Thursday, August 22, 2013

Be part of the future: participate in a study on recreational uses of Washington’s coast

What the survey is about: 
Surfrider and Ecotrust are developing a survey to document Non-Consumptive Ocean and Coastal Recreation on the Pacific Coast of Washington. The survey will ask you about where you recreate on the coast, what activities you do there, and the money you spend on those activities. Then we can make maps that show the density of recreation happening on our beaches and what they are worth in dollars. You can see how Oregon already completed a similar study.

Why you should take part:
The results of the survey will help coastal planning when we have to make important decisions about the future of our coastlines and ocean. You can see the map layers the state is pulling together at the new website. If we can show the numbers of people using specific beaches for surfing and the money they bring into the local community, for example, then we can protect our surf breaks from development! (It’s called surfenomics- check out this article)

How it works:
When you see the survey advertised (on this blog or in your local surf shop) complete it and then pass it on to your friends. Or to get the survey sent to your inbox, email Casey at

Launch date TBD

You can keep in touch with what’s going on at our Washington State Surfrider Chapters page, policy blog or Facebook page, or the State’s MSP website. Learn more about the economic value of coastal recreation at Save the Waves.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Why should I care about marine spatial planning?

Photo credit: Tyna McNair
All this talk about Marine Spatial Planning can be a bit confusing, especially for those of us who do not spend our time tackling legislative issues.  The truth is that the entire process of Marine Spatial Planning is really about the people living near and using the ocean, first and foremost.  Understanding how Marine Spatial Planning relates specifically to you and your recreational enjoyment is vital to the process.

Access to Recreational Areas
With a coastline of over 3,000 miles, Washington has a plethora of coastal areas to enjoy.  Despite its apparent abundance, continued development of the coast has limited public access to our coastal areas and beaches.  This includes public resources that we have a right to access.  This is one reason to take part in Marine Spatial Planning-to help keep industry out of our important recreational areas.  Various commercial activities like oil drilling, coal transport, or energy exploration pose threats to the waves and waters we value for their recreational opportunities like surfing and kayaking.  Anticipating and planning for changes in coastal commercial activity is vital for areas with high recreational value.  We can do this with Marine Spatial Planning.

Health of Recreational Areas
Keeping our recreational areas healthy is an important part of our experience outdoors.  After all, we do not want our children to play in polluted water.  Nor would we enjoy taking in a view of the beach inundated by plastic and other garbage.  We value the areas where we recreate, and part of that means taking care of them properly and making sure that their value is properly accounted for in the Marine Spatial Planning process.

Enjoyment for All
The ocean provides us with many natural resources and provides a myriad of benefits for humans and animals alike.  This is why we need to ensure that recreationalists are not priced out of areas and their hobbies-the oceans and beaches should be enjoyed by everyone.  Surfrider was born from an innate love of the water, and part of our mission is to protect that resource for the enjoyment of all.  Just because the coast has high economic value does not mean that only a subset of the population should enjoy it: the waves are for everyone.

Help with the Marine Spatial Planning process by understanding how it relates to you, and make sure to participate in the public commenting period (see previous post).  Remember, this process aims to bring multiple stakeholders together to create solutions that work for us all.  So help out the process and make sure that you are heard!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Surfing and traditions at La Push

Here is what you missed while we were at the beach...

our boards were waxed and ready to go

a paddling song set our intentions right for the day

we got all suited up, with our smiles on

then we circled up

got our bodies moving

practiced our moves (doesn't everybody need to work on their jumpshot?)

worked on our dunking too!

We learned the ways of the water and how to be safe

and did our best hang-ten!

Then we tried to catch those waves

and we got it!

Success is best when you can share it with your friends! 
*Thank you, thank you so much tribal members for the paddle song, Quileute Housing Authority for the towels and food, US Coast Guard for keeping an eye on us, NOAA and Quileute Tribal Council for your support*

Learn more about what Warm Current is doing on the coast at
Go surf with the kids and make some new friends at Neah Bay this coming Saturday, August 17th,  
or just come say hi and see what it's all about.

Cleanup with WA CoastSavers at Pt. Grenville

What a success! We helped get 1700 pounds of garbage off the beach on July 27th at Pt. Grenville, Taholah on the Quinault Indian Reservation. 40 volunteers showed up- just have a look at our day below.

 We braved the fog and cold while beach driving in search of marine debris.

We found a bit of time to make friends and chat about the ocean with volunteers.

We found so much garbage!  A few common items were fireworks, fishing gear, rope, but we also found a few curious items like a squirt gun, tires, a piece of a boat trailer, and an entire blue tarp!

If enjoying the beach is for everyone, then cleaning the beach is for everyone! 
Join us next time and then enjoy the rest of your day at the beach while you're at it! 
International Coastal Cleanup is September 21st. Find out more at

Friday, August 2, 2013

Protect the Future of Your Favorite Beach

Do you love the beach?  Who doesn’t, right?  Well, now you can get involved in protecting your favorite beach by participating in the process of Marine Spatial Planning (MSP).  If you use the beach and ocean for anything from family excursions to tow-in surfing, then we encourage you to speak up!

Washington State is seeking public comment on the recently released draft goals and objectives for MSP, which is the process of mapping uses and resources of the marine environment so that they can be intelligently managed and new uses can be evaluated with better information.  In addition, a crucial part of MSP is involving stakeholders and the public in the process, and that’s why your input is so valuable.

This spring and early summer Washington SeaGrant convened local, state, and federal agency staff with members from the Washington Coastal Marine Advisory Council to develop goals and objectives that will guide decisions regarding MSP, resulting in the draft that is now open for public comment. MSP is currently focusing on the coastal waters of Washington, ranging from Ilwaco to Port Angeles and includes the estuaries, such as Willapa Bay and Grays Harbor, up to the tidal mean high water mark.

Coastal recreators should be interested in this process because it can offer better protection of the ocean and beaches that we use for walking, clamming, surfing, kayaking, bird watching, and escaping the hustle and bustle of modern life.

Please take time to read the draft goals and objectives for MSP and provide any comments.  Your time investment will pay off in the future when your favorite beach is protected!  You can find the draft (called the “scoping document”), and comment cards here:

In addition to any issues you find, we recommend making the following suggestions:

  • Suggest adding this overarching goal: “Protect and preserve existing sustainable uses.”
  • Convey how important protection and access to recreational areas are to coastal communities who economically benefit and to the general public as a whole whose quality of life is enhanced by playing outside.
  • Emphasize the importance of protecting the marine ecosystem including important habitats, biodiversity, and ecological functions

Please email your comments to by September 23, 2013.  Your voice is very important in helping shape the future of our valuable coastline.  Now is your chance to be heard!

More information about MSP can be found here: and