April 27, 2014

Close Encounter – Bob Whitney and shark

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

April 18, 2014

Surfrider Meeting minutes – April 12, 2014

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

Minutes of January 25th meeting approved

Treasurer’s report – Jackie, no change $2907.00 all potential tsunami debris clean up reimbursement complete

Membership – Pam has latest membership info on Excel. Approximately 45 members in good standing

Blue Water Task Force – Walt and Victoria to alternate weekly testing of Virgin Creek starting with Walt on Tues. April 8th, 2014. All water test samples must be to the Mendocino County Environmental Health dept, by 11:00 AM. 2014 paperwork will be at office for volunteers to sign.

Coastal Access and Enhancement –

  • Virgin Creek – Bob, No change suggested be taken off agenda until there is evidence of a change in status (sales or development activity) group to monitor for change in status.
  •  Smugglers Cove – no report

US Navy Weapons testing West Coast – Nicole reviewed the meeting with Navy representatives on March 7, 2014 in Fort Bragg Ca. was well attended. The Navy has extended their comment period to April 15, 2014. Nicole has been soliciting members and friends to contact local elected officials to enlist support opposing Naval weapons testing off the North Pacific West Coast. The group agreed to sign the Mendocino County Chapter on as a supporter of a NRDC letter opposing the Navy’s proposed testing. Nicole looking to educate and enlist as much support as possible regarding this and will formulate a “Making Waves” article for submission.

Website maintenance and updates- Nicole soliciting input for ways to make our website more interactive. Encouraging members and friends to submit relevant photos for posting to our website. Nicole given “carte blanch” to maintain and improve the website.

Sea Star Pacific Coast Mystery Ailment- Dave explained to the group the most current information regarding the recent sea star “die off” is most likely related to water temperature fluctuation not radiation, and this phenomena has been documented as having occurred before.

International Surfing Day June 20th, 2014- Walt, all permits with State Parks are in place, in process of making sure State Parks Insurance requirements are being met. See you there!

Next meeting will be on International Surfing Day, Friday June 20th at Big River Beach

April 13, 2014

April Morning – photo© Surfrider member Bob Whitney

April 9, 2014

Surfrider Meeting Agenda – Saturday, April 12, 2014, 5:00pm at Walt & Jackie’s

5:00 pm   Welcome /Opening Comments

  • Announcements and Correspondence
  • Agenda additions & changes

Review /Acceptance last meeting minutes

Organizational Reports

  • Treasurer’s report – Jackie, Bob
  • Reimbursement Tsunami Clean Up Give away items – Walt – Complete $ rec.
  • Membership – Pam

5:10 Committee Reports

  • Blue Water Task Force- Water testing resumes April 8, 2014
  • Coastal Access and Enhancement
    • Virgin Creek – Bob
    • Smugglers Cove- John W           

5:30 Old Business

5:30 New Business

  • US Navy weapons testing West Coast – Nicole
  • Website maintenance and updates- Nicole
  • Sea Star Pacific Coast mystery ailment –Dave, Walt
  • International Surfing Day Fri. June 20th 2014- Walt, All

6:30 Open discussion

6:40 Closing Comment

Schedule next meeting  

Potluck to follow…                                                 

February 24, 2014

Join Us At The Meeting in Fort Bragg On Friday, March 7th To Stop Sonar & Explosives Testing

Join Us At The Meeting in Fort Bragg On Friday, March 7th To Stop Sonar Testing

February 23, 2014

Comments on the U.S. Navy Northwest Training & Testing Environmental Impact Report (EIS/OEIS)

The Surfrider Foundation is a grassroots environmental organization dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of the world’s oceans, waves, and beaches for all people. On behalf of our Mendocino Coast Chapter supporters, activists, and members, we submit the following comments on the proposed Navy Northwest Training & Testing EIS/OEIS.

The Mendocino Coast Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation has significant concerns with the actions proposed by the Navy to occur within the Northwest Training and Testing Study Area, including air and water space off the Northern California Coast.

