News from the Center – Feb/Mar2018

2017 saw an unprecedented attack on environmental regulations nationwide.

Your local environmental groups are the first line of defense in Humboldt County and on the North Coast. e Northcoast Environmental Center has been a hub of activity in the resistance to the national assault and local attempts to evade environmental regulations.

We’ve been standing up to the federal government’s attempt to reduce and exploit our national monuments. We stand ready to be at the forefront of the fight against offshore oil drilling in waters off the California coast and to prevent any onshore support facilities.

The NEC has gotten involved in closely scrutinizing the Humboldt Communities Services District’s desire to annex the Indianola area, potentially bringing city water to it and the Redmond Road area. If approved, this could result in many subdivisions and “McMansions” in this currently forested area between Eureka and Arcata.

We just weighed in on the Notice of Preparation of a Draft Environmental Impact Report
(DEIR) for the Titlow Hill area illegal subdivisions controversy with the County. We’re preparing to weigh in on a proposed large cannabis manufacturing facility right next to the Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District (HBMWD) intake on the Mad River, which could affect up to 80,000 HBMWD customers.

We’re engaged with the planners of a potential offshore wind facility and will continue to watchdog the effort. We continue to stay engaged with the County over its cannabis ordinances to ensure reasonable enforcement efforts are included with the permitted expansions. We will persist in our efforts and be involved in these and many other national and local issues.

These efforts wouldn’t be possible without the help of our supporters.

The outpouring of financial support we received from you in 2017 wasvery gratifying. We reached our tech and solar project goals, held three successful fundraisers, and were able to end the year with some savings. e savings will help us continue funding three part-time staff positions and two work-study positions, plus brave the unknown outcome for nonprofit 501(c)3s because of the new “GOP tax bill” gift for the rich. We hope many of you donate to the NEC because you believe in our work, not solely due to the tax write-off incentives. However, it’s estimated that charitable donations will drop between $16 billion-$24 billion, so we’ll continue to be fiscally conservative with our spending and research other funding opportunities.

Speaking of other funding opportunities, we’re currently wrapping up our California Coastal Commission grant for our three coastal programs, Adopt-a-Block, Adopt-a-Beach, and Coastal Cleanup Day. We also await word regarding whether we’ll be the recipient of a similar grant to expand our beach cleanup events to include an Earth Day and 5th of July event. We’ve submitted grant requests to help further our Adopt-a-Block program, promote our Endangered Art Show, cover the expenses it takes to organize the super popular All Species Parade, and fund a youth environmental film series in collaboration with the Humboldt County Libraries.

Other fundraising plans in 2018 consist of our 2nd Annual Spaghetti Dinner and Auction FUN(d)Raiser event, which will be Saturday, March 24, at the Bayside Community Hall.

Musical talent Kingfoot will be providing the heel- kicking dance music. Tickets are available online and at the office. We’re also looking for volunteers to help during the event and donate items or services for the silent auction. Can you help? Contact Bella at the office if you’re interested!

This year will mark the Fourth Annual Tim McKay Birdathon. While the start date isn’t until May, it’s not too early to start forming your team and soliciting donations. Proceeds from the Birdathon are split between Redwood Region Audubon Society and the NEC, so two great organizations benefit from your day of birding!

We’ve welcomed four new interns for the spring semester. Nathaniel Israel is joining us as our Coastal Programs intern and will be focused on recruiting volunteers for our Adopt-a-Beach program and Coastal Cleanup Day. Sarah Duffy is our Special Projects intern and will be focused on various projects that arise. Emma Trockey and Erik Segura are our two GIS interns. Emma is focused on creating Adopt-a-Block maps to show where the bulk of cigarette butts are gathered and Erik will be compiling more than 20 years of Coastal Cleanup Day data and portraying that visually.

We are also in need of EcoNews interns and volunteers, so if you or someone you know is interested in environmental journalism, please contact us! We could not accomplish all we do without the support of interns and volunteers!

Coming up, the NEC Board will be taking part in a strategic planning retreat mid-February to discuss how to increase youth involvement in the Center, increase communications with member groups, advocacy engagement and environmental education. We’re also in the process of revamping our website to make it user- and mobile-friendly, and continue to make progress on cleaning the site of the NEC’s former home on 9th Street (which burned down in a block fire in 2001) by obtaining a grant from the State of California.

It’s gearing up to be a busy year at the NEC and your continued support is needed and much appreciated to help us protect the oceans, rivers, forests, and wildlife!

Orange and green bouquetBouquets:

Bouquets to Humboldt Cider Company for hosting the NEC’s non-profit cider night in December.

Bouquets to Arcata Exchange for hosting NEC and supplying the wine during Arts Arcata!

Bouquets to Arcata Main Street, Oyster Festival Aquaculture Support Fund, a fund of the Humboldt Area Foundation, for their support of our Adopt-a-Block program.

Bouquets to Arcata Theatre Lounge for continuing to provide us space for Ocean Night every month!

Bouquets to all who joined us during our Open House—it was great to see so many friendly faces.

Bouquets to Richard Jett for creating a video template for our upcoming events and bringing us into the digital age of video self promotion.

And bouquets to Nathaniel Douglass for providing assistance with computer software.

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