Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Ocean Acidification - a plan and a call for action

Governor Gregoire left another legacy for Washington today when she signed an executive order calling for action on ocean acidification. The order acts on the recommendations of the Governor's Blue Ribbon Panel on Ocean Acidification who released their final scientific report and recommended actions this morning. 

One of the most visible impacts of ocean acidification is the corrosive effects on shellfish. In Washington, shellfish growers have seen these impacts firsthand, witnessing the die off of juvenile oysters because their shells could not form properly in increasingly acidic waters.

The Blue Ribbon Panel recommends 42 actions to address ocean acidification, including efforts to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide, to minimize sources of local land-based pollution, including storm water, to invest more in research and monitoring, and to increase public awareness.

Washington State has fast become a national leader on responding to ocean acidification.  Learn more about State efforts.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Swimming Beaches in Puget Sound get a failing grade

In 2011, one quarter of the beaches monitored around Puget Sound were found to be unsafe for swimming because they failed to meet water quality standards. Since monitoring water quality at popular recreation beaches began in 2004, the number of unsafe beaches has increased by 12 percent.

The Puget Sound Partnership just released their 2012 State of the Sound report. In the report, swimming Beaches is just one of many indicators that suggests Puget Sound is imperiled and not improving. However, the report is not all bad news - over one thousand shellfish beds have been reopened to harvest and over two thousand acres of habitat have been restored. For more details, read the press release.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Celebrate Raptober!

Plastic trash is rapidly becoming one of the top threats to our ocean environments. Each year over one million seabirds and one hundred thousand marine mammals die from ingestion of, or entanglement in, plastic.  Even worse, in some areas of the ocean the amount of suspended plastic particles now outnumbers the ambient plankton!
For the entire month of October the Surfrider Foundation and our friends at Rusty will be celebrating Raptober.  We’ll be sharing plastic related facts as well as tips on how to reduce your individual plastic footprint.  Plus, special membership deals are available for a limited time. Learn more at http://bit.ly/RAPtober.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Report your surfing illnesses

Surfrider Foundation has just released our newest online reporting tool! Have you ever gotten sick after visiting the beach?  Now there’s a place to share your story and see where others are getting sick? Water pollution is the number one threat to surfer’s health in the ocean and we need your help tracking those potential sources. Check out our new tool to report an illness and read more on our coastal blog!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Barefoot Wine Beach Rescue Project

The Seattle Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation and Barefoot Wine Presents

The Barefoot Wine Beach Rescue Project
Saturday, August 11, 2012 at Alki Beach, West Seattle

The Barefoot Wine Beach Rescue Project, now in its sixth year, helps keep beaches, rivers, parks and lakes across America “barefoot friendly.”  In 2012, Barefoot Wine and the Surfrider Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to protection and enjoyment of the world’s oceans, waves and beaches, along with community volunteers, are embarking on a tour of 25 cleanups nationwide, stopping in Seattle, WA.  Look for the Surfrider tent and join us to help keep our beaches clean.  See you Saturday.

Beach Cleanup  - All Ages Welcome                                          
11:00 am – 1:00 pm                      
Across from Slices Pizza
2600 Marine Ave. SW
Seattle, WA 98116
look for the Surfrider tent!

Volunteers are also invited to attend a celebration, organized by the Surfrider Foundation, featuring surf-inspired fare.  Tickets for the celebration will be distributed at the cleanup.

