First, a huge thanks to everyone who has done something to support our local coast and shared ocean in this last year. Whether reducing your own impact by buying less and riding your bike more, cleaning up a beach or sidewalk near your home, signing a petition to ban single-use plastic bags, showing up at an Ocean Night event and/or being a member of the NEC, your efforts matter.
The Anti-Trash Movement
Over the past several months, as my KHUM Coastal Currents co-host Mike Dronkers phrased it, we’ve watched “litter cleanups go mainstream.” Given the NEC’s 40 years of promoting California Coastal Cleanup Day and Adopt-A-Beach, we’re thrilled to see the number of people actively working to keep trash out of our rivers and ocean grow exponentially. Credit must be given to Pacific Outfitters’ “PacOut Green Team,” led by Aaron Ostrom and Tim Haywood, who tirelessly dedicate one hour every Saturday to a different location along our coast. (To join their efforts, find them on Facebook or www.pacificoutfitters.com.)
Likewise, dumpsites around Alderpoint have inspired a team of determined community members to action.
The NEC continues beach monitoring and cleanups through our California Coastal Commission-sponsored Japan Tsunami Marine Debris (JTMD) program, most recently joining with regular partners Friends of Del Norte in the Crescent City area. NEC staff braved icy winds to cover the area north of Point St. George, while Friend Joe Gillepsie and crew handled Kellogg Beach. Three buckets’ worth of garbage, plus a pile of netting, large knotted tarp and more were removed from the beach. The next JTMD cleanups will be Saturday, April 18 at Samoa Beach and Sunday, April 19 at Point St. George. To get involved, email Coastal Programs Assistant Madison Peters at firstname.lastname@example.org.
California’s Coastal Cleanup Day will take place on Saturday, September 19 this year—it’s never too early to put together a team or contribute to the cause through sponsorships. If your business is interested in helping support the NEC’s coordination of this event, contact me at email@example.com or give me a call at (707) 267-8458.
More opportunities abound through our Adopt-A-Beach program.
Visit www.yournec.org/marinedebris/adoptabeach-sites for a list of sites.
Marine Protected Areas
We’re continuing to educate and promote our network of marine protected areas (MPAs) through The Emerald Magazine’s “Emerald Experience” column, which is being reprinted on Humboldt County’s tourism website www.redwoods.info. If you haven’t had a chance to explore alongside one of our MPAs, spring is a great time of year! Layer up against the north winds (give thanks for the upwelling!), find info on our website or at www.californiampas.org, check out the gorgeous new interpretive signs at our harbors and go see what all the hype is about.
Keep in Touch
In addition to EcoNews, you can follow along on marine and coastal issues through Coastal Currents Wednesdays at noon on KHUM 104.7 FM, at the Lost Coast Outpost with “Your Week in Ocean,” and on the ocean-themed episodes of The EcoNews Report—usually the last Thursday of the month at 1:30 p.m. on KHSU 90.5 FM. The EcoNews Report airs each Thursday with rotating hosts and covers a variety of subjects.