Does not want to play with your dog (by Amber Anderson via Northcoast Marine Mammal’s Facebook page)
Friend of LoCO Bill Lydgate recently reminded us that we’re entering seal pupping season and various caring folks would appreciate beachgoers keeping their dogs leashed around the little critters. Before we could even get to posting the info, another FoLoCO, Katie Goulart, reported a sea lion pup hanging out alone on Trinidad State Beach having exactly the problem we’d hoped to avoid. “I was there making sure dogs didn’t ravage the poor thing,” Goulart said.
Sea lion pup on Trinidad State Beach (Photo by Katie Goulart)
As the fine people at the Northcoast Marine Mammal Center note on their Facebook page:
If you find a seal pup, please do NOT pick it up. Please keep your distance and keep all pets leashed. Most likely its mom is foraging offshore and knows exactly where she left her pup. If you do happen to come across one of these cuties, please call us at (707) 465-6265 or on our stranding line at (707) 951-4722.
Sign at the North Jetty (Photo by Bill Lydgate)
LoCO contributor Jennifer Savage is the Northcoast Environmental Center’s Coastal Programs Director and Humboldt Surfrider Chairperson.
Humboldt County Superior Court Calendar: Today
1656 Union St (HM office): SILVER Alert
1656 Union St (HM office): SILVER Alert
Savage Henry: Unknown Art Styles
Watch Paul: Élan Firpo: Town Hall in Arcata
Here’s what to be aware of this week and slightly beyond:
Thursday, March 6: Navy Training & Testing Public Hearing in Eureka
On March 6 at 5 p.m. at the Red Lion Hotel, 1929 Fourth St., Eureka, the U.S. Navy will hold a public hearing on the potential environmental impacts of the Navy’s proposal to increase training and weapons testing activities – including sonar and explosives – off the coast from Humboldt County to Alaska.
The biggest problem with the proposed testing is the harm it will do to marine mammals ranging from dolphins to blue whales, as well as other sea creatures. Certain places are key to the successful foraging and feeding of many endangered species, but currently no area within the testing range is considered off limits. Environmental activists and scientists are asking for the establishment of exclusionary zones free of high intensity testing.
More info on the Navy’s plans and its flaws in the Northcoast Environmental Center’s EcoNews Report interview with Steve Mashuda, staff attorney with Earthjustice.
Photo courtesy Jeff Jacobsen
Friday, March 7: Eel River Symposium – Drought, Resilience and the North Coast
The 2014 Eel River Symposium is themed around our current drought and how we can learn to live within such extreme conditions. Join Friends of the Eel River for an informative discussion of how climate changes and how society can adjust. Speakers include Joshua Strange of Stillwater Sciences, Bill Trush, geohydrologist and chair of HSU’s River Institute, and local nonprofit leaders including Friends of the Eel River’s Scott Greacen, Darren Mireau of Cal Trout, Tasha McKee of Sanctuary Forest and more.
Saturday, March 8: Ocean Night – A Deeper Shade of Blue & Exploring Humboldt
Join Humboldt Surfrider, Humboldt Baykeeper and the NEC for Ocean Night at the Arcata Theatre Lounge featuring the work of local filmmaker Ace Aseltine and Jack McCoy’s A Deeper Shade of Blue.
Monday, March 10: Humboldt County Supervisors review streams and wetlands protection
In recent weeks, the County Planning Commission re-reviewed the Conservation & Open Space Element, significantly weakening protections for streams and wetlands, trails, community forests and open space.
On Monday, March 10 at 1:30 p.m., the County General Plan Update goes back to the Board of Supervisors. Humboldt Baykeeper is urging supporters to insist on better protections for streams, wetlands and our imperiled fisheries, and to send “a strong message” that trails and community forests are important to Humboldt County residents’ quality of life.
Bonus: Drones Over Dolphins, just because.
Jennifer Savage is the Northcoast Environmental Center’s Coastal Programs Director and Humboldt Surfrider Chairperson.
The abandoned Freshwater (nee Louisiana-Pacific) pulp mill makes many impressions. The enormousness of its parts. The toxicity of its legacy. What I wasn’t expecting were the strange, sad remains of the human element that once breathed life into place.
In 2008, then-owners Evergreen bailed without warning. As a result, offices and work stations still host some personal effects, still contain paperwork and booklets someone expected to return to. Walking through offices and conferences rooms reminded me of walking through homes-turned-museum, where scenes have been carefully designed to replicate daily life – except the history of the mill, even its very abandonment, is evidence of carelessness. While most of the workers undoubtedly followed the safety protocol emphasized in signage throughout the mill (“Make Safety Your First Step, Not Your Last!”), the various owners were guilty of polluting our coast, our air and ultimately damaging the lives of the very people keeping the mill going.
