September 6, 2015

Beach Cleanup at Ward Ave: Saturday, September 19, 9am-noon



The Annual Coastal Cleanup is the world’s largest volunteer effort for the ocean. Every year, hundreds of thousands of volunteers remove millions of pounds of trash from beaches across the globe.  The success of our local cleanups are determined by you!  The more hands we have helping, the more pollution we can prevent from entering our beautiful ocean and endangering marine wildlife.  To find out more about worldwide cleanup efforts on this day, visit Ocean Conservancy.

Meet at the Ward Ave parking area. Please bring your own work gloves or disposable gloves. In an effort to reduce usage of single use plastic bags for garbage collection we are encouraging participants to bring a 5 gallon bucket or pail for trash collecting. We will have extras at the beach.

Beach Cleanup hours are from 9 a.m. to 12 noon. Special thanks to Diane, Dave, and Brennan for taking on the Beach Captain responsibilities again this year!



September 6, 2015

Bob Whitney’s Celebration of Life Services


Saturday, September 19, 2015 at 1 PM at Ridgewood Ranch, 16200 North Highway 101, Willits, California.

We all miss Bob so much. It will be great to see you all and to share our stories of Bob.

September 6, 2015

Founding Chapter Member Bob Whitney


Robert “Bob” Bruce Whitney, passed away on July 15, 2015 after a brave, brief battle with liver cancer. In his 73 years, Bob celebrated life every day through his commitment to family and his tireless work for the environment.

Bob grew up in Costa Mesa, with his mother Betty, a nurse, and his two brothers, Peter and Chris. Bob attended high school at Proctor Academy in Andover, New Hampshire. In 1961, he moved to Santa Barbara to attend UC Santa Barbara, where he studied economics and was a member of the Delta Tau Delta Fraternity. He married Sally Bromfield in 1963; Bob and Sally had 3 children during their marriage. Bob received his Masters in Economics at USC in 1964.

Bob started his lifelong work on behalf of the environment in Santa Barbara. Bob was a key member of Friends of Hammond’s in 1971, and later of the Hammond’s Meadow Preserve, which saved Montecito’s Hammond’s Meadow and beach from over development and seawall formation. Due to these efforts, a three acre meadow, public access trails and a natural beach still exist for future generations to enjoy.

Bob was a founding member of the Santa Barbara Environmental Defense Center in 1977. The EDC has gone on to be the powerhouse of legal action and advocacy for environmental protection in Santa Barbara County. Bob was the Director of the Santa Barbara Indian Center when he was part of a coalition that stopped PG&E from building a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) port terminal at Cojo above the Hollister Ranch, just below Point Conception. This precious stretch of coast still remains in its natural state today, a rarity in Southern California.

In 1972, Bob and his family moved to New Zealand, and lived there for four years. Bob taught high school economics, and his family had a wonderful experience of learning about a different country and culture.

In 1976 Bob returned to Santa Barbara with his family. After his divorce, Bob found friendship and love with his second wife, Joan Person Whitney.  Joan and Bob raised two sons and remained lovingly married until the end of his life.

In 1983, Bob and family moved to Willits, CA where Bob taught economics and the first computer programming classes offered at Willits High School, all the while becoming involved in the local environmental community. In 1989, Bob and family moved for a year to Sitka, Alaska where Bob taught at the local high school. When he returned to Willits, Bob turned his long-standing environmental activism volunteer work into a career as an environmental planner. Bob’s thirty years of environmental work and volunteer efforts in Northern California, spans from the ocean to mountains and thousands of acres in between. Some of the highlights of Bob’s extensive work and dedication to the environment are:

  • Working with the California Department of Forestry to implement sustainable forest practices on large areas of timberland in Sonoma and Mendocino Counties.
  • Driving force behind establishing the Golden State Land Conservancy, a land trust based in Willits that holds conservation easements on over 34,000 acres in California.
  • Founding member of the Gualala River Watershed Council, a non-profit working to restore the Gualala River watershed.
  • Founding member of Mendocino Coast Chapter Surfriders.  Served as a volunteer and in leadership positions on a wide variety of citizen groups promoting sound environmental practices.

Bob approached these endeavors with soft-spoken humor, intelligence, patience and persistence. He was unfailingly generous with his time and spirit. He brought great patience and insight to the community-based land trust movement—and a healthy dose of pragmatism in realizing conservation outcomes that would not have been possible without his unique gift of creativity and foresight.

Bob had a deep appreciation and love for his family. He always made visiting his children and grandchildren a top priority in his life. Together they had many great family adventures and trips: surf trips to Mexico, snowboarding trips to Tahoe, YMCA Family Camp TQ in the Sierras, Kauai vacations, traveling to San Diego and Santa Barbara several times a year to visit his children and grandchildren, and hosting family at his “Camp Brooktrails”.

Bob: son, husband, father, grandfather, uncle, brother, good friend and friend of the Earth. He will be deeply missed by many. Bob is survived by his wife Joan, his sons Blair, Adam, Jason and Jeremy, daughter Alison, and five grandchildren. A celebration of Bob’s life will be held in the near future.

January 24, 2015

Surfrider Meeting Minutes – December 13, 2014

Present: Walt, Nicole, Bob, Mark, Pam, Dave

Jackie continues on as Treasurer. We viewed current checkbook and most recent bank statement around showing an expenditure of $250 to Surfrider for RAP – Rise Against Plastics.

Pam said she had a request in to Christian Snyder to Surfrider HQ for a new membership list.

Blue Water Task Force – Walt announced that Blue Water testing is complete for the year

Coastal Access GP– Dave talked about the new path through the old GP mill site, path goes from the Trestle bridge to Soldier Bay.

