It’s been an amazing year for our Surfrider activists and members in Oregon. We hope you have a wonderful holiday season and take a little time to reflect on all the amazingly awesome collective work we’ve accomplished this year! We can’t fit all the action in, but we’ve put together a little 2013 highlight review of some of the fantastic work we’ve acheived this year –
Oregon Surfrider 2013 Highlights
It took nearly 5 years of active participation in the territorial sea planning process to achieve this milestone win. It’s been the collective efforts of staff and activists over that time and thousands more through participation in our surveys that’s resulted in a coastal plan that protects our special recreational and ecological places in Oregon, including key surf spots. More detail on this here.
We ended the year in Oregon with 59 Beach Cleanups and 21 Hwy and Green Street cleanups. It’s clear our Oregon chapters, members and activists are poised to advocate for their beaches, but they’re also willing to roll up their sleeves in stewardship. We’ve forged a strong partnership with Oregon Parks and Recreation Department to help keep our beaches clean here in Oregon and that number, 80 cleanups, speaks to that with over 20K volunteer hours in 2013. Beyond the quantity, we’re honing in our strategies with rapid response (see video) and remote cleanup events (see video) as well as establishing a grant program for marine debris monitoring.
Beyond cleanup activity, we’re making headway on policy solutions for marine debris through state and federal planning and partnerships. Through our participation this year in the Japanese Tsunami Marine Debris Task Force, Governor’s Task Force, Oregon Marine Debris Team, West Coast Governor’s Alliance action teams and focus groups, we’ve been able to direct critical resources for marine debris response and planning.
Oregon chapters run 6 different labs in Oregon testing water quality at 42 different recreational beaches throughout the year. Our Blue Water Task Force Program is the only year-round water quality sampling program for Oregon’s coastal waters. When it comes to water quality pollution, surfers know best that it’s not just the health of the ocean we’re concerned about. Beyond sampling water quality, our chapters in Oregon have planned 2 Ocean Friendly Garden projects this year to help capture pollution and educate the public – check out the latest beer garden project!
As an extension of water quality monitoring, stewardship and outreach efforts, we’ve built a strong foundation of statewide leaders and advocates to support the state’s beach monitoring program. Chiefly in response to YOUR advocacy and outreach this year, we were able to get support from the Governor’s office and all of our Congressman for continued federal funding for the state’s beach monitoring program. And all that volunteer sampling and data hasn’t gone to just outreach and awareness, our data is now helping to establish water quality standards and management plans for the very first time on our beaches through DEQ’s Midcoast TMDL process.
Oregon’s coast is a special place and when we take careful measure to protect important areas, it is upon us to ensure that it’s carried out and implemented soundly. From our ongoing participation and programmatic integration with the Redfish Rocks Marine Reserve(link) to laying the community foundation and partnerships for Cape Perpetua and Cascade Head Marine Reserves (slated to go into effect Jan. 1 2014), we’re helping to ensure a strong, shared, community vision for ongoing protection of these special places. Learn more.
And we would be remiss to connect all of this state and regional work to the greater network of surfrider chapters and members throughout the country, so we give you the Global 2013 Review! Check it out on Jim’s blog, nice synthesis of our collective efforts in 2013!