Celebration - 21 and over only
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Slices on Alki
2600 Marine Ave. SW
Seattle, WA 98116

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Hello from Brice Boland

Hello Surfrider members! My name is Brice Boland and I’ve recently been hired as the new Washington State Field Coordinator. Being an avid outdoor enthusiast and advocate I feel incredibly lucky to be working with the Surfrider Foundation. As a born and raised Idahoan I spent the bulk of my life fishing the Clearwater River, hiking in the Bitterroot Mountains of Northern Idaho, and skiing throughout the Northwest. Through it all I developed a deep appreciation for the environment. About six years ago this passion led me to take a position as a community organizer working on water contamination issues resulting from phosphate mining. As a result, I learned the basic tools and tactics to be a successful organizer. Since then, I have run campaigns for candidates and issues from rural Idaho to metropolitan Pittsburgh. I take with me the experience and dedication to work with chapters and individuals to advance Surfrider campaigns and programs. I am at your call so if you would like to speak with me please contact me with any questions or ideas. I look forward to working with you all, to supporting chapter initiatives, and to restoring and protecting our coasts so that we can all enjoy clean water, healthy beaches, and rich ocean ecosystems.

Looking Forward to Meeting You,

Brice Boland
(253) 442-3743

Thursday, July 12, 2012

New toll-free line to report marine debris

Photo by Stiv Wilson

State announces toll-free line to report marine debris on beaches

Washington State has a new toll-free reporting and information line – 1-855-WACOAST (1-855-922-6278) – to report marine debris on our coastal beaches.

People who call 1-855-WACOAST can:

·       Report oil and hazardous items to the National Response Center and Ecology by pressing “1.”
·       Report large floating debris items that might pose a boating or navigation hazard by pressing “2.”
·       Get instructions for reporting debris that is not large or hazardous.

The State is encouraging everyone visiting coastal beaches to remove and dispose of small debris items such as Styrofoam, plastic, bottles, other synthetic materials, glass and metal.

If an item appears to have sentimental value to those who owned it, NOAA requests that people move the item to a safe place and email the information to disasterdebreis@noaa.gov.

More about tsunami debris

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Is your swimming beach safe?

Ever wonder what the water quality is at your favorite Washington beach? 

The beach at the Fauntleroy-Southworth ferry terminal in Seattle was closed to swimming earlier this month after a sewage overflow. It reopened on June 7th. Visit the BEACH website to find the latest information on beach closures.

The WA Department of Ecology just released the list of beaches they will test this summer. Here is the list. If your beach is missing, contact Julie Lowe, BEACH Program Manager, julie.lowe@ecy.wa.gov, Desk: (360) 407-6543

2012 Beach List
Click here for more info and direct links.

Clallam County

  • Cline Spit County Park
  • Hollywood Beach
  • Salt Creek Recreation Area County Park

Grays Harbor County

  • Westhaven State Park, Half Moon Bay
  • Westhaven State Park, South Jetty
  • Westport - The Groynes

Island County

  • Windjammer Lagoon
  • Windjammer Park

Jefferson County

  • Camp Parsons
  • Fort Worden State Park
  • Herb Beck Marina

King County

  • Alki Beach Park
  • Carkeek Park
  • Golden Gardens Park
  • Lincoln Park
  • Redondo County Park
  • Saltwater State Park
  • Seahurst County Park

Kitsap County

  • Arness County Park
  • Eagle Harbor Waterfront Park
  • Fay Bainbridge State Park
  • Illahee State Park
  • Indianola Dock
  • Lions Field
  • Manchester State Park
  • Point No Point Lighthouse Park
  • Pomeroy Park - Manchester Beach
  • Scenic Beach State Park
  • Seabeck Conference Center Saltwater Lagoon
  • Seabeck Conference Center Beach
  • Silverdale Waterfront Park

Makah Nation

  • Dakwas Park Beach
  • Front Street Beach,East
  • Hobuck Beach
  • Sooes Beach
  • Third Beach, Neah Bay
  • Warmhouse Beach

Mason County

  • Allyn Waterfront Park
  • Potlatch State Park
  • Twanoh State Park 

Pierce County

  • Browns Point Lighthouse Park
  • Dash Point County Park
  • Fox Island Park
  • Owens Beach/Point Defiance Park
  • Penrose Point State Park
  • Purdy Spit County Park
  • Sunnyside Beach Park
  • Titlow Park
  • Waterfront Dock / Ruston Way

