NEC's Year in Review 2016

December, 2016

Coastal Programs and MPA Outreach

Our dynamic MPA Outreach Coordinator Delia Bense-Kang has brought our community weekly “Coastal Currents,” airing on KHUM 104.7 each Wednesday at noon, and “Your Week in Ocean,” a weekly posting on the Lost Coast Outpost.

In partnership with Surfrider Humboldt and Humboldt Baykeeper, we continue to host Ocean Night, a monthly event featuring ocean-related environmental documentaries and surf films. Ocean Night celebrated its seventh anniversary this past October and has become a popular social event in the community. Attendance continues to increase, averaging about 150 people per event. We strive to create a community-oriented and fun environment by featuring guest presentations and a raffle of local goodies. Join us at Ocean Night—usually on the first Thursday of each month at the Arcata Theater Lounge. (Join us for 1st Annual Black and White Ocean Night on Saturday, December 10!)

Another Coastal Cleanup Day Success!

After founding the event in 1979, the NEC’s Coastal Cleanup Day this year was a huge success—with double the number of volunteers compared to last year. Over 700 volunteers cleaned 61 sites in Humboldt County, resulting in the removal of over seven tons of trash. We appreciate the support of our members and sponsors for this annual event. We also send a huge thanks to Madison Peters for doing such a fabulous job coordinating this important event!

Taking Action for Clean Beaches and Trash-free Seas

Our ongoing Adopt-a-Beach program connects community members with their favorite beaches to keep them clean on a regular basis. To date we have eleven beaches adopted by community members and groups. Call us to adopt your favorite beach today!

Restoring Forest Ecosystems and Building Fire Resiliency

The NEC, its board members and member organizations are working with communities, tribes and our congressional representatives to earn support for new federal legislation that would begin to restore the forests of more than 700,000 acres in the South Fork Trinity/Mad River Special Restoration Area in the Shasta-Trinity and Six Rivers National Forests. We are also directly engaged with Congressman Jared Huffman’s office in helping to promulgate a comprehensive public lands bill that could add approximately 300,000 acres of recognized wilderness and over 400 miles of waterways to the Wild & Scenic Rivers program. It could also provide opportunities for recreation, restoration, fire management and sustainable use for our working forests.

Safeguarding Watersheds, Promoting Healthy Communities

Now that the Water Board regulations and state laws are in place, the “Emerald Counties” have put forward ordinances in an attempt to regulate cannabis cultivation. Much work remains to be done by the environmental community to push for strict new enforcement of these regulations. We know that without any serious enforcement, unregulated cultivation will continue to thrive and have severe negative impacts on our watersheds. The NEC will continue to try to tighten loopholes in the new ordinances to ensure our environment is protected.

Supporting NEC Member Organizations

One of the NEC’s central functions is to support our region’s hard-working conservation groups. We are proud to work with our Member and Affiliate Member groups who are at the forefront of environmental education, celebration and action! We are also proud to act as Humboldt Baykeeper’s fiscal sponsor so they can continue to safeguard Humboldt Bay through citizen-science, advocacy, education, and enforcement of laws to fight pollution.  Jen Kalt, Executive Director of Humboldt Baykeeper and Jasmin Segura, Bay Explorations Coordinator, continue to share their expertise on the Bay and have expanded their bay tours to include guided walks along the Hikshari’ Trail and kayak tours of Elk River.

Second Annual Tim McKay Memorial Bird-a-thon

Competing teams raising over $5,000 in this year’s Bird-a-thon for the NEC and Redwood Region Audubon Society. Hundreds of different species were spotted by the teams in only 24 hours by these teams. Plans for the May 2017 Bird-a-thon are in the works, so start brushing up on your birding skills and watch for more information in upcoming EcoNews.

Keepin’ the Butts off the Ground

The NEC, Humboldt Baykeeper and Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) have partnered to keep cigarette butts off Arcata streets and creeks through our  new Adopt-a-Block program. The program had a mighty start with eight groups picking up cigarette butts around town. Read more here. 

The Klamath Dams are Coming Down

After decades of dam removal requests, state, federal and Native American tribal representatives joined dam owner PacificCorp, conservation organizations and water users to sign an historic agreement to remove four Klamath River dams by 2020.

Legacies Continue

The importance of the NEC’s 45-year legacy has become ever more poignant as we remember and celebrate leaders who have passed. We have been proud to recognize the lives and work of Sid Dominitz (former EcoNews editor), Lucille Vinyard, Susie Van Kirk and Diane Beck this year in Kin to the Earth features, Bouquets and other EcoNews articles.

EcoNews has been informing the North Coast about our bioregion’s environmental news since 1971! Your continued support helps us keep EcoNews in print and in your hands! And, the NEC’s weekly radio show, the EcoNews Report, continues to be broadcast on KHSU 90.5 FM every Thursday at 1:30pm.

NEC Crew Appreciation

Big thank you to those behind the scenes of the NEC: to our EcoNews editor Morgan Corviday and EcoNews volunteer crew Rebekah Staub, Karen Schatz, Midge Brown, and Kris Diamond; to our ever-reliable EcoNews Report engineer Fred McLaughlin; to our amazing office crew—Madison Peters, Delia Benise-Kang, Anne Maher and Bella Waters; and to our dynamic administrative duo—Anita Gilbride-Read and Chris Beresford.
Thanks again to the NEC board whose direction guide this organization forward: Larry Glass, Dan Sealy, Chris Beresford, Jennifer Kalt, Bob Morris, CJ Ralph, Richard Kreis, Gary Falxa, Tom Wheeler and Alicia Hamann.

The Year Ahead

We are starting off the new year with a new office space which provides greater opportnity for community engagement and outreach! Come to our Open House on January 26 to check out our new space (see back cover for more information).
We are so proud to work and collaborate with so many committed individuals, businesses and organizations towards a more resilient future for all. Your help is needed to continue this great work, whether it’s a financial donation, participation in our programs or attending our upcoming auction/dinner in March.

Together, we’ll continue to take action on vital environmental issues affecting the North Coast. Thank you for your support!