questions

Illustration by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute
We've been getting a lot of questions lately about how the Fukushima nuclear meltdown in Japan is affecting the health and safety of those living along the Eastern Pacific (West Coast of the US and Canada). We have put together this Frequently Ask Questions (FAQ) to help address the most common questions we are getting.

1. Is Surfrider tracking concerns that radiation from Fukushima is affecting the West Coast?

Yes. We are carefully following the results of scientific studies that are being conducted to evaluate the potential spread of radiation from Fukushima to the Pacific Coast via air, water and marine life.  We have summarized these issues and have provided links to further information in our Beachapedia article Radiation From Fukushima. We are updating this article constantly.

2. Is the news out there regarding Fukushima correct and accurate?

There are a lot of conflicting reports in the news and on various websites and blogs.  There have been many sensationalist reports that are not supported by scientific data and studies.  Again, we’ve summarized the latest verifiable data and reports in our Beachapedia article, which also contains links to responses to some of the blogs and news reports that have raised concerns. An example is this article written by a Surfrider Foundation staff scientist that was published in The Inertia.

The entire FAQ article can be found here.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Give the Gift of Surfrider!

Dear Friend of Surfrider,

Today is the absolute, final day we can take your order so it arrives on your loved one's doorstep in time for the holidays. It's also your last chance to be entered into the drawing to win one of two Firewire surfboards!

When you purchase a Holiday Gift Membership, you're not only giving the gift of enjoyment to your favorite beach enthusiast, but you are protecting and preserving our oceans, waves and beaches for everyone to enjoy. It's a gift that truly gives back...

Click here to order!

Happy Holidays to you and yours,

The Surfrider Foundation

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Short Notice Beach Cleanup This Saturday (Dec 7th) in Westport

Please join us for an impromptu beach cleanup this Saturday, December 7th at Westhaven State Park in Westport.  We will be scouring the beach for plastic, foam, and other debris from 1-3 pm.  See you there!