Monday, December 12, 2011

SSA Marine Challenged for Violoting Clean Water Act

Today, RE Sources announced that they filed suit against SSA Marine for Clean Water Act violations at Cherry Point.

“SSA Marine knowingly flaunted an array of county, state, and federal regulations when they built roads damaging forests and wetlands last summer,” said Bob Ferris, executive director of RE Sources. “And now they want immediate forgiveness for creating impacts that could take decades to recover. That is simply unacceptable.”

SSA cleared nine acres of forest and wetlands at Cherry Point without permits. This work was exploration for their proposed mega coal export terminal just north of Bellingham. Protests against the terminal from local communities and leaders are gaining momentum across the state as the evidence increases demonstrating the harm the project will have on our health and the environment.


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Seattle Introduces Bag Ban!

On Monday, November 21, Seattle City Council introduced legislation to ban single use plastic bags -- very exciting news for oceans and coasts!

Plastic bags make up over 10 percent of the debris littering the U.S. coastline. Like all plastic, these bags never go away.

The Seattle Times endorsed the bag ban. Read full story.

Council Bill 117345 will help clean up Puget Sound and our oceans by removing 292 million plastic bags from the waste stream every year. Modeled on the Bellingham ordinance, which passed this July, the measure would ban single use plastic bags and place a 5 cent fee on paper bags.

Show your support for the bag ban at an upcoming public hearing:

Seattle City Council Public Hearing on Plastic Bags Legislation
Monday, December 5
Council Chambers, City Hall, 2nd Floor
600 Fourth Ave

Friday, November 18, 2011

Push for Seattle Plastic Bag Ban

The Seattle Times reported today on a push for Seattle City Council to ban single use plastics bags. Full story.

Yesterday, Julie Masura, a faculty member at the University of Washington Tacoma's Center for Urban Waters, spoke at a press conference overlooking Puget Sound. She has been doing research on plastics in the Sound. Her work discovered small pieces of plastic in every water sample taken in Puget Sound.

Environment Washington featured her research in a new report, Keeping Plastic Out of Puget Sound: Why Washington should Join the Global Movement to Reduce Plastic Bag Pollution.

In Seattle, consumers use 292 million plastic bags every year. It's time for Seattle to join Portland, Bellingham, China and numerous other cities, counties and countries who have banned the bag.

Contact Seattle City Council and ask them to BAN THE BAG.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Chance to help Puget Sound

Right now is a unique opportunity to help clean up the waters of Puget Sound! With your help, we can strengthen water quality testing programs and make plastic pollution in our ocean and on our beaches a priority for the clean up of Puget Sound.

WHAT: Comment on the 2011 update to the Puget Sound Action Agenda – the plan to recover Puget Sound by 2020. The actions in this plan set the course for collective recovery efforts including the work of government agencies,
non-profit organizations and businesses.

HOW: Attend a public open house.
Public open houses are a great opportunity to learn about the clean up Puget Sound and give input on how to support clean water for recreational users. Here are some key points that Surfrider Foundation is making:

Support Clean Water for recreation!
  • Expand water quality testing programs to include winter months. Yes, we paddle and swim in the winter, the most likely time for storm induced run-off events that pollute our waters.
  • Clean up polluted sites threatening water quality in Puget Sound, including the Port Angeles Landfill and the Warmhouse Beach Dump.
  • Make plastic pollution a priority. Plastics are not only strangling marine wildlife, but are being ingested by mammals, birds, and the fish that we eat.

Mill Creek: Monday,
October 3, from 4:30 – 7:00PM Department of Fish and Wildlife, Mill Creek Regional Office, 16018 Mill Creek Boulevard
Poulsbo: Tuesday, October 4, from 4:30 – 7:00PM Poulsbo City Council Chamber in City Hall, 200 Northeast Moe St
Mount Vernon: Monday October 10, from 4:30 – 7:00PM Padilla Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, 10441 Bayview-Edison Road
Olympia: Tuesday, October 11 from 4:30 – 7:00PM LOTT Clean Water Alliance, 500 Adams Street NE
San Juans: Wednesday, October 19 aboard the interisland ferry. Depart Anacortes at 9:30AM. Depart Friday Harbor 11:35AM. Arrive Friday Harbor 5:10PM. Arrive Anacortes 7:50PM

For details on the Action Agenda:

photo: Fred Felleman

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

"Bag It" playing in Wallingford Sept 9th

Join PCC, Zero Waste, Seattle City Council Member Mike O'Brien and others for a special showing of "Bag It" and help kick off a great campaign to ban plastic bags in Seattle...

