One of the problems with convincing people the ocean is a troubled place is that it so often remains beautiful and appears unchanging. We’re lucky here on the North Coast, but we have our problems — when’s the last time you visited the beach and didn’t find trash? — and what happens around the world affects us, too. 

However, among the bad news, we do have some good. 

Looking Out: Huffman seeks to help

Congressman Jared Huffman wants to make sure local fishermen have a better shot at making a living from the sea. He’s continuing the work of former North Coast rep Mike Thompson with the “Revitalizing the Economy of Fisheries in the Pacific Act,” legislation meant to ease an existing debt burden shouldered by Pacific Coast groundfish fishermen.

Looking Around, Part 1: What do you want to know about North Coast MPAs?

Four months ago, implementation of the North Coast’s Marine Protected Areas boosted ocean conservation along our coast. The next step is to divvy up the $4 million available to study the North Coast MPAs.

To that end, the MPA Monitoring Enterprise has released the draft North Coast Marine Protected Area (MPA) Baseline Program Request for Proposals (RFP) for public comment running through April 10. The draft RFP, along with other resources, can be downloaded from the North Coast MPA Baseline Program page on or picked up from one of several distribution sites throughout the North Coast region.

Questions? Contact your North Coast Community Liaison team member Brandi Easter at

Looking Around, Part 2: Get your dive on with Reef Check

The Reef Check Foundation invites experienced SCUBA divers to become trained in its California rocky reef monitoring program next month in Fort Bragg. The training will be held on two consecutive weekends with classroom and pool training the first weekend followed by training and testing dives in the ocean the second weekend. The cost of the course is $200, which covers all fees and includes your own personal underwater survey slate and transect tape, the RCCA Training Manual and species identification flashcards.

April 20-21 – classroom session at College of the Redwoods

April 27-28 – diving session at Van Damme State Park

Sign up online or contact Megan at with any questions.

Looking Up

From our friends at Fishing the North Coast:

we’re in for another fantastic salmon season here on the North Coast.”

Looking Ahead

Thinking of all those salmon dinners ahead? Consider expanding your cooking to include all the fish parts. Author and expert Maria Finn advises ways to do so in her new book, The Whole Fish: How Adventurous Eating of Seafood Can Make You Healthier, Sexier and Help Save the Ocean.“ Yum.

Upcoming dates of interest:

  • Thursday, April 4 Ocean Night at the Arcata Theatre Lounge featuring Trashed, a new documentary starring Jeremy Irons
  • Saturday, April 20 Multiple Earth Day clean-ups followed by an Olde Time Earth Day hoedown at the Humboldt Coastal Nature Center. Stay tuned here and to the Northcoast Environmental Center for details.