As 2019 will soon be coming to a close, we find ourselves reflecting on all of the successes, challenges, and fun we had this year! Surfrider’s Oregon network smashed some of our biggest statewide and local victories to date – setting national precedent on many of our ocean protection and plastic pollution initiatives. We expanded our network, welcoming a new North Coast Chapter and three new youth clubs, all driven by the great and powerful, ever-dedicated volunteers and partners within the Surfrider Oregon family. We can’t thank everyone who has been a part of this year’s success enough, and we hope you’ll take some time to reflect on a few of the amazing 2019 contributions from our network – scroll down for the Oregon Surfrider 2019 Year in Review!

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Oregon Surfrider 2019 Year in Review

Plastic Pollution

Oregon Chapters worked hard to fight plastic pollution in 2019! From our massive lift with a statewide plastic bag ban in the legislature to the thousands of pounds of plastic debris removed from our beaches, we battled plastic pollution source to sea in 2019 – here’s a great overview.

Spotlight on the Numbers and Campaigns:

  • Passed statewide plastic bag ban legislation
  • Hosted a Rise Above Plastic Pollution Day at the Capitol complete with Governor Brown signing a Plastic Pollution Proclamation
  • Passed plastic bag ordinance in Newport
  • Held 64 beach, highway, and litter cleanups
  • Over  1,200 volunteers engaged in removing more than 12,000 pounds of debris from our beaches
  • Recruited 11 New Ocean Friendly Restaurants
  • Expanded “Hold On to Your Butts” Program

Story Highlights (click on each story):

Challenges:

We can’t win them all – we are fighting billion dollar industries after all! So here’s to keeping stock of some plastic pollution slips and misses this year:

Ocean Protection

Likely one of our biggest efforts was passing legislation to protect Oregon’s coastal waters indefinitely from offshore oil, gas or other mineral mining developments – a critical piece of our national Blue Wall to block the federal administration’s terrible plans for our national ocean waters. At the local level our Coos Bay Chapter has accelerated their organized opposition to the Jordan Cove LNG proposal.

Spotlight on the Numbers and Campaigns:

  • Passed statewide legislative Moratorium on Oil and Gas Drilling
  • Strengthened policies protecting rocky habitats and kelp beds
  • Rallied hundreds to the Capitol and local public hearings to oppose Jordan Cove
  • Engaged thousands of Oregonians in the science and stewardship of Oregon’s Marine Reserves

Story Highlights:

Clean Water

Surfrider Oregon volunteers remained dedicated to year round water quality monitoring, allowing ocean goers to be informed of water quality issues. Our network of seven labs covers 53 beaches from Seaside down to Port Orford.

North Coast volunteers Doug Mitchell and Jesse Jones sample water quality for the Chapter’s BWTF monitoring program.

Spotlight on the Numbers:

  • 533 water samples processed (and counting)
  • 107 volunteers (including 59 K-12 students)
  • 6 years – youngest volunteer

Story Highlights:

Coastal Preservation

Surfrider Oregon worked to preserve Oregon’s coast through strong engagement in proactive coastal planning efforts, fighting bad legislation, providing education about climate change impacts and supporting ongoing monitoring for ocean acidification. Our volunteers continue to keep an eye on the coast so we can fight bad developments that harm our coastline.

Spotlight Activities and Story Highlights:

Beach Access

We’re grateful that Oregon has public beaches because of the Beach Bill passed in 1967; unfortunately, that doesn’t mean we can let our guard down. The coastal protection campaign in Newport successfully contributed to protecting a historical beach access.

On the fun side of beach access, events such as Stand Up for the Bay and free youth surf camps with our community partners support beach and ocean access for those who might not otherwise have it – part of our growing access for all initiative!

Expanded Network

The life-force of our network is our chapter, program and campaign leaders – all volunteers and incredibly powerful and dedicated individuals. They are Surfrider. This year, we saw a leap in our network, shepherding in 3 new youth clubs and a new north coast chapter! We’re thrilled to be expanding the network, especially with some seriously remarkable youth volunteers. Our new Sam Case Club rocked a campaign victory in Newport with a plastic bag ordinance and worked the Capitol and Governor’s office for Rise Above Plastic Pollution Day – check out this force to be reckoned with!

Protect What You Love & Love What You Protect!

Through all of the hard work highlighted above, we managed to remember the “enjoy” part of our mission and we had a lot of FUN along the way! Check out some highlights and photos below, there’s really just too much awesome to share it all!

 The Coos Bay Chapter awarded three scholarships (total value of $5,000) to high school students looking to enter or continue in an educational pathway with emphasis on the natural or environmental sciences.

Past Coos Bay Scholarship recipients

66 youth surfers competed in the 11th Annual Otter Rock and Roll

Check out more awesome kid surf photos of the event here

The Coos Bay Chapter hosted their first Women’s Surf Session

The Newport Chapter supported Neighbors for Kids’ summer surf camp at Otter Rock Marine Reserve

The Portland Chapter’s Paddle Cleanups and Action Days!

Oregon Chapters Lobby Washington DC

Portland Chapter Receives National Recognition!