Dear Friend of the Northcoast Environmental Center,
During this tumultuous year of seemingly nonstop attacks on the environment, we have tried to stay on task and have managed some successes. With Congress and the Administration’s continuing assault on regulations and plans to nullify 50 years of environmental progress, your continued monetary support, combined with the efforts of our many volunteers, are vital. We will continue to be watchdogs for bad local planning, environmentally-unsound road projects, and stopping the reckless use of chemicals. In the face of national-scale attacks, we are strong in defending our public lands, watershed protections, the Endangered Species Act, and clean air and water regulations. As your local environmental voice, and with your help, we here at the Environmental Center continue to be vigilant and to speak out on these and other threats. Thanks to you loyal members and other fellow activists who respond to calls for action, NEC and our member groups have succeeded in the past and are well positioned to take on these threats.
Here are some of our recent accomplishments and work:
- R. 6596. Congressman Jared Huffman’s Northwest California Wilderness, Recreation and Working Forest Act (H.R. 6596) was introduced in July. Thank you, Congressman Huffman! The NEC has been part of a coalition of groups and individuals who spent the last five years working on this very important public lands bill. This is only the first leg in the long journey; the next step requires having a congress that appreciates and is more receptive to protecting our public lands. We will continue to keep you informed as this bill progresses.
- Coastal Cleanup Day. NEC successfully coordinated our 39th Annual Coastal Cleanup Day event in September, with the help of new and returning volunteers. The brave Coast Seafoods crew cleaned up the Palco Marsh–the first cleanup of the site since Eureka’s Law Enforcement action there. Thanks to all the groups that participated in cleanups at this and other sites. While volunteers gathered a similar amount of trash as in prior years, we note that micro-plastic is a growing issue on our beaches. These plastics can be found entangled in seaweed and eelgrass. Shockingly, several hundred pounds of nails were removed from Mad River Beach, which we believe is caused by the continual burning of pallets for bonfires. After this year’s satisfying event, we are looking forward to the 40th Annual Coastal Cleanup Day next fall. Mark your calendars to participate on September 21! We wouldn’t have been able to continue this effort since 1979 without your help!
- Cannabis and the Environment. We continue to be frustrated and stymied in our crusade to have environmental regulations and safeguards implemented on the exponentially expanding cannabis industry. Northwest California has been hit harder than most parts of the state with decades of illegal growing and processing. Under legalization this was supposed to be addressed and corrected. Instead, state and local governments seem to be focused on feeding these new legalized businesses in order to fatten their tax bases. Repeatedly, enforcement of environmental regulations has been put off in the name of expediency. Recently, California passed into law yet another delay in CEQA compliance for the cannabis industry. Meanwhile, most all of the problems we’ve seen in the past are still rampant, such as: dewatering of streams, destructive grading, use of dangerous chemicals, and blatant disregard of communities and neighborhoods. We are determined not to give in to this pressure and with your continued support we will persevere.
- The Threat of Cannabis Manufacturing Facilities in Flood Zones. We were successful in stalling the installation of a hash lab next to the Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District intake wells on the Mad River. But this requires constant vigilance as this is rearing its ugly head again, this time on the Trinity River near a school in Willow Creek. Our vigilance is particularly important because we have a Planning Commission that acts as a rubber stamp for all development, good or bad.
- Keeping You Up-to-Date About Elections & Legislation. We participated in educating the electorate as to the various candidates and issues that were on the November ballot. We also informed our membership about the various bills moving through the state legislature and congress, allowing our membership to actively participate in either passing or defeating these proposals. The NEC has joined hundreds of other conservation organizations to stop Congressional attacks on the environment and attempts to silence the public voice.
- New, Improved Website. If you haven’t visited our user & mobile friendly updated website, please check it out at yournec.org. We’re very pleased with the look and feel of it, and as always, give us your feedback. Again, thanks to all our supports who helped make this website possible.
- Keeping North Coast Communities Informed: We continue to coordinate and participate in the EcoNews Report aired on KHSU. If you haven’t tuned in lately be sure to check out the EcoNews Report Roundup, produced by your NEC and airing the fourth Thursday of every month at 1:30 pm, also on KHSU. If you can’t listen live, visit our website to hear the show anytime you want by clicking on the play button. We remain committed to producing the popular print version of the EcoNews, six issues a year.
- Cultivating the Next Generation of Environmental Leaders: Each semester the NEC takes under our wings at least three interns to help support our programs while providing valuable experience. Thanks to HSU’s work-study program, a gift of $1,000 translates to $3,000, enough to support one of our outstanding work-study students for a semester. Also, for the fifth year, HSU students have the unique opportunity to work with our Washington, DC Legislative Analyst for a virtual “On the Hill” Washington experience of tracking important Congressional actions. Your continuing support helps us provide these opportunities for these future environmental leaders.
Here’s how you can help: For only the price of subscribing to Netflix you can become an NEC Sustaining Member. These members commit to monthly payments of $5, $10, $15 or more, which you can set up on our new website via credit card payments, or you can mail monthly checks. These regular contributions help solidify NEC’s financial base and our ability to engage with upcoming projects. Please help us reach our goal to increase our Sustaining Members by 50% in 2019.
Larry Glass, NEC Executive Director and Board President,
and the NEC Board of Directors:
Dan Sealy, Jen Kalt, Chris Beresford, CJ Ralph, Gary Falxa, Richard Kreis, Alicia Hamann, Briana Villalobos, Bob Morris, and Margaret Gainer