As Humboldt Surfrider’s chairperson, I have a particular interest in the future of the mill. It was Surfrider, after all, who insisted the government hold L-P (and Simpson) accountable to the law. Rather than obey the law, Simpson fled to Chile, where pulp mill pollution continues to be a problem for that country. At least L-P gave better stewardship a go, switching to a chlorine-free process. But that was hardly a cure-all, as the stunning amount of toxic chemicals and sludge still housed on the site attest to. And Evergreen split town at least in part, one can assume, because abandoning its business and workers was a preferable option to investing in the equipment necessary to maintain legal air and water quality standards.
The empty mill stands in testament to how wedding environmental protection to economic development is crucial in public policy. We can’t keep leaping first and looking later. Most environmental advocacy is in reaction to damage being done. We’re lucky when we get to be proactive – as in the current situation with the Harbor District’s ownership of the mill site. People seem relieved, I told CEO Jack Crider. People are happy something will be done with the empty site and extremely happy the dangerous residue is being cleaned up or at least better contained. As Jack pointed out this thing and that thing and what could be done here and there and about which caustic chemicals had been cleaned up, the overriding feeling was that of optimism. Regardless of what particular businesses might manifest there, the community can feel a least a little assured that good stewardship is part of the mix. And because the mill is now owned by a public entity, citizens can influence and stay informed (via humboldtbay.org). It’s the end of a sad story out there – and hopefully the beginning of a new and better one.
— Jennifer Savage
- PREVIOUSLY: New Visions for Old Pulp Mill
We’re surrounded by beauty. Redwoods, rivers, beaches, Humboldt Bay, the dunes, the ocean crashing against sea stacks – it’s one postcard moment after another. Which makes all the garbage littering the sand, roadsides, sloughs and riverbanks even more appalling. Besides the eyesore element, the consequences to wildlife can be devastating.
Some folks are so bothered by the consequences of unfettered littering that they carve out some time in their schedule to clean it up. Humboldt Surfrider hosts regular beach cleanups, the Northcoast Environmental Center offers an Adopt-A-Beach program and, most recently, Pacific Outfitters has sponsored the “PacOut Green Team,” whose mission is to spend one hour a week redirecting garbage from the ground to the dump.
Today on Coastal Currents, PacOut’s Tim Haywood and Jason Self talk about their commitment toward making Humboldt County a cleaner, better place. Tune into KHUM 104.7 FM at noon to find out more, including how you can get involved.
And if you need some evidence of all the garbage waiting out there, here’s a look at recent collections:
A not-uncommon sight on beaches local and global – plastic beverage bottle are consistently in the most littered items in the world according to Coastal Cleanup data.
Trash collected on a two-mile stretch between the Manila dunes and ocean.
In one hour along the Mad River. (Photo above and below submitted by Ken Miller)
Two hunting seasons’ worth of shotgun shell debris collecting along Mad River.
A member of Pacific Outfitters’ PacOut Green Team collects garbage near Humboldt Bay. (Photo above and below submitted by Jason Self)
More PacOut Green Team members work to keep trash out of Humboldt Bay.
This plastic bag flapped in the wind for weeks before the PacOut Green Team disentangled and disposed of it.
An hour’s worth of trash collected roadside on Indian Island.
Cigarette butts presumably tossed out car windows – they would have ended up in the bay, eventually.
Want to help? The next PacOut Green Team effort is Saturday, March 8 at 8:30 a.m. And, of course, reducing, reusing, recycling and properly disposing of your trash all help staunch the flow of garbage impacting our coast, bay, rivers and the wildlife who call those areas home.
Jennifer Savage chairs Surfrider Foundation’s Humboldt chapter and serves as the NEC’s Coastal Programs Director.
Photo by Terrence McNally/Arcata Photo Studios
Fans of marine mammals and sea life in general are dismayed at the U.S. Navy’s plan to conduct extensive weapons testing and training exercises off a stretch of coast ranging from the top of Humboldt County up through Alaska. Over 100 whales and dolphins are anticipated to be killed in the testing, which utilizes sonar technology, electromagnetic devices and explosives, and thousands more permanently wounded from being exposed to an estimated 9.6 million instances of harm.
On today’s Coastal Currents, Natural Resource Defense Council Senior Policy Analyst Michael Jasny discusses the Navy’s plan, why people should oppose it and how they can do so. Tune in to KHUM 104.7 FM (or via the stream) for more information – then follow up by commenting on the environmental impact report here. Comments accepted through March 25.
Additionally, the Navy is holding a hearing on March 6 at 5 p.m. at the Red Lion Hotel, 1929 Fourth St., Eureka.
- T-S story
- Navy info site
- NRDC Switchboard post
- Center for Biological Diversity statement
- Humboldt Baykeeper comments 2012
Jennifer Savage is the Northcoast Environmental Center’s Coastal Programs Director and also serves as Surfrider Foundation’s Humboldt Chapter chair.