Friday Night at the Meaningful Movies: BAG-IT...the movie about Bags and Plastic and the Environment.

WHEN: Friday, September 9, 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.

WHERE: 5019 Keystone Place North, Keystone Congregational Church 1/2 block north of NE 50th in Wallingford. Metro bus 16, 26, 44

FREE. donations kindly accepted. Hall capacity about 200 so get there early for a seat!

Bag-It is followed by a post-film discussion with PCC Sustainability and Public Affairs Directors Diane Crane and Trudy Bialic, Heather Trim from Zero Waste Seattle, Seattle City Council Member Mike O'Brien, Dick Lilly from Seattle Public Utilities, and Jill McIntyre Witt of Bag-Free Bellingham. Be in on the start of a successful Bag-Free Seattle Campaign!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Bellingham bans single use plastic bags

Last night, Bellingham joined a growing list of cities across the country reducing consumption of single use plastic shopping bags. With strong support from the local community including grocery stores, the Bellingham City Council voted unanimously to ban plastic shopping bags and impose a 5 cent fee on paper. Huge thanks to the volunteers, including the Surfrider Foundation's Northwest Straits Chapter, for making this happen.

Now, let's do it in Seattle.

Read more in the Bellingham Herald.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

National Ocean Council listening session in WA June 27th

The National Ocean Council (NOC) has announced a series of listening sessions to be held around the country on the new National Policy for the Stewardship of the Ocean, Coasts, and Great Lakes. This policy was established by President Obama through an executive order in July 2010 and is currently being implemented through the National Ocean Council. The upcoming listening sessions provide a unique opportunity to learn more about the National Ocean Policy and provide input on strategic action plans being developed for each of the nine priority objectives. The meetings also are a great venue to highlight local Surfrider priorities that could benefit from federal or regional support.

The Washington listening meeting is on June 27, in Ocean Shores at the Quinault Beach Resort and Casino. 8:30 am to 5:00 pm.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Oppose Fast Track Offshore Drilling Bills

Take Action to Defend Your Coast

Please tell Congress to oppose legislation that would fast track new offshore drilling in our ocean waters. The House of Representatives is currently considering three bills (H.R. 1229, 1230, and 1231) that would recklessly accelerate the leasing process and mandate new drilling in sensitive ocean areas off virtually every coast. Take fast action now.

Friday, April 29, 2011

The Coal Hard Truth Forum

Join community members at the Coal Hard Truth Forum and learn about the campaign to protect Bellingham and communities across Washington from the dirty and dangerous coal industry.

When: Wednesday, May 4th at 7:00 pm

Where: Bellingham Public Library (210 Central Avenue, Bellingham).

Who: Dan Pike, Mayor of Bellingham; Jean Melious, former Whatcom County Planning Commissioner; Robin Everett, Sierra Club; Matt Krogh, ReSources

Learn about:
  • The regional picture of coal use and the health impacts of coal
  • What the Cherry Point terminal proposal will mean for Bellingham, for the State of Washington and for the global community.
  • Explore better alternatives and what you can do to make Washington Coal-Free!
For more information contact Llyn Doremus at
Robin Everett at 206-378-0114 x308 or

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Proposed mega coal terminal debated at City Club

Yesterday, April27th, SSA Marine and ReSources for Sustainble Communities debated the contentious proposal to construct a mega coal export terminal in the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve north of Bellingham. Surfrider Foundation Northwest Straits Chapter was there among an audience of 400. Bad on climate, water quality, and access to the coast, the project is strongly opposed by the local chapter and community members of Bellingham.

