2019 Year in Review

This Year’s Accomplishments

NEC staff posing in the photo booth at the spring Spaghetti Fun(d)Raiser.
NEC staff posing in the photo booth at the spring Spaghetti Fun(d)Raiser.

2019 was another successful and challenging year at the NEC! The following list features some of the many issues and events we worked on or were involved with.

• Congressman Jared Huffman and Senator Kamala Harris reintroduced the Northwest California Wilderness, Recreation, and Working Forest Act in Congress, which members of the NEC have been working on for over six years.

• Mercer-Fraser removed its application for an asphalt batch plant near the Humboldt/Trinity county line and near the community of Dinsmore, along the Van Duzen River. The NEC opposed this application.

• The NEC joined the Advisory Committee for the CROP (Cannabis Removal on Public Lands) Project which is focused on bringing awareness of trespass grows on public lands. After the drastic changes at KHSU, the EcoNews Report was resurrected with a new talk show format on KHUM, broadcasting every Saturday at 10 a.m.

• Completed the Fifth Annual Tim McKay Birdathon, sharing proceeds with Redwood Region Audubon Society. Held four successful beach cleanups, including the revamped Zero Waste Coastal Cleanup Day. These events removed over two tons of trash from our beautiful beaches.

The EcoNews Report returned to the airwaves in a roundtable discussion format on KHUM. Photo: Danielle Orr.
The EcoNews Report returned to the airwaves in a roundtable discussion format on KHUM. Photo: Danielle Orr.

• Welcomed a great batch of enthusiastic interns who help in all aspects of the NEC: Ryan Call (EcoNews Archive), Jackson Carrasco (Zero Waste), Blake Fulgham (Coastal Cleanup), Jacqueline Holmes (Zero Waste), Kaylin Jebaili (EcoNews Archive), Reanne Lopez (Special Projects), Ivy Munnerlyn (Coastal Programs), Grace Oliva (Special Projects), Collin Slavey (EcoNews), Marina Storey (Coastal Cleanup), Haley Walker (Environmental Education), and Terrika Zimmerman (Legislative Analyst).

• Held three exciting community building fundraisers to help strengthen the NEC’s financial base for continuing our important programs and educational outreach.

• Collaborated with Friends of the Dunes to bring the Climate Action Roadshow to Humboldt and with Surfrider Humboldt to bring Hands Across the Sands—a global, silent solidarity event to say no to fossil fuels and yes to renewable energy—to Moonstone Beach.

• Presented environmental education at numerous events, including Godwit Days, Party for the Planet, Redwood Environmental Education Fair, Take A Child Outside Day, and Zero Waste Day.

• Published another six environmentally focused, informative, eye-catching issues of EcoNews for our members and the Northern California and Southern Oregon communities.

Attendees enjoy dinner outdoors during the NEC's summer patio party.
Attendees enjoy dinner outdoors during the NEC’s summer patio party.

• With our Adopt-a-Block participants, removed 14,454 cigarette butts from the streets of Arcata and Eureka, preventing their contamination of Humboldt Bay.

• Finalized the California State Regional Water Board’s Site Cleanup Subaccount Program (SCAP) that will result in the NEC’s 9th Street property being fully remediated.

• Partnered with Arts & Drafts in Eureka to bring five free upcycling workshops to the community, along with education on the importance of reducing and reusing materials.

• Banded together with Richard’s Goat and the MiniPlex to present ANTHROPOCENE during Climate Week, and six additional showings the following week.

• Hosted a presentation of the North Coast Otters Public Arts Initiative, a citizen science project about local otter populations and sponsored a public art otter for the project, which will launch in 2020.

• Became the facilitator for the Zero Waste Lending Library, allowing nonprofits and local government agencies to borrow tablecloths and linens for free, helping to reduce event waste.

• Was selected as one of the North Coast Co-op’s Seeds of Change participants. Watch for us at the Co-op in April & be sure to round up your total at the register to support our vital coastal programs.

Supported these state bills: 

• SB 54 Single-Use Packaging and Products and AB 1080 The California Circular Economy and Plastic Pollution Reduction Act. These bills would ensure California is on the forefront of reducing pollution from plastic packaging and products. They would set goals to reduce waste from single-use products and packaging and ensure the remaining items are effectively recycled and establish a comprehensive framework to address the pollution and waste crisis.

• SB 424—the Tobacco Product Recyclability and Producer Responsibility Act. The bill bans sale of single-use tobacco products, including single-use filters, single-use plastic devices needed for manipulation of tobacco products, and single-use electronic cigarettes.

Other Important Highlights

• Submitted letter of support for the Karuk Tribe’s petition to the California Fish & Game Commission to protect Klamath-Trinity spring-run Chinook salmon under the California Endangered Species Act.

• Commented on the Board of Forestry and Fire Protection’s California Vegetation Treatment Environmental Impact Report, supporting all treatment activities with the exception of chemical herbicides for purposes of fuel reductions.

• Commented on the proposed rule to list the Pacific fisher in Washington, Oregon and California as a threatened species under the Endangered
Species Act.

• Affirmed our support for the Great Redwood Trail and dissolving the North Coast Railroad Authority.

• Submitted public comments to FERC strongly opposing the Jordan Cove Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and Pacific Connector Pipeline project.

• Submitted public comments to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services supporting the proposed rule to establish an experimental population of the California condor in the Pacific Northwest.

• In partnership with EPIC, submitted comments to Humboldt County Director regarding the Draft Environmental Impact Report for the Humboldt Wind Energy Project.

• Submitted comments to the California Transportation Commission opposing the allocation of $775,000 for the STIP US 101/Trinidad Area
Access Improvements Projects (PPNO 2515) in Humboldt County.

• Submitted comments to the California Coastal Commission encouraging the Commission to consider the Commission’s own concerns regarding the Trinidad Rancheria’s Hotel Project, as well as public comments, and deny the proposal for the Trinidad Rancheria’s Hotel.

• Signed on to comments to the US EPA expressing our strong and unified opposition to the proposed revised methods for national level Endangered Species Act (ESA) assessment process for biological evaluations of pesticides.

• Urged our Representatives to vote YES for H.R. 1146 and support the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

• In collaboration with EPIC, CNPS, RRAS, 350 Humboldt, and Redwood Chapter of the Sierra Club, submitted a coalition letter regarding the proposed Terra-Gen wind project to Humboldt County Planning Director.

• Submitted a letter to the U.S. Forest Service supporting its Tangle Blue Trail realignment project, which will move popular trail activity away from sensitive habitat.

All of these accomplishments and projects 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!

NEC staff and interns table during a Mad River Brewery Pints for Non-Profits event.
NEC staff and interns table during a Mad River Brewery Pints for Non-Profits event.