Alternatives 1 and 2 involving sonar testing and explosive testing would cause significant environmental harm to marine life and the ocean ecosystem. Pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), the use of sonar, other active acoustic sources, and explosive sources may result in Level A harassment or Level B harassment of certain marine mammals. The Marine Mammal Protection Act defines Level A Harassment as the potential to injure a marine mammal or marine mammal stock, and Level B Harassment as any act that disturbs or is likely to disturb a marine mammal by causing disruption of natural behavioral patterns including migration, surfacing, nursing, breeding, feeding, or sheltering to a point where such behaviors are abandoned or significantly altered.  Pursuant to the Endangered Species Act (ESA), sonar, other active acoustic sources, and explosive sources may affect, and are likely to adversely affect, certain ESA-listed marine mammals.

Anti-submarine warfare sonar can produce intense underwater sounds in the Study Area. It is well established that the high-intensity pulses produced by airguns can cause a range of impacts on marine mammals, fish, and other marine life, including broad habitat displacement, disruption of vital behaviors essential to foraging and breeding, loss of biological diversity, and, in some circumstances, injuries and mortalities. These sounds are likely within the audible range of most marine mammals and can produce both Temporary Threshold Shift (TS) and Permanent Threshold Shift (PTS), resulting in temporary or permanent hearing loss. Until their hearing recovers, these animals will have a reduced ability to detect relevant sounds such as predators, prey, or social vocalizations

The use of sonar and other active acoustic sources for testing activities as described under Alternative 1:

  • May expose marine mammals up to 88,544 times annually to sound levels that would be considered Level B harassment
  • May expose marine mammals up to 119 times annually to sound levels that would be considered Level A harassment
  • May affect, and is likely to adversely affect the following Endangered Species Act-Listed whales: humpback whale, blue whale, fin whale and sei whale

The use of explosive sources for training activities as described under Alternative 1:

  • May expose marine mammals up to 10 times annually to sound or energy levels that would be considered Level B harassment
  • May expose Dall’s porpoise up to 2 times annually to sound or energy levels that would be considered Level A harassment.

In addition to the previously described injuries, the proposed plan would also significantly increase risks to marine mammals in regards to the following stressors:

-entanglement in fiber optic cables, guidance wires, and parachutes

-ingestion of military expended materials from munitions

– injury or mortality from vessel strike

– nitrogen decompression caused by behavior or avoidance responses

The Mendocino County Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation believes that such impacts to our nation’s marine resources are not an acceptable price to pay for an increase in military training and testing.

February 13, 2014

Surfrider Meeting minutes – January 25, 2014

Present: Pam S, Nicole P.M, Jackie D, Walt D.

Minutes of Nov. 2nd meeting approved

Treasurer’s report- Jackie
No change $2649.00 still waiting for $247.48 potential tsunami debris beach clean up reimbursement

Membership – Pam
Still working on retrieving updated list, will try calling National HQ

Blue Water Task Force- no testing until spring 2014

Coastal Access and Enhancement

  • Virgin Creek – no report
  • Smugglers Cove – no report

Coastal Commission Grant potential tsunami debris clean ups completed

Web site maintenance and updates
Nicole willing to pursue web maintenance and updates. Walt will connect Andy, Eric and Nicole

Sea Star Mystery Ailment -no official report

Group reviewed enlisting Cal Fire support to obtain Geiger counter to check local beach radiation levels, Pam to check if feasible

International Surfing Day– all in attendance want to participate and help with Int’l Surfing Day, Friday, June 20th at Big River Beach.

Navel Weapons Testing
Nicole interested in the military’s proposed weapons testing off the Pacific Coast- will send correspondence on dates. Navy representatives will be holding scoping/information meetings locally.

Next meeting and pot luck mixer Sat. April 12th 5:00pm Walt and Jackie’s

January 26, 2014

Lullaby for the soul

October 6, 2013

Dreamscape

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