Not what you want to find on the beach

June tends to be a month of change – graduations, weddings, the official start of summer. Celebrating World Oceans Day on June 8 makes sense, as we realize the ocean isn’t infinitely resilient and shift our collective efforts toward protecting it. Here on the North Coast, we have plenty of ocean happenings going on this week:

Wednesday, June 6

California’s Fish & Game Commission meets at 1 p.m. at the Red Lion Hotel in Eureka to adopt the North Coast marine protected areas designed by North Coast residents. Along Humboldt’s shores, these new ocean parks include Reading Rock, Samoa, South Cape Mendocino, Mattole Canyon, Sea Lion Gulch and Big Flat, all locations known for an abundance of wildlife. Within them, fish will be protected, and these places will also provide greater shelter for shorebirds and marine mammals.

Thursday, June 7

The Marine Life Protection Act has already been implemented in the rest of California –North Coast stakeholders were notably the only group to come up with a single proposal and avoid the protracted debates that happened elsewhere – and to celebrate the completion of the statewide network, Ocean Conservancy, Humboldt Baykeeper and Surfrider are hosting a special screening of Disney’s Oceans film at the Arcata Theatre Lounge at 6:30 p.m.

That morning also marks the 19th Kids’ Ocean Day Adopt-A-Beach Cleanup, taking place on the South Spit. About 1,000 elementary students will participate in a beach cleanup and removal of non-native dune grasses. After the restoration work, they’ll “take a stand in the sand” and form a huge human design depicting an eel – watch for the forthcoming photos of the event at Friends of the Dunes has been conducting classroom presentations to teach the students about the fragile nature of native dune habitat and the importance of the ocean and how their actions affect it.

Friday, June 8 World Oceans Day

Take a trip to your favorite beach, go for a surf, paddle the bay, go fishing, diving, do whatever it is that brings you the most enjoyment along our beautiful shore. And then take a moment to commit to protecting that area.

Saturday, June 9 

Join Humboldt Surfrider for a “Reusable Bag Giveaway to Ban the Bag Humboldt!” at the Arcata CO-OP from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Celebrate the Farmers’ Market and make a reusable bag out of a T-shirt. Volunteers needed for this event, please email

Join Friends of the Dunes for a morning of invasive plant from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Humboldt Coastal Nature Center, 220 Stamps Lane, Manila.. Bring water and wear comfortable work clothes. Tools, gloves and cookies provided. (707) 444-1397.

Explore the ocean and bay at the Arcata Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary Interpretive Center, 600 S. G St. from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.  The event includes a “touch tank” of bay and ocean-dwelling creatures to interact with and the opportunity to view tiny aquatic animals through microscopes. (707) 826-2359.

Meet at the Arcata Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary Interpretive Center, 600 S. G St. at 2 p.m. for a 90-minute walk focusing on the ecology of the marsh. (707) 826-2359.


What is fun to find on the beach