On this page you will find calls to action, such as requests that you write a letter, make a call, or send an e-mail; attend a hearing or a rally; submit comments on a land use decision or policy matter; or get involved in helping to organize a campaign. Some significant new opportunities are listed below, along with some ongoing ways to get involved.
Speak Out on Forest Plans and Water Quality
The Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) is accepting comments about both its Forest Management Plan (FMP) and its Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP). Our colleagues with the North Coast Communities for Watershed Protection are asking for the public’s help in calling for change. Since there’s a Board of Forestry (BOF) meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 8, ideally comments should be submitted to them before that time. At the beginning of your message, state that it’s specifically for the BOF meeting on September 8. There are new BOF members; therefore, this is a good time to catch their attention.
These ODF plans cover dozens of forestland issues that are worthy of comment, but they do not prioritize safe drinking water. Also, they fail to adequately recognize the role that forestry practices