June 8, 2017

Surfrider Meeting Minutes – May 27, 2017

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

Agenda Adendum:Walt announces Liquid Fusion Kayak fundraiser for Mendocino County Water Safety Coalition on Sunday, June 25th at 10:00am in Noyo Harbor.

Board member positions postponed

Treasurer’s report – Jackie

  • as of 5/26/17 we have $2,683.29 in our account
  • Jackie continues to deposit $5/year to keep account active
  • Pam volunteers to be second account checker

Membership – review of current members

  • we agree to contact members (first choice is email, will call if email not available) to notify them of International Surfing Day clean-up
  • we need to assign this task

Blue Water Task Force

  • Walt has been testing Virgin Creek weekly April – October
  • Virgin Creek numbers are included in the annual report from Mendocino Environmental Health
  • Nicole contacted Surfrider IT Chris Wilson for help with displaying water quality results on our chapter website. Nat’l is encouraging a new website design that no longer supports the Blue Water Task Force widget.  We concur that a workaround would be to have a link to the Heal the Bay website.  Nicole will generate link.

New Business

  • Dave reports on what he is seeing as local ecosystem collapse.
  • He is deeply alarmed by the kelp forest devastation, loss of sea stars, decreased abalone population and proliferation of purple urchins.
  • Other members have been observing and hearing about these signs as well.
  • We concur that this is a disturbing issue and we agree to research and reach out to contacts that may help us with further information.  Our goal is to educate the community with what is happening. We agree that a visual presentation would be most helpful.  Our to-do list on this issue:
  • Dave is going to contact Fish and Game associate and invite them to show her power point presentation.
  • Dave is going to contact Jerry Kashawata (sp?) abalone biologist
  • Wyatt is going to contact biology professor
  • Wyatt recommends getting in touch with Mischa Hedges of Trim Tab media, film maker from the area who might be interested in making a short video to distribute online.
  • Nicole is going to contact Noyo Center
  • Nicole is going to contact local Audubon and Black Oyster Catcher groups
  • Pam suggests contacting local dive shops for more first-hand accounts
  • Mark suggests contacting Save the Waves
  • It is suggested that we contact Reef Check, a group of citizen scientists
  • We agree that it would be beneficial to meet within 4-6 weeks to report back with our findings.
  • Nicole will send out Doodle poll with potential meeting times.

Partnering with Noyo Center, education presentations in local schools, Ocean Friendly Gardens: we agree that the first order of business is the above campaign.  Some of this may involve collaborating with Noyo Center.  We will inform Noyo Center of our 2017 events and possibly co-host a post 4th of July beach clean-up with them.

Beach Access – There are no current access issues

International Surfing Day June 17 – 1-3pm we are meeting at Big River Beach at the bottom of the stairs near the volleyball courts.  Nicole will reach out to Sarah Damron and request materials from Nat’l.  We need to arrive by 12:30 to set-up.

International Coastal Clean-up Day, September 29 – Nicole will reach out to Mendocino Land Trust for list of beaches covered by clean-up crews.

February 13, 2017

Scott Pruitt is a bad choice for the EPA

Dear Members & Friends of Surfrider,

The U.S. Senate is on the verge of approving Scott Pruitt to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, someone who has openly and repeatedly tried to undermine the agency’s abilities to enforce environmental regulations and public health safeguards.  As Oklahoma’s attorney general, Pruitt sued the EPA 14 times in an effort to block federal air and water pollution regulations.  Based on his record, Pruitt’s confirmation would severely weaken the agency’s effectiveness in protecting the environment and regulating polluters.

But Americans didn’t vote for dirty water and more pollution.  Make your voice heard and send an email to your Senators asking them to Vote No for the nomination of Scott Pruitt as the Administrator of the EPA.

Let the Senate know that clean air and clean water are important to you and your family and the EPA needs to be empowered to continue to meet its mission of protecting the environment and public health.

Thank you!

 

April 27, 2014

Expansion of California Marine Sanctuaries

The long-awaited expansion of the Gulf of the Farallones and Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuaries northward from Bodega Bay to Pt. Arena, a decision that will add 2700 square miles of protected waters, has been announced, accompanied by the dates and locations of upcoming public hearings in the affected communities and the release of a Draft Environmental Impact Statement.

The Northern California coast between Bodega Bay and Pt. Arena attracts millions of visitors and is the centerpiece of the region’s economy, hosting one of the planet’s four most productive ocean upwelling systems, in which nutrient-rich waters rise from the depths to provide the base of the marine food chain which embraces a globally significant, extraordinarily diverse, and productive marine ecosystem that supports abundant wildlife and valuable fisheries.

It provides breeding and feeding grounds for at least twenty-five endangered or threatened species; thirty-six marine mammal species, including blue, gray, and humpback whales, harbor seals, elephant seals, Pacific white-sided dolphins, and one of the southernmost U.S. populations of threatened Steller sea lions, plus over a quarter-million breeding seabirds.

Pursued for many years in a bipartisan effort by affected local elected officials and our Representatives and Senators in Congress, this is an outcome that will permanently prohibit offshore oil and gas drilling and establish rules for sewage dumping from cruise ships on the entire Sonoma Coast and on the Southern Mendocino Coast.

