7. Seven World Surfing Reserves

Yes this is a thing, a World Surfing Reserve! Brought into fruition by the Save the Waves Coalition, there are currently seven World Surfing Reserves and more on the way. The mission statement reads, “World Surfing Reserves proactively identifies, designates and preserves outstanding waves, surf zones and surrounding environments around the world,” (Save the Waves).  How does this program work? The process is divided up into five phases; nomination/application, selection process, stewardship planning, official dedication, and ongoing management/evaluation. The program is governed by a global five-member Executive Committee including Chad Nelsen, CEO of Surfrider Foundation. Current reserves include, Punta De Lobos, Bahia Todos Santos, Huanchaco, Santa Cruz, Manly Beach, Ericeira, and Malibu. 

8. Over 8 ft High Tides

The King Tides are back once again this month and could be the highest of the year. Due to the combination order of warm water, low atmospheric pressure, and an onslaught of rain, tides could be even higher than predicted. King Tide events give us the opportunity to peak into the future and see what the impacts of sea level rise could look like.  Exercise your ability to be a citizen scientist by helping Humboldt Baykeeper document these events in their King Tides Photo Initiative

Dates and times to view the tides are listed below (remember to adjust slightly depending on where you are and be safe!). 

  • Tues. 12/22    8:43am
  • Wed. 12/23     9:31am
  • Thurs. 12/24    10:18am

9. Nine Ocean Organisms with Holiday Spirit 

10. Ten GMO Salmon

In November of 2015 the FDA gave genetically modified salmon the green light as the first genetically modified animal people can eat. AquAdvantage salmon is a man-made combination of Atlantic and Chinook salmon that are said grow twice the rate of their farm-raised counterpart.  As far as labeling goes, the FDA has issued a “Draft Guidance for Industry: Voluntary Labeling Indicating Whether Food Has or Has Not Been Derived From Genetically Engineered Atlantic Salmon,” but mandatory labeling is not yet required. Among top concerns are; harmful health effects to humans, genetic changes to the fish that make them less fit to survive, and the possibility of the genetically altered fish entering the natural world and creating a hybrid species and/or outcompeting wild salmon.

11. Eleven Octopus GIFs 

Octopuses? Octopi? Octopodes? Did you know all three can be used as the correct plural of “octopus”? These 11 gifs are sure to entertain and educate you about this intelligent cephalopod.  

12. Twelve New Years Resolutions for our Ocean

  1.  Saturate in sand and salt..aka visit a beach
  2. Go sustainable with seafood
  3.  Drop in to a Beach Cleanup
  4.  Use your vote to Ban the Bag
  5.  Visit a Marine Protected Area
  6.  Attend Ocean Night 
  7. Reuse Plastic Products 
  8.  Watch whats down the drain, check out Downstream Designs
  9.  Plant an Ocean Friendly Garden 
  10. Take back the tap
  11. Reduce your surge 
  12. Clean up your cleaning act


Delia Bense-Kang serves as the Northcoast Environmental Center’s Marine Protected Area Outreach Coordinator and chairs Surfrider Foundation’s Humboldt Chapter.