This was going to be an article about how our coasts and oceans are now more than ever, under threat due to our nations political leadership. But I think we already know that.

Instead, this is an article reminding us how much love there is for our coasts and oceans. This is a compilation of quotes and pictures from leaders in our community, stating why they work tirelessly everyday, to make sure our coasts and oceans are kept beautiful, protected, and open for all to enjoy. I hope this montage provides some inspiration and motivation, and reminds us how lucky we are to live on the North Coast, and how important it is to keep working together. 

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Photo: Marc Chaton

“I’m a kid. It is hard for me to put into words why the ocean and protecting it is so important. It just seems obvious. The ocean is all I know. The ocean has always been where I go, what I look at, and what I do. Wanting to protect the ocean is something everyone should want.” - Nate Ferguson, age 12, Surfer, Fisherman 

Photo: Brian Tissot

“All kinds of scientific and economic reasons exist to keep our coast the public resource that it is, but for me, as someone who never had a lot of money, but always could get to the beach, I treasure the existential value of salty air and endless blue. So I work to protect the coast because I want everyone, regardless of income and background, to be able to experience the joy some time at the beach provides.” - Jennifer Savage, California Policy Manager, Surfrider Foundation

Photo: Carol Vander Meer

“It’s a privilege being able to help Californians fall in love with the incredible biodiversity and mystery of the ocean.  California’s marine environment really is one of the great biological hotspots on the planet, and yet most people have no idea what wonders exist just a stone’s-throw from where they are.  If I can open just one pair of eyes to the beauty, complexity and fragility of these precious places, then I’ve done my job.” - Marnin Robbins, Interpreter and MPA Outreach Coordination, California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Photo: Delia Bense-Kang

“I love our coast because I know first hand about its healing energy and its ability to connect me to nature through rugged beauty and raw power. When I visit the coast here locally I’m able to find an inner peace that I’m driven to share with others. People will protect what they love. I want to be a part of the ripple that turns into a massive wave of environmental stewardship and sustainable practices in our community,  in our country and across the planet.” - Tim Haywood, Guide for Pacific Outfitters Academy Adventures and President of PacOut Green Team

Photo: Nate Ferguson

“Half of the people in the world live within 50 miles of the coast, and far more than half here in Humboldt. I have lived most of my life within a few miles of the coast. People are drawn to coastal areas for a reason; they are beautiful and awe-inspiring, so full of life - and they are the best wild food sources on the planet, if we take care of them. We certainly need to do better, but there is a reason that anything that would harm the coast is the “third rail” of California politics. In the 1980s, it was offshore oil drilling; in 2003, it was a Liquified Natural Gas import facility. In 2015, it was gold ore processing. Whatever the future brings, we will protect our coast from further degradation.” - Jennifer Kalt, Director, Humboldt Baykeeper

Photo: Delia Bense-Kang

“I work on behalf of conserving the natural diversity of the coastal dunes because I find inspiration in studying the beauty and variety of its life forms. From the delicate lace lichens draping the coastal forest to the windswept beaches carpeted in a tapestry of native wildflowers, I find a world full of wonder. I work to help deepen people’s connection to this stunning resource because I believe connecting to nature not only enriches their lives, but also has the power to inspire them to value the diversity of life on earth and support efforts to conserve and restore healthy, resilient ecosystems. Conserving a variety of species helps insure that ecosystems like our coastal dunes we be able to adapt to changing conditions and persist into the future.” - Carol Vander Meer, Naturalist, former Executive Director, Friends of the Dunes

Photo: Dave Feral

“The nearshore ocean of the North Coast is one of the ten richest habitats in the world and it is something we need to protect and also celebrate and enjoy. Coastal fish stocks represent tremendous shared wealth and are of critical importance to our quality of life.  I want to work together with scientists, regulatory agencies and sport and commercial fishermen to collect data on fish stocks so we make sure we don’t over-exploit them, but also justify continued fishing access to them so we can thrive economically. With climate change, collecting such data is even more imperative because patterns of ocean productivity may change and fishing may have to be adjusted accordingly.” - Patrick Higgins, Commissioner, Humboldt Bay Harbor District 

Photo: Patrick Higgins

“The coast is my favorite place to be. It energizes me and connects me with something greater than myself. When I’m at the beach or in the ocean, I’m at my best. Working to protect that place is the ultimate fulfillment.”- Emily Benvie, Environmental Programs Manager, City of Arcata

“California’s ocean has been the biggest inspiration of my life. Our precious golden shores have changed me in ways I can’t begin to understand: it has taught me respect and patience, kept me in good physical shape, influencing who my friends were and where I lived, focused my interests, and led to a lifetime of surfing, diving and my career in marine biology. As a result I have spent my life defending the ocean by studying it, helping to improve policy and management of marine resources, and teaching other to do the same. However, given the wide range of human impacts affecting marine ecosystems I am very concerned for the future of our ocean. Although we have made a lot of progress, there is so much more we can do. The ocean gives everything but asks for nothing in return. To me it seems disingenuous to not give back to the ocean, to protect her from our effects. Don’t you think we owe that much to the ocean?” - Brian Tissot, Director & Professor, Marine Laboratory Humboldt State University

“All my life I’ve enjoyed exploring coastal waterways from source to sea, and have always been excited to discover what lay around the next bend, rock, or dune and find a place where time fades away and the source of rejuvenation feeds my soul to continue my work as a Water Protector.  As the effects of Climate Change begin to impact our oceans and rivers, it has become vitally important to me to encourage people to get out explore, get wet and connect with their source of life. ” - Dave Feral, Director, Mad River Alliance 

Photo: Tim Haywood

“California’s coast and coastal ocean are incredible resources, that benefit not only Californians, but the whole country. Though resilient, they are quite fragile in many ways — and NOT inexhaustible. As a scientist with California Sea Grant Extension, it is my privilege and responsibility to work with people from many different walks of life to conduct and share research that advances protection, wise management, and sustainable use and enjoyment for generations to come. As a lover of the ocean (including fresh, locally-caught seafood) and a parent of two young children, it is this mission that inspires my work every day.” - Joe Tyburczy, California Sea Grant Extension, Co-Chair Humboldt MPA Collaborative 

The ocean has always been a place of inspiration, energy and solace for me.  I go there to un-clutter my mind, find peace through its power and  its calmness.  The coast is where I can experience the ever changing effect of the waves and currents on the land it washes up on since every wave is different and brings new energy with it.  The coast is where I can experience the dancing of light and reflection on water and land.” - Beth Chaton, Program Coordinator, Redwood EdVentures, Co-Chair Humboldt MPA Collaborative 

Photo: Delia Bense-Kang

“It is a blessing to live and work on California’s Lost Coast…Here each day of life brings the opportunity to serve people and the natural world. Here every day I am introduced to something new, something beautiful, something sacred. Here each day is an adventure and a gift. And I just want to share it with you.” - Justin Robbins, Outdoor Recreation Planner, King Range National Conservation Area, BLM

“The coast is never saved; it’s always being saved” - Peter M. Douglas, former Executive Director, California Coastal Commission, Champion of the California Coast