Upcoming Public Hearings:

May 22, 2014, Sausalito, 6 pm-U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Bay Model Visitor Center, 2100 Bridgeway Blvd., Sausalito, CA 95465

June 16, 2014, Point Arena, 6 pm-Point Arena City Hall, 451 School Street, Point Arena, CA 95468

June 17, 2014, Gualala, 6 pm-Gualala Community Center, 47950 Center Street, Gualala, CA 95445

June 18, 2014, Bodega Bay, 6 pm-Grange Hall, 1370 Bodega Avenue, Bodega Bay, CA 94923

To comment online go to: https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2014/04/14/2014-08061/proposed-expansion-and-regulatory-revision-of-gulf-of-the-farallones-and-cordell-bank-national

Written comments will be accepted until June 30, 2014, and should be sent to: Maria Brown, Superintendent, Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, 991 Marine Drive-The Presidio, San Francisco, CA 94129.

More details can be found at: http://SanctuaryExpansion.org

June 10, 2009

A letter from the governor

Thank you for writing to me about funding for our state parks system.  Your input is important to me during these challenging times.

California’s natural beauty is renowned throughout the world, and I have made it my priority to protect our environment so future generations of Californians can continue to experience and enjoy what we have all come to love.  Our state parks provide a fantastic introduction to the California experience and help bring our residents and visitors closer to our landscapes.

Unfortunately, the state cannot continue to bear the costs of supporting every program.  Believe me when I say that these cuts have been the hardest decisions of my career as Governor, but we are in the midst of the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression.  Our revenues for the coming year are at least 27 percent below where they were projected to be just two short years ago.  We now face a shortfall that has grown to $24.3 billion, and the people of California have made their voice clear: they want the state to live within its means and solve its problems through spending cuts and not tax increases.

To help manage our budget shortfall, I have proposed eliminating General Fund support for the Department of Parks and Recreation.  I understand that these cuts will impact not only the lives of our park employees but the millions of park visitors who visit these national treasurers every year.  In spite of these General Fund cuts, though, I will work to keep as many parks open as possible with funding from user fees.  It may require raising entry and camping fees, expanding partnerships with local government and non-profit groups, and seeking additional creative ways to support our system in the future.

As I work with my partners in the Legislature to find solutions to these problems, know I will keep your thoughts in mind.  Working together, I believe we can weather this storm and start the slow but steady march back toward prosperity.

Sincerely,

Arnold Schwarzenegger

After sending out an email via Surfrider’s action network, this was the response I (and I’m sure many others) received from the Governor. So let’s take into account for a second a couple of things mentioned in his letter.

Like how about the economy? Yes the nation is in a recession and the State of California is a few heartbeats away from financial flat-lining, but like the double-edged sword it is, the recession has meant folks have been staying closer to home when they vacation. Our state parks have reaped the benefits because of it. In my opinion, it’s an absurd notion to shut down something that pays for itself.

The governor says he understands that “these cuts will impact not only the lives of our park employees but the millions of park visitors who visit these national treasurers (sir, it would be “treasures”) every year.” He seems to have failed to take into account the impact these closures will have on local communities, who, especially on the north coast, rely on tourist dollars to keep their economies fueled.

As far as the General Fund goes, click here to learn more.

For more information, check out the California State Parks Foundation.

To take additional action write Assemblyman Wes Chesbro or Senator Patricia Wiggins. From what I’ve heard, the best course is to fax your letters to our representatives.

January 22, 2009

Bush Administration oil drilling plan specifically targeted the Mendocino coast

There is a new article in today’s Advocate-News about the Bush Administration’s plan to open up areas of the California coast to offshore oil drilling, and apparently, the plan specifically targeted Mendocino County. Thankfully, for the plan to be set in motion, it would need to be approved by the Obama Administration and personally, I don’t see that happening.

December 29, 2008

Not in my back yard

Back in the 1980s there was a big push to drill for oil off California’s north coast. Exploratory mapping revealed millions of acres of oil deposits from Bodega north, and from what I recall, the biggest concentration lay just off the Mendocino coast. Though logging and fishing were in full swing back then, the area was still considered pristine and the last thing people wanted to see were unsightly rigs in the ocean a few miles offshore. Thankfully the federal ban was put in place to keep the north coast waters “wild.”

 

Black gold has once again become a topic of discussion in recent years, especially when it comes down to American’s dependency on foreign oil. The average American probably wouldn’t have cared so much if gas prices hadn’t skyrocketed to record highs in 2008 and threatened to stay that way, or get worse, in years to come. But because of the global demand, the Bush Administration sought to relieve that dependence on foreigners by opening up areas of the United States to drilling. The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge was first on the list. Unbeknownst to many though, so was California’s north coast.

 

During the election, Republican nominee John McCain was very keen on seeing the federal ban on offshore oil drilling lifted. Now that the ban has ended when Congress let the moratorium lapse, the north coast is back in the cross-hairs. Though gas prices have dropped to lows not seen in over five years, the fear factor about what life would be like without oil is now on everybody’s minds. What’s scary to me is the fact that, unlike the ’80s, this time around big oil might just get their way.

 

There was an article on SFGate.com this morning about this very subject, and they included a map of areas of prospective interest to the oil industry. It’s disheartening to know that most of the Mendocino coast falls within big oil’s interests. Rigs could potentially be in place by 2012. If this happens, it would mean oil tankers would become a common sight off our shore, the risk of spills would increase ten-fold and for what, a temporary relief at the pump? It would do nothing to curb our dependence, nothing at all. In fact, I imagine it would only be a stepping stone for more drilling, equating to a few more decades of demand for the black stuff.

 

Ultimately though, the fate of the north coast lay in the hands of President-elect Obama. With more and more people in favor of drilling off the coast, there could be pressure for the President to take action, even if he may be personally against the idea.

 

I guess we’ll just have to wait and see how this all plays out.