News from the Center - Feb/Mar 2015

February, 2015

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The year’s end and the new year’s beginning is an important time at the Northcoast Environmental Center in assessing the past, taking stock of what we have and setting a path for the days ahead. During this time of reflection and planning, one tool greatly helped in our assessment: the NEC Questionnaire that was sent out with our end-of-2014 letter. Thanks to everyone who provided such an invaluable response! Much of the feedback affirmed the work we are currently engaged in, but there were some surprises as well.

In the most popular part of the survey, respondents rated issues they felt were most important for the NEC to engage on. The top seven issues (out of 42) were: salmon restoration and protection, wilderness protection, local land use policy, protecting open space (farms, forests, wetlands), watershed restoration (including dam removal), climate change action (including sea level rise adaptation and renewable energy), and addressing the environmental impacts of marijuana grows. The top strategies selected were: political advocacy (local, state, and federal), environmental education (K-12), and general community outreach and education.  We agree! We reaffirm our commitment to the priorities identified and we will continue seeking ways to be even more effective.

In feedback about EcoNews, over half of the respondents have been loyal readers for over 10 years, and the vast majority read almost every issue. A special thank you to those who have stuck with us through thick and thin—YOU are the reason EcoNews continues to get out the environmental news that matters most on the North Coast!

Of all the great feedback, we were perhaps most surprised by the response to one question, “How much of an impact do you feel your donation makes?” Over half of the respondents selected either “a little” or “a moderate amount.” After seeing the final tally it is plain to see we are not getting the message across to our donors about how grateful we are and how important each and every contribution is.

Every person who gives to the NEC is critical to protecting this special place—without you, the NEC would not exist today. The power of each individual donation, no matter the amount, is cumulatively significant. The majority of the money we raise comes from donations of $10, $25 and $50 at a time. Hundreds of individuals giving the basic membership of $35 goes a long way towards protecting the land, water, air and all inhabitants of the North Coast.  

To top off all the valuable input were testimonials from both new and long-standing members. What follows are just a few of our favorite free-form responses. (As we did not have time to ask permission, we chose not to include names of survey respondents. If you submitted a response and are comfortable with us sharing your name in future publications, please let us know.)

We are forever grateful to everyone who contributed—both financially and with your heartfelt participation. Our North Coast is that much stronger for it!

In your view, what is one thing that NEC excels at? What is one thing we could improve?

“NEC makes environmental stewardship a credible goal. You are believable and respected. We need that with such division in the populace.” – Eureka

“[NEC] provides excellent information and education through radio, the internet and Econews. We should always to try work cooperatively with the environmental agencies and the government to achieve our goals.” – Burnt Ranch

“Getting news about what is happening in our local environment.” – Eureka

“Local sense of our planet.” – Cambria, CA

“Coastal Clean-up! Great Work!” – Arcata

“Community-building!” – Rockport, WA

“You are the environmental watchdog with your “paw” on the pulse of everything environmentally related in our bioregion. Keep it up. Good work!” – Arcata

“Keeping informed, being the local champion of environmental concerns.” – Eureka

“Providing current info & perspective on issues (local, regional, world-wide and botanical, health, water…). Keeping in touch with different players in the picture.” – Blue Lake

“NEC has a unique opportunity to see what all the environmental organizations are up to and be able to take the issues that aren’t being covered by other organizations.” – Piercy

Why do you choose to donate to the NEC?

“You’ve been in the trenches for the Northwest for so long and I really appreciate what you’ve been doing. Bless you for what you do.” – Bayside

“I would like to leave a better place for the next generation.” – Arcata

“Thank you for all you do to try to preserve and / or improve our quality of life and quality of our planet.” – Eureka

“To ensure that the environmental educational / information related to the north coast is provided via Econews / Econews report (KHSU). NEC provides the only forum for networking with the many enviro groups on the north coast.” – Fortuna

“To help you spread the word of issues you feel are important and I feel the way you do most of the time.” – Eureka

“The most critical issue we face is whether or not humans can reduce our negative impact on the environment and sustain the earth’s critical life support systems. Thank you for your hard work.” – Eureka

“I like what you do. You play an essential role in a scene that needs your active presence.” – Blue Lake

“I believe collaboration between environmental organizations is very important, I feel I’m supporting a larger effort. The revolution won’t be federally funded.” – Piercy