Read more about the first public debate on the Cherry Point mega coal terminal:
Crosscut, Bellingham's first debate on coal-for-China project reflects growing tensions
Seattle P-I, Shipping coal to China: A big export terminal north of Bellingham?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Governor Gregoire signs bill to improve oil spill response programs

Today, on the one-year anniversary of the Gulf Oil Spill, Governor Gregoire will sign into law House Bill 1186 to strengthen Washington oil spill preparedness programs.

Gulf spill was a sad reminder that these catastrophic events happen and that it is essential to be prepared, especially in Washington State where over 4000 vessels transport oil in and out of Puget Sound and along our coast every year.

HB 1186 will expand state programs to train volunteers, require regular oil spill drills and equip commercial fisherman to be first responders so that we are prepared in the event of a major oil spill. The bill also tasks the state Department of Ecology to improve requirements on oil tankers and other vessels traveling through state waters to stockpile state-of-the-art oil spill response equipment.

Huge thanks to Surfrider chapters and activists who generated letters, emails and phone calls to the legislator. And to People for Puget Sound who lead this initiative and have been a longtime champion on oil spill policies for Washington. This bill never would have moved without champions in the legislator – Rep. Christine Rolfes (Bainbridge Island), Rep. Zack Hudgins (Tukwila) and Sen Kevin Ranker (San Juan).

Friday, April 1, 2011

"Bag It" Playing In Bellingham

Bag It Bellingham, a local effort to reduce single-use bags, are proud to present a Premiere Community-Wide Screening of award winning film, "Bag It" tonight on the PAC Main stage from 7-9 pm. Please visit our Surfrider table there!

Check out the event on faceboook.

WWU Performing Arts Center
Friday, April 1, 7-9pm doors open 6:30 pm.
Reserved Pay lot parking in 14G and 11G available
$7 for Adults, $3 for Students, Seniors, Kids

Find us on facebook at:
Read updates at:

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Surfrider Foundation Japan Update

Dear Chapter Leaders,

We have been in contract with Hideyasu Kato from SF Japan to ask how we can best support them. He told us that things are changing and evolving so rapidly at this point that it is not clear how we can help. He did imply that there is going to be work to do for many years so our support might be better served once the initial disaster settles down. We'll continue to maintain regular contact with our friends in Japan and provide updates regarding future support in conjunction with their efforts. For the time being the best thing is for us to keep them in our thoughts and they all appreciate your concern throughout this horrific tragedy. Thank you.

Edward Mazzarella
Director of Chapters
Surfrider Foundation

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Mega coal terminal threatens coastal waters

Proposed coal terminal threatens sensitive ecosystems, public health, and coastal waters. Please read and sign onto RE Sources' position statement regarding the coal export facility proposed for Cherry Point in Ferndale, Washington.

read more:
Bellingham Herald
People for Puget Sound

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Oil spill bill passed the House with bipartisan support

HB 1186 to strengthen Washington's oil spills program passed out of the House by a vote of 62-35. Huge thanks to legislators championing this bill and to everyone who contacted their representatives and asked for their support. Now the bill is in the Senate and again, we will need your help to let Senators know how important this bill is for Washington's marine waters.

Sponsored by Rep. Christine Rolfes, from Bainbridge Island, HB 1186 bill will:
Improve funding for the Department’s Oil Spill Program, which is currently running a multi-million dollar deficit.
Strengthen requirements for stockpiling appropriate spills response equipment to ensure that we are ready for a large spill in Puget Sound and on the coast.
Expand spill response “drill” program to test assumptions made in our spill response plans and to better train responders.
Train, equip, and drill commercial fishermen for oils spill response to increase the region’s response capacities.

Friday, February 18, 2011

500 advocates went to Olympia for the environment

For Environmental Lobby Day, 500 activists traveled to Olympia to tell legislators that clean water, air and land are priorities for Washington.

Get the full story in the Seattle Times, Citizen lobbyists rally to protect environmental progress.

Activists lobbied on behalf of the four 2011 environmental legislative priorities, including the 2011 Clean Water Jobs Act to tackle stormwater pollution.

