Monday, December 1, 2008

Puget Sound has a new plan for restoring it to health

On December 1st the Leadership Council of the Puget Sound Partnership formally adopted the Action Plan to clean up the Sound by the year 2020. Surfrider Foundation activists and staff have been following the development of the Agenda and offering input along the way. South Sound Chapter Chair, Mike Webb, testified twice before the Leadership Council. In addition, countless members and activists submitted comments. THANK YOU FOR YOUR EFFORTS. They had an impact.

Our message has been that this new initiative to save Puget Sound needs to be much bolder than those in the past. In particular, we emphasized that the Puget Sound Partnership must prioritize opportunities for residents and visitors to connect with the waters of Puget Sound. Whether people experience the Sound from the marine waters, the shoreline, or up in the watershed, exploring and learning about the rich ecosystem that spans from the crest of the Cascades to the Straits of Juan de Fuca is one of the best strategies for conservation. Our connection to Puget Sound is what drives us to understand and care about this resource. Our connection is what inspires us to steward this resource for our neighbors and our grandchildren.

The Puget Sound Action Agenda is a bold new plan to save the Sound. It is also ambitious. And if it is going to be successful, it is going to take the actions of all us who live and recreate here. I encourage you to visit the Partnership’s website and watch the Action Agenda video: .


Friday, November 14, 2008

Act NOW on behalf of Puget Sound

Washington's action agenda for restoring Puget Sound to health by 2020 is out. Public comments, YOUR COMMENTS, are needed to make sure the agenda will accomplish its goal. To send comments fast from Surfrider Foundation’s website:

While Puget Sound may look beautiful and vibrant on the surface, the quality of the water, the condition of the shorelines, and the health of marine species are in serious peril. Just this month, researchers confirmed that seven orcas, 10% of the Puget Sound population, are missing and believed to be dead. Toxins in the food web and diminished salmon populations are largely to blame. Another underlying cause is us. Our actions, our inactions, our lack of awareness, our failure to hold governments and industry accountable -- we play a large role. This is our Puget Sound, it is our backyard and if we care about its future, we need to step up and help. There are so many easy things that we can do to make a difference, starting with sending comments on the Puget Sound Action Agenda.

Send comments to the Puget Sound Partnership right now by going to Surfrider Foundation's action alert or by going to the Puget Sound Partnership’s website: The comment period ends Thursday, November 20th.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Election 2008


Whether voting by absentee or at the ballot box, do not miss this enormous opportunity to support our oceans, waves and beaches among numerous other critical issues at stake in this election. Surfrider Foundation does not endorse candidates, but we do strongly encourage you to vote.

Also, I am happy to share my thoughts on a couple of Washington’s ballot initiatives. This year, there are two initiatives addressing transportation choices. First I-985, this initiative deceptively appears to reduce traffic, but in fact would do the opposite. As The Seattle Times writes, “The result [of I-985] will be more cars on the roads and more congestion by mid-December. Happy Holidays to you.” The second is Prop 1. This proposition offers more transit solutions, including express buses and light rail. The cost of this measure will be about $69 per person per year, which is just a little more than one tank of gas. As The Tacoma News Tribune wrote, “We think that’s a reasonable price for fast and reliable mass transit.” Transportation is an issue for our ocean and coasts. Increasing traffic and road construction leads to more air pollution and more stormwater runoff, which means decreasing water quality.

Very importantly, please make sure to vote in every race on the ballot. Your state and local elected officials will have an impact on the future health of Washington’s ocean and coasts.


Friday, September 26, 2008

Off-shore drilling does more harm than good LETTER - THE BELLINGHAM HERALD

I urge Congress to put sound policy ahead of politics when debating high gas prices. Some policies being floated in Washington, D.C., could have disastrous consequences for our coastal economies.

Some proposals would open up Washington shores for oil drilling. Tourism is one of the backbones of our economy. The impact a drilling operation would have on coastal hotels, fishing industry and related businesses, not to mention beaches, is unfathomable. No matter what Big Oil says, some oil and toxic waste spills seem inevitable with new exploration off our coasts. The risk seems to far outweigh the reward.

With less than 3 percent of the world's oil, the United States could drill every national park, wildlife refuge, and coastline and still need to import 60 percent of the oil we use based on current demand. Drilling won't deliver a drop of new oil for at least 10 years.

I recognize the need for Congress to take action on gas prices. I hope the Congressional offshore drilling moratorium remains intact, and Congress focuses on energy solutions that will really help at the pump.

Brian Smart


Brian is an active member of Surfrider Foundation's Northwest Straits Chapter.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Neah Bay emergency response tug assists fishing vessel

The emergency rescue tug stationed at Neah Bay, Hunter, assisted a 106-foot fishing vessel on Wednesday after it lost propulsion at sea.

The Papado II was about 27 miles southwest of Cape Flattery when it became disabled. Sea water leaked into the engine room, causing the main engine to become inoperable. The Papado II was in no immediate danger but was drifting at sea.

A standby emergency response tug has been on station at Neah Bay since spring 1999. The state has directly funded the tug since year 2000. Funding for the tug ends on June 30, 2009. The tug has stood by or assisted 41 ships that were disabled or had reduced maneuvering or propulsion capability while transporting oil and other cargo along the coast and through the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The actions helped ensure the ships didn't drift onto rocks and spill oil.

Ecology’s Neah Bay Emergency Response Tug information page:

Monday, September 15, 2008

Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary is updating their management plan

Since its designation in 1994, Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary has combined ocean research, management and policy, and education programs to protect one of America's most significant ocean treasures.

This fall, the sanctuary is beginning a thorough re-examination of their management priorities. This is a pubic process and will be greatly enhanced by the input of people who use and care about Washington’s outer coast.

Please attend an upcoming public meeting:
Port Angeles: 9/29/08, 6-9pm, Peninsula College Longhouse South Campus
Neah Bay: 9/30/08, 6-9pm, Makah Marina Conference Center, Makah Reservation, Bayview Ave
La Push: 10/1/08, 6-9pm, A-Ka-Lat Center, Quileute Reservation on La Push Road
Ocean Shores: 10/2/08, 6-9pm, Ocean Shores Convention Center, 120 W Chance a La Mer NW
Westport: 10/3/08, 6-9pm, Westport Maritime Museum, 2201, Westhaven Drive
Olympia: 10/4/08, 2-5pm, Governor Hotel, Washington Room, 621 S. Capitol Way
Seattle: 10/5/08, 7-10pm, Seattle Aquarium, Pier 59, 1483 Alaskan Way

For more information, visit: