As the year comes to a close, we’d like to share some of the NEC’s 2017 accomplishments:
• Concerns about the effects of the 2016 elections resulted in NEC reviving letter-writing campaigns through the NEC Action Group. The letter writing follows important legislation and actions by the Trump administration that will harm the environment. Letters, emails, and phone calls are directed to policy-makers and lawmakers who can influence the decisions.
• The NEC continues its legislative policy intern program which engages students in civic action to understand how policies and regulations are created and changed through Congressional actions and laws.
• The NEC joined other environmental organizations in a letter opposing H.R. 2936 (Resilient Federal Forest Act). This bill—using fire hysteria— threatens to eliminate existing environmental protections embodied in the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) which are critical for protecting the national forests of the Pacific Northwest and throughout the United States. These forests provide clean drinking water for local communities, habitat for fish and wildlife, and outdoor hunting, fishing, and recreation opportunities for the public that cherish our nation’s public lands.
• In the Spring, NEC joined other environmental organizations in commenting on the Trump Administration’s plan to remove many safeguards via the Streamlining Regulatory Processes and Reducing Regulatory Burden (82 FR 31576). The sweeping changes could threaten the environmental health of our oceans, estuaries and endangered fish and other marine animals.
• The NEC partnered with the Great Old Broads for Wilderness, a wilderness advocacy group, and the Smith River Alliance to host 100 wilderness and conservation activists from around the nation to immerse them in the beauty of the redwoods and northwest California. As a result, the Great Old Broads for Wilderness testified at hearings and wrote letters supporting better forest management and additions to the wilderness and Wild and Scenic Rivers programs.
• The NEC is attending strategy meetings and Congressional hearings to support the creation of a nationwide system to identify important wildlife corridors, similar to the Wild and Scenic Rivers program concept.
• The NEC’s Coastal Program Coordinator Madison Peters organized another vital and successful Coastal Cleanup Day, removing over five tons of trash from our waterways and bringing together over 600 volunteers.
• Through the work of our Program Coordinator Anne Maher, the NEC’s Adopt-a-Block has grown to 19 volunteers who have gathered 11,276 butts, which is an increase of 257 percent over last year.
• Completed another successful year working with Delia Bense-Kang, our Marine Protected Areas Coordinator. Funding for her position was obtained through the Resource Legacy Fund and ended November 2017. Delia was a great asset to NEC with her dedication, love of all things ocean, and fresh ideas. We wish Delia the best as she moves on to teach surfing in Nicaragua.
• We welcomed our new office assistant Tiffany Perez, who has proven herself to be a quick learner and passionate about the environment.
• The NEC held two successful dinner fundraisers that brought together long-time NEC members and new supporters for socializing, great food, music and games.
• The NEC joined with SAFE and EPIC to successfully convince Trinity County to turn down grant money for a study that could have resulted in the construction of an east-west railroad right though critical habitat of both Six Rivers and Shasta-Trinity
• In the spring, NEC partnered with Redwood Region Audubon Society to co-sponsor the Third Annual Tim McKay Memorial Birdathon, which was a flocking success.
• The NEC participated in public meetings and written comments for the CEQA process for Humboldt and Trinity counties, looking for stricter enforcement of regulations to curb environmental abuses of cannabis growing.
• The NEC joined with others in requesting that the EPA follow through on its proposed ban of all uses of the dangerous pesticide chlorpyrifos, which is highly toxic to bees and developing human fetuses.
• The NEC organized a spectacular All Species Parade at this year’s North Country Fair in September. The theme of Sanctuary for All Species celebrated protected areas like National Parks, Monuments, and Forests.
• We held our first Endangered Art Show at the NEC booth at the North Country Fair, featuring dozens of wonderful pieces of original artwork.
• The NEC continues to produce informative, reliable and visually appealing environmental news though EcoNews, thanks to our Editor Morgan Corviday. This February will mark
the beginning of Morgan’s eighth year working for the NEC!
All of these accomplishments and more wouldn’t be possible without your support—so thank you! Please consider donating, renewing your membership or gifting an NEC membership in the coming year to help us continue our important work!
Bouquets to Plaza Be Inspired for hosting the NEC and supplying the wine during Arts Arcata on November 10!
Bouquets of popcorn to the Miniplex in Richard’s Goat for partnering with the NEC to show We the People 2.0 on November 15.
Bouquets of virtual flowers to Andy Alm for all his help during our website transition and being available for techy questions.
Bouquets of cleanup supplies to all our new Adopt-a-Block and Adopt-A Beach adoptees!
Bouquet of kelp fronds to the Resource Legacy Fund for their long-standing funding to support outreach and education focused on North Coast marine protected areas, and continued funding to support Coastal Currents and Ocean Night through April 2018!
Bouquets of eternal gratitude to Delia Bense-Kang for her dedication to educating our community on the importance of marine protected areas, organizing the last two years of Ocean Night and overall being an extraordinary human. We’ll miss you and wish you the best waves ever in Nicaragua!