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November 2, 2007

Finavera Buoy Sinks

The AquaBuOY 2.0 is now investigating the seafloor off Newport rather than wave energy. Finavera announced yesterday the completion of their piloting project for the buoy, leaving it behind last Saturday when it accidentally sunk to the seafloor. We all have lots of questions on this one and are investigating the issue thoroughly. To read the official press release from Finavera, see the first comment to this blog or link below. What questions remain? There’s permitting and insurance complication with when and how the salvage effort will occur. The rumors are flying that this might not come out until spring…what if it gets covered with sand and can’t be removed, what if it does move and threatens public saftey on the beaches and in the surf and just what kind of precedent does this delayed salvage set for future projects. Other questions remain about the buoy’s design, why it sunk, what it’s currently doing to the benthic habitat and marine life and how it may affect crabbers this season. If nothing else this points to the need for small piloting projects and serious planning for build out of projects. I think we all support a green future for energy but we have to make sure it’s really green…there was a time we thought hydro was green…the salmon would argue otherwise. More to come…
Finavera-NewsRelease.pdf
October 31, 2007

BLUE WATER TASK FORCE

Did you know that Surfrider volunteers monitor water quality at over twenty locations on the Oregon coast? Oregon Chapter maintains four water quality labs (Astoria, Newport, Charleston, and Port Orford) in partnership with high schools and aquariums, and lab analysis is conducted by students as part of an educational program. Sample results are then disseminated to surf shops, state agencies, and the Surfrider website (see link above) When advisory levels of bacteria are documented, the data is also forwarded to local government officials. In several places on the coast, the Blue Water Task Force has led to collaborative partnerships with city governments, watershed councils, agency staff, and fishermen to protect and/or improve local water quality. We are always looking for volunteers to help collect samples and participate in related advocacy and education. To find out how to get involved in your community, please contact Charlie cplybon@surfrider.org.

October 31, 2007 | 1 Comment

COMMENT PERIOD EXTENDED!

Clatsop County has extended its public hearing on the proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) project at Bradwood Landing to Nov. 19 to provide additional opportunities for public comment. The hearing will resume at 9 am in the Judge Guy Boyington Building, 857 Commercial St., Astoria. Written comments can be submitted by e-mail to comdev@co.clatsop.or.us, by fax to (503) 338-3666. Bradwood Landing LLC is seeking zone changes and other land-use permits to site a LNG terminal on the Columbia River at Bradwood east of Astoria. The Board of Commissioners has a broad range of options, including approving or denying the applications, remanding the hearing back to the Planning Commission, or continuing the hearing. Oregon Chapter of Surfrider is opposing the project due to concerns related to water quality, shoreline access, public safety, local economics, salmon populations, etc. Please make your voice heard on this issue – it clearly will require an overwhelming public response for the Commission to reverse its previously expressed support for the project. See first comment to this post for Surfrider comments submitted to the county on this issue.

October 9, 2007

HECETEA HEAD COASTAL CONFERENCE

Register today for the Heceta Head Coastal Conference to be held in Florence on Oct 27, 2007. The conference aims to inform and educate the public on the need for a healthy, productive, and resilient marine ecosystem off the Oregon coast. Participants will include a diverse group of leaders from the worlds of science, fishing, conservation, government, education, business, and philanthropy. The results of the Conference are widely distributed to promote an ocean policy that protects, maintains, and restores the health, integrity, resilience, and productivity of Oregon´s ocean. Surfrider will have a table there with information on local and statewide programs, events, and campaigns. To volunteer to help staff table contact pstauffer@surfrider.org For more info on conference http://www.hecetaheadconference.org/index.html

October 9, 2007 | 1 Comment

Marine Protected Area (MPA) Roadmap

Surfrider has partnered with Oregon State University to develop a Framework for Addressing Social and Economic Issues in Marine Protected Area (MPA) Planning in Oregon. Project leader, Darci Connor of OSUs Marine Resource Management Program, interviewed numerous ocean stakeholders, scientists, and agency staff here in Oregon and reviewed case studies from other MPA planning efforts around the country. The resulting report provides recommendations for enhancing Oregons planning process with respect to: a) long-term vision and funding; b) socioeconomic assessments; c) public and stakeholder participation; d) data integration. The document has been distributed to members of the Ocean Policy Advisory Council (OPAC) to help support Oregons current Marine Reserve planning process. To read the recommendations section, see first post below.

October 5, 2007

MARINE RESERVE FORUM: FLORENCE

On Tues, Oct 16, Surfrider is sponsoring an open forum from 6-8pm in Florence in Bromley room of the Siuslaw Public Library. Entitled Marine Reserves: What YOU Need to Know, the forum will feature presentations from members of the Oregon Ocean Policy Advisory Council (OPAC) on Oregon’s public process to establish a network of reserves in Oregon’s Territorial Sea. The evening will also feature the short film: Common Ground: Oregon’s Ocean, produced by Greenfire Productions, as well as opportunities to get involved at the local and state level. Food and Beverages will be provided. All are welcome. See you there!

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