Bob talked about the holding pond dam and pollutants on the GP mill site.

Coastal Access Hardy Creek – Dave said threatening notes are being found on vehicles. Walt explained that there is a caretaker in the house above Hardy Creek who may be responsible.

An alternate route along the rocks was discussed. Bob suggested getting a GPS and marking a legal trail. Dave offered to contact Cal Trans to obtain State right-of-way info.

Navy Testing – Nicole said her appointment with Zack Smith had not happened and that the Navy has to re-draft its proposal and publicize it.

Website – Nicole reported that one topic from the September 2014 conference was for chapters’ websites to migrate to the Surfrider hosted website template. Pros – widgets for water testing, etc. Cons – ?

Walt had talked with Andy about his being the gatekeeper of our chapter website. Nicole has no control over some of the existing hard-coded website. Walt explained to the meeting about the progression of the website from Eric to Andy.

Nicole would like to migrate to the Surfrider template. Walt agreed that it would look more professional.

A move to change our website to the Surfrider website was approved.

New Business – $250 Donation to Ban the Bag

Conference update – Nicole got an update from regional director Sarah Damron. Surfrider wants to know if we would like more connection among the North Coast chapters. Suggestion was made for a North Coast forum on the ChapterNet. Sarah also wanted to hear our interest in a quarterly conference call. We unanimously decided that neither the ChapterNet forum nor the conference call is necessary. Bob suggested requesting a quarterly report from National or Regional that could sum up current activity on the North Coast.

Surfrider also wanted to know if North Coast chapters want our own Chapter Advisory Council Representative for Northern CA or if we are fine with the current representation including Central CA. We decided unanimously that we are fine the way it is.

Nicole said that Surfrider is urging a bigger push for more local chapter membership. National wants local chapters to update membership lists and stay current.

Pam is to verify membership preferences as to location for the Mendocino chapter and to find out if Surfrider transfers membership when people move here.

Mercury – Dave says according to Cal State Water Resources tests for mercury in fish shows very high levels – especially rock fish and albacore. He talked about his fishing friends having mercury poisoning from eating fish. He would like Surfrider to champion mercury awareness and awareness around the Fukushima radiation releases. It was suggested that Nicole put any scientific info found about these subjects onto the website.

Walt announced his resignation from the Board effective 12-13-14, which was reluctantly accepted. Gratitude was expressed for his many years of service since the inception of the chapter. The position is now open for nominations.

January 19, 2015 | 1 Comment

Hare Creek Needs Our Help!

The City of Fort Bragg has approved plans for a new shopping center on the ocean side of Hwy. 1, above Hare Creek. This is bad news for downtown businesses, and also bad news for run-off into Hare Creek. For anyone who can attend this meeting, it will hopefully be an opportunity to state our opinions on the proposed development.
The Fort Bragg Planning Commission will conduct a public hearing on Wednesday, January 28th at 6:00pm at the John Diederich Center at 208 Dana St. in Fort Bragg. At the conclusion of the meeting the Planning Commission will consider adoption of the draft mitigated negative declaration by the California Environmental Quality Act.

Staff reports and other documents that will be considered are available on the City’s website at:

December 24, 2014

Seeking new Chair for our board…

After 10 years, our board Chairperson, Walt Dooley, is stepping down. Walt has brought a great amount of enthusiasm and organization to our chapter, and we thank him fondly for all his dedication. He will continue to be an active member in our chapter, but we are looking for someone to fill his booties!

A Surfrider Chairperson’s duties are to organize, create an agenda and facilitate quarterly chapter meetings, be the point person for email and phone communication with Surfrider National and our regional director, and relay any pertinent information to our board members and core volunteers.

We are a motley, adventurous, and committed group dedicated to clean water, clean beaches, and preserving ocean access in Mendocino County.

For more details about this volunteer position, please contact

December 1, 2014

Surfrider Meeting – Saturday, December 13, 2014, 5:00pm at Walt & Jackie’s

Potluck mixer and our quarterly meeting agenda.

Location: 15301 Seadrift Ave in Caspar

For more details, please email

November 20, 2014

Great White sighting this week


Photos of a Great White shark just south of the Ten Mile River, flying at 1,000 ft.  The shark was about 200ft from shore, and estimated to be 16ft in length.

Photo credit Carl Shaffer, Birddog Aerial Photography

September 21, 2014

Coastal Cleanup Day – Saturday, Sept 20th

The Mendocino County Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation sponsored the Ward Ave. beach clean up as part of the statewide California Coastal Cleanup Day event organized by the California Coastal Commission. Dianne and Brennan are the Co-Captains for the fourth year in row. Coastal Cleanup Day is a great way for families, students, service groups, and neighbors to join together to take care of our fragile marine environment, show community support for our shared natural resources, and to have fun!


During the Coastal Cleanup in  2013, Mendocino County saw the removal of over 3,000 pounds of trash and 500 pounds of recyclables with the help of over 300 volunteers along 100 miles of shoreline. Of the trash collected worldwide during last year’s event, these were the Top 10 items collected:


 To learn more, visit

August 24, 2014

NZ surfing legend Wayne Parkes with Mendocino Chapter Surfriders beach clean-up T

NZ Wayne Parks Surfrider T

Chapter Chair Walt Dooley (left) and his son Wyatt (right) with Wayne Parkes (center) during their trip to New Zealand.  Walt and Wyatt packed the beach clean-up t-shirt specifically to give to Wayne when they heard that he had reminisced about how the song “Mendocino” by the Sir Douglas Quintet was popular in NZ when he was a bit younger.

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