Oregon Chapter NetworkDedicated to the protection and enjoyment of Oregon's ocean, waves and beaches - More Details
In recent months, two wave energy projects have been proposed off the Oregon coast. New Jersey-based Ocean Power Technologies filed a pre-application permit in July with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for a commercial wave project in Reedsport. Under the proposal, electricity would be generated from buoys in a wave park about 2.5 miles off the coast and anchored in water about 165 feet deep. More recently, Lincoln County filed an application with FERC for a wave energy project that would be a partnership between public and private entities. According to Lincoln County reps, the project has the long-term potential to meet the entire county’s energy needs. Surfrider is working to gather information on potential benefits and costs, as well as provide opportunities for local members to particpate in these upcoming federal permitting processes. For more info:
On Oct 10-12, the Marine Protected Area (MPA) Federal Advisory Committee will meet in Newport at the Oregon Coast Aquarium. The meeting will include discussion of the Draft National System Framework as well as a panel on MPAs in Oregon. Public comments are accepted on 4pm Tuesday and 8am on Thursday. This is great opportunity to talk about protecting special ocean and coastal places on Oregon’s coast! Hope to see you there. http://mpa.gov/fac/fac_meetings.html
On Sept 18 the Governors of WA, OR, and CA announced an historic agreement to collectively address declining ocean health off the west coast. At a press conference in Portland, Governors Ted Kulongoski (OR) and Christine Gregoire (WA) (see photo) were joined by Gov Arnold Schwarzenegger (CA) via teleconference. All pledged to oppose offshore oil and gas drilling and request federal funding to reduce non-point source pollution. Other priorities include ocean science and implementation of the U.S. and Pew Ocean Commission report recommendations. During his address, Governor Kulongoski noted that Oregon is the only one of the three states yet to establish a network of marine reserves in state waters. “It’s harder for the federal government to ignore us if we speak with a common voice,” Schwarzenegger said. For more info see first comment to this post.
On Sept 9, Surfrider Foundation – Newport Chapter filed a Petition of Reconsideration with DEQ over the terms of the NPDES wastewater permit of the Georgia Pacific Pulp and Paper Mill in Toledo. The primary outfall of the mill is off Nye Beach in Newport. Other groups that signed on as petitioners included the Northwest Environmental Defense Center, Oregon Shores Conservation Coalition, Friends of Yaquina Bay, and Lincoln County Citizens for Clean Water. The Petition presents formal legal and scientific arguments for the agency to reconsider the terms of the July 14 issued permit. This represents the last administrative option for Surfrider to advocate for improved monitoring and additional pollution prevention technology. Thank you to the nearly dozen members of Surfrider’s Oregon Environmental Issues Team (scientists, attorneys, permit afficianados, etc) who have volunteered their personal time for this campaign. Also, major thanks to CRAG for providing pro bono support to make this happen. Stay tuned for a response from DEQ. Click on the link below for a copy of the petition:
Portland Chapter’s “Paddle for Clean Water” was a big success! Over 20 participants paddled surboards, kayaks, and rowboat to the Hawthorne Bridge to raise awareness for a clean watershed. Jessica Hamilton, Governor Kulongoski’s ocean policy advisor was the featured speaker. Event also highlighted Portland Chapter’s new water quality testing program in Willamette/ Clackamas and upcoming Pint Night on Oct 18th. (see volunteer opportunities) Big thanks to David and rest of Portland Chapter organizers for puttting on an awesome event! Thanks also to OregonSurf.com, Gorge Performance, and Wend Magazine.
August meeting of the Mayor’s Workgroup on Water Quality went well. Group is collaborating with Newport City Council on public education campaign on local water quality issues. This includes a 1pg insert on stormwater written by Newport Chapter that will go out in the city’s monthly water bill. Still openings for more Newport Chapter volunteers to participate! Next month’s mtg on Sept 25th, 4pm Newport City Hall will include Surfrider presentation on options for addressing land-based pollution in the community.