You can take action on behalf of clean water too, right from your computer, just click here for the priorities website.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Should public be allowed to walk across private tidelands?

On Watching Our Water Ways, Christopher Dunagan is asking this very question with a poll. Learn more and give your answer at Watching Our Water Ways.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Puget Sound water quality deteriorates with heavy rains

the latest news on Puget Sound water quality:

"Not that many would chose to swim this time of year, but the Washington Department of Ecology (DOE) cautions against it...."

Seattle Times: "Runoff turns Elliott Bay into murky stew"


KPLU News: "Stormwater runoff: A flood of crud" by Liam Moriarty

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

TALKING TRASH - January 27th

From electronics to groceries to holiday gifts, excess packaging is not just annoying—it hurts your wallet AND the environment. What can we do about it? Come hear from a panel of local innovators working to curb packaging waste and then share your own experience and ideas for policies on waste reduction in Seattle.

This will be the first in a series of discussions co-sponsored by Pacific Science Center and Seattle City Council that gather community input on different aspects of the City Council’s priority issue of carbon neutrality.

Educational activities provided by Pacific Science Center’s Science On Wheels for children ages 5 and up whose caregivers attend the forum. Registration required for kids’ activities. Light dinner and refreshments provided for forum attendees.

When: Thursday, January 27, 6 – 8:30 p.m.
Info fair at 6 p.m., forum begins at 6:30 p.m.

Where: NewHolly Gathering Hall,
NewHolly Campus Family Building,
7054 32nd Avenue South, Seattle

How to register: This event is FREE but space is limited. Reserve your spot by registering today at or (206)443-2896.

Request interpretation: or (206) 684-8800

Featured speakers: Manager of corporate sustainability, Costco
Dominic Muren, Lecturer in Industrial Design, University of Washington
Small local business representative

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Systemic Failures in Risk Management by BP, Halliburton, and Transocean

"The immediate causes of the Macondo well blowout can be traced to a series of identifiable mistakes made by BP, Halliburton, and Transocean that reveal such systematic failures in risk management that they place in doubt the safety culture of the entire industry." - excerpt from the new report by the bipartisan National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Spill and Offshore Drilling. Read the just-released report.

Preparing For A Large Oil Spill In Washington State:

A coalition of stakeholder groups comprised of local elected officials, shellfish growers, fishermen, recreation, conservation, and tourism interests, are working to advance policy changes focused on strengthening Washington State's oil spill preparedness, prevention and response program to make sure we have enough spill equipment and personnel ready to respond to a major spill in our waters. In addition, the campaign seeks to fully fund the state's oil spill program which is currently woefully underfunded.

Several policy changes are needed to ensure that Washington is well prepared for a major spill, including:

Improve funding for the Department’s Oil Spill Program, which is currently running a multi-million dollar deficit.

Strengthen requirements for stockpiling appropriate spills response equipment in Washington to ensure that we have equipment on hand to respond in rough seas, fast currents, darkness and fog, and other challenging environments. Ensure that we are ready for a large spill in Puget Sound and the Pacific coast.

Expand spill response “drill” program to test assumptions made in our spill response plans and to better train responders.

Train, equip, and drill commercial fishermen for oils spill response to increase the region’s response capacities.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Water... in the news and a priority for Washington

"Stormwater is a top legislative priority for Washington environmental groups, and the emphasis is reflected in the 2011 Clean Water Jobs Act they will promote in Olympia this session. Mo McBroom, policy director for the Washington Environmental Council, articulates the need for investments in infrastructure to deal with stormwater runoff. A bonus is substantial job creation.”

See full column
Basic Survival: water supply and quality
Lance Dickie / Seattle Times editorial columnist

If you're interested in policy, don't miss:
Environmental Priorities Coalition Legislative Workshop
When: Saturday, January 8th, 9:30 AM - 2:30 PM
Where: Seattle Pacific University, Gwinn Room
Cost: $20 with lunch, $10 without lunch, and $10 for students with lunch
Who: You and hundreds of other people who also care about the environment