New Coastal Programs Coordinator

Casey Cruikshank. Photo: James Adam Taylor.
Casey Cruikshank. Photo: James Adam Taylor.

Hi, I’m Casey—the new Coastal Programs Coordinator at the NEC. I wanted to take the time to introduce myself and give a little background on my coastal experience.

I grew up exploring the San Juan Islands where my love for the ocean was first born. After high schooI, I sailed in some of the most remote northern parts of Australia, where I discovered beaches—rarely touched by humans—covered in trash that had washed ashore. This sparked my desire to make an impact on the single-use plastic plague.

Five years later: I’ve gotten my degree in Recreation Administration with an emphasis in Eco-Tourism at HSU, adopted my cat Vera, fallen in love with our local beaches, and became Coastal Programs Coordinator at the NEC.

For the last year, I have also run a social media initiative called @norcalbeachclean (find it on Instagram or Facebook). I share pictures of the trash I’ve found locally to help spread the word that every trip to the beach is an opportunity to clean up and make a difference. I also share stories of personal changes I’ve made toward Zero Waste in an effort to show how easy it can be to cut out single-use plastics.

In December, I became a member of the City of Arcata Zero Waste Task Force, which discusses the goals of the City of Arcata Zero Waste Action Plan in order to come up with recommendations to achieve them. These meetings are open to the public and are held on the first Tuesday of every month from 5-7 p.m. at the Arcata Marsh and Wildlife Interpretive Center. If you’d like to attend, the next meeting will be held on Feburary 5.

Being the new Coastal Programs Coordinator at the NEC is a great honor—being in charge of programs that make such a difference in our local community is extremely rewarding. In 2018 alone, Adopt-A-Block participants collected over 20,000 cigarette butts and removed 2,300 pounds of trash from our streets. I am so thankful for all of the wonderful people out there dedicating their time to protecting our waterways and it just goes to show that together we can make a difference!

If you are interested in learning more about Coastal Programs at the NEC, email me at And don’t forget: this year is the 40th anniversary of Coastal Cleanup Day. This national event had its humble beginnings right here in
Humboldt, with the NEC!