Oregon Chapter NetworkDedicated to the protection and enjoyment of Oregon's ocean, waves and beaches - More Details
Newport, OR – The Surfrider Foundation today submitted a report to the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) with formal recommendations for strengthening the wastewater permit of the Georgia Pacific Pulp and Paper Mill in Toledo. The report is intended to support DEQs ongoing reconsideration of the Georgia Pacific permit, and bring the agency closer to compliance with state and federal laws that protect water quality. Some of the reports recommendations focus on the need for enhanced monitoring of marine species and the nearshore environment near the mills ocean outfall. Other recommendations provide guidance and data resources for improving scientific analyses used to evaluate potential ecological and public health impacts. The primary outfall of the mill is located 3,800 feet off Nye Beach and the facility releases an average of 11 million gallons a day of treated wastewater in the vicinity of important recreational areas and fishing grounds (see photo). Back in September 2006, Surfrider and four other organizations formally petitioned DEQ to reconsider the terms of the NPDES wastewater permit of the Georgia Pacific mill. DEQ accepted the Petition on October 18th, 2006 and has been working to complete the reconsideration since then. Sufriders Environmental Issues Team has recently met with DEQ staff on this issue and is committed to providing constructive input to support the reconsideration process. To read the full report, please click the link below to download:
Surfrider Science-Based Recommendations Report
Congress is considering a bill that would increase funding for water quality monitoring at recreational beaches, and would also help states utilize the latest technology to test beach waters for contaminants. H.R. 2537 would reauthorize the BEACH Act of 2000 and require EPA to approve rapid contaminant testing methods so authorities can quickly close beaches to the public. Current water quality monitoring tests only for bacteria levels and takes 24 to 48 hours to produce reliable results, leaving beachgoers in danger in the interim period. The new technology would allow authorities to detect contaminants within six hours. The bill, sponsored by Reps. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) and Tim Bishop (D-N.Y.), increases money for state water quality grants from $30 million to $40 million through 2012. It also expands the scope of the grants to include pollution source tracking and prevention efforts. If you haven’t already, please complete the action alert to let your elected officials know you support water quality http://actionnetwork.org/campaign/beachact_2007
This has been a stormy winter on the Oregon coast! Due to consistently higher than average surf over the past few months, Oregons beaches have eroded significantly more than usual, particularly on the north coast. The most notable erosion occurred during storms in December and January when wave heights reached 45 feet. While loss of beach sand is normal during the winter months, this seaons loss appears to be part of a longer term trend of beach retreat that extends back at least a decade. Experts have correlated this trend with a cycle of bigger waves and more frequent storms. The current beach erosion issues underscore the need for effective coastal planning, including adequate setbacks of shoreline structures so that armoring of dunes and bluffs is unnecessary. So far this winter, Oregon State Parks has issued emergency permits to emplace riprap on the beach in front of ten properties in Rockaway Beach and three in Neskowin. Surfrider is currently working to ramp up our commitment to shoreline preservation, including education and grassroots activism. To read more about our position on shoreline preservation http://www.surfrider.org/oregon/issues.html
On March 27-28, the Oregon Ocean Policy Advisory Council (OPAC) will hold meetings in Newport on marine reserve planning and wave energy development. On Thurs morning, the Marine Reserve Work Group will meet from 8:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m, with public comments taken at 12:30. On Thurs afternoon, the Wave Energy Work Group will meet from 4:30 to 5:30pm with public comments taken at the end. On Friday, the full OPAC will convene from 8:30 – 5pm with public comments at 1pm. All meetings will be held at the Agate Beach Best Western (3019 North Coast Hwy). Please come out to speak in support of Oregon’s marine reserve planning effort and responsible practices for wave energy development! For more info and OPAC agenda: http://www.oregonmarinereserves.net/
Registration is now open for the 2008 Clean Water Classic to be held in Westport, WA on May 16-18! The Clean Water Classic is Surfrider’s annual surfing contest that raises crucial funds for our chapters in Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia. Weekend will feature great surfing, ocean education, silent auction, live music, raffle, and collection of some of the coolest folks in PNW. Openings remain in all divisions including Pro-Am, Mens, Womens, Masters, Juniors, Keiki, and Stand-Up Paddle. Every surfer that enters receives free Surfrider membership! We are doing online registration this year, so please sign up at event website: http://www.cleanwaterclassic.com/. Also, volunteers are desperately needed to help us staff event. Please contact your chapter’s volunteer coordinator to sign up! Thanks to Global Surf Industries and the rest of our sponsors. See ya there! (photo: Pro-Am winners from 2006: Peter Devries (R) and 2007: Noah Cohen (L)
In late February, the Newport City Council voted 7-0 in favor of a watershed protection ordinance, stormwater utility and disconnect program, pet waste ordinance, and nuisance ordinances protecting the watershed to name a few. This package of water quality measures was heavily based on recommendations provided by Surfriders Central Coast Chapter. The watershed management ordinances and codes were sent back and forth to the council workgroup sessions 3 times before finally passing all recommendations made by the chapter. Additionally, the Dept of Environmental Quality (DEQ) recently accepted chapter and city plans for a supplemental environmental project (SEP) for a biopond and DNA testing along Nye Creek. The project will begin this summer and end in the fall of 2009. This spring the chapter will be launching a new campaign (Stop the Sewage), in light of sewer and stormwater cross-connects discovered during the chapter and citys source ID testing this winter. The codes are in place now to enforce this important issue and the chapter and city of Newport have begun a smoke and dye testing project aimed at identifying the households in violation.