September 24, 2012

Camel Cam? Surf 4 Peace? Weigh in!

Dear Chapter members and supporters,

The executive committee needs your feedback. At our last regular chapter meeting, concern was expressed regarding two issues:

1. The Camel Rock Surf Cam
2. Surf 4 Peace

Last year, members expressed a desire for the chapter to take over fees associated with the Camel Rock Surf Cam based on the belief that doing so fits within the access and healthy environment scope of our mission.

The original purpose of the camera, when created by Arcata High’s CEDAR academy, was to help surfers save gas by being able to check the surf from home, therefore driving less when the waves are bad. However, this sentiment was far from universal and one year later, we’re looking at an annual cost of $480, money that could be put towards trail maintenance or similar higher-priority uses.

The current plan is to seek members’ feedback over the next month, then vote at our Oct. 9 meeting on whether or not to continue funding the Camel Rock Surf Cam. At this point, unless our members emphatically demand we keep doing so, the board will likely vote to cease supporting the camera.

With regards to Surf 4 Peace, the history is that Surfrider has typically been a beneficiary of funds raised by the annual contest and has usually had a booth on the beach.
For the first seven years, the contest was held at Trinidad State Beach, with one year taking place at Power Poles, then was switched to the North Jetty last year and held there again this year. While the chapter doesn’t organize the event, this year Surfrider provided the insurance for Surf 4 Peace.

The contest has a notable amount of local support, provides an opportunity for outreach and serves to bring in some always-needed funds to the chapter.

However, since the contest was moved to the North Jetty, some steady controversy about the location has occurred. At the September meeting, several people argued that the North Jetty is an inappropriate location for a surf contest due to potential impacts on the limited wave resource that exists there and their displeasure for Surfrider enabling the contest.

While no consensus was reached, the debate highlighted a need for better and more formal discussion prior to events.

In looking toward next year, we’re hoping members (and other interested folks in the community) will send feedback via email, blog or Facebook comments, as well as regularly attend meetings (second Tuesday of each month at Humboldt Brews) so as to stay updated on what your local Surfrider chapter is doing.

Jennifer Savage
Chairperson, Humboldt Chapter

July 13, 2011

Ocean news: Saving whales, expanding oil drilling, boosting wind energy, watching beaches vanish


Michael Fishbach narrates his encounter with a humpback whale entangled in a fishing net. Gershon Cohen and he have founded The Great Whale Conservancy to help and protect whales. Visit their website, facebook page, and join them in helping to save these magnificent beings.

Obama moves to streamline oversight of Alaska drilling

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama on Tuesday called on federal agencies to better coordinate Alaska oil and gas permitting and other regulatory oversight as the industry looks to expand operations in the Arctic and as environmentalists ramp up their opposition. 

Full story here.

U.S. Closer to Allowing Wind Farms Off Atlantic

The U.S. Interior Department expects little environmental impact from testing the feasibility of wind farms off the coast of four Atlantic coast states, according to a draft document released Monday. The findings, which could be changed after the department reviews public comments, are an indication that the agency may be prepared to lease the areas for wind development without a more lengthy environmental review.

Full story here.

Italy’s elite are dismayed by vanishing beaches

The high cost and exclusive nature of Italy’s best beaches cause regular disputes, but accelerating coastal erosion means some of them are now disappearing altogether.

Full story here.

May 18, 2011

Ocean news: Oil drilling, how noise affects sea critters, ocean satellite

President Obama announces plans for domestic offshore oil production:

With gas topping $4 a gallon, President Barack Obama on Saturday announced new plans to speed up domestic drilling for oil. In his weekly address to the nation, the president outlined his plans for what he calls “safe and responsible” oil production. The Obama administration will speed up the leasing process for the Alaska National Petroleum Reserve, give oil companies better financial incentives to use their leases and extend all drilling leases in the Gulf of Mexico so oil companies have more time to implement safety measures after the devastating BP oil spill.

How noise affects sea life:

Alongside a boom in international shipping and deep-sea oil development, the ocean is growing ever-noisier and scientists are increasingly wary of sound’s potential to impact sea life beyond just marine mammals.

NASA to launch ocean-watching satellite!:

The Earth-observing Aquarius/SAC-D mission will measure the salt levels, or salinity, of the ocean surface, and the subsequent interactions between ocean circulation, the water cycle and other drivers of the planet’s climate.