Skagit County

  • Bayview Boat Launch
  • Bayview State Park

Snohomish County

  • Edmonds Marina Beach Park
  • Edmonds Underwater Park
  • Howarth Park
  • Jetty Island
  • Kayak Point County Park
  • Mukilteo Lighthouse Park
  • Picnic Point County Park

Thurston County

  • Burfoot County Park

Whatcom County

  • Birch Bay County Park
  • Larrabee State Park
  • Little Squalicum
  • Marine Park, Bellingham

Friday, May 4, 2012

Japan Tsunami Debris

Announcing the North Olympic Tsunami Debris Symposium supported by the Clallam County MRC and the Olympic Peninsula Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation. Renowned oceanographer Curt Ebbesmeyer will be leading presentations, Tsunami debris identification workshops and a planning session. Website: tsunamidebrissymposium.wordpress.com

What to do if you see debris that could be Japan Tsunami debris? Here are NOAA's guidelines:

Be safe: If you don’t know what it is, don’t touch it. Collect as much information from a safe distance as you can – including photos -- and report the debris to DisasterDebris@noaa.gov. If the item appears unusual or hazardous, contact your local authorities for specific guidance and instructions (see below).

Litter and other typical marine debris items
Common marine debris types will vary by location. If an object can be linked to the tsunami, please report it to DisasterDebris@noaa.gov. Please provide as much information as possible. Where it’s safe and practical to do so, people should remove the debris and recycle any plastics or metals.
Hazardous materials
Examples: Drums, fuel tanks and containers, gas cans, gas cylinders, chemical storage totes Do not touch or attempt to move the item. Give authorities a detailed report about what you’ve observed. Call the National Response Center at 1-800-424-8802 AND 1-800-OILS-911 (1-800-645-7911).
Aluminum Canisters
10-inch aluminum insecticide canisters often are found in high tide zones. Do not open the cap since these fumi- gant canisters may contain small amounts of toxic phosphine gas. Call the National Response Center at 1-800-424 -8802 AND 1-800-OILS-911 (1-800-645-7911).
Derelict boat or other large debris item
Do not attempt to move or remove the boat. Report it to the U.S. Coast Guard 24-Hour Command Center, 206-217- 6001.
Personal effects or possessions from Japan tsunami
Items that appear to be personal belongings should be treated with respect. They should be reported with as much relevant detail as possible. Generally, these objects should be left in place for later retrieval. However, if the object appears likely to be moved by tide or wave action and it is safe to do so, consider moving the object above the high- tide line. Report these to DisasterDebris@noaa.gov.
Human remains
It is extremely unlikely any human remains from the tsunami will reach the United States. However, if you encoun- ter any remains, immediately call 9-1-1 and give local authorities a detailed report about what you observed. Do not touch or attempt to move.
Unknown Item
Don’t touch or attempt to move the item. Give local authorities a detailed report about what you observed. Call 9-1-1
For more information on Japan tsunami debris, please visit www.marinedebris.noaa.gov/info/japanfaqs.html To request a shoreline monitoring guide, email MDmonitoring@noaa.gov

Monday, February 6, 2012

Local Surfrider chapter supports international effort to collect Tsunami debris

The Olympic Peninsula Chapter (OPC) received great coverage in the Peninsula Daily News for their help in cleaning up coast
al beaches and discovering debris from the Japanese Tsunami. Tsunami debris has just begun to land on U.S. and Canadian beaches. This November, the OPC found an unusual and large marine float believed to be Tsunami debris while cleaning up a remote beach on the outer coast. The Chapter partnered with the Coast Guard, who helped remove 1,800 lbs of debris by helicopter. Cleaning up Tsunami debris and recovering it when possible so it may be returned to Japan requires a collective effort. Read the full story. Connect with the Olympic Peninsula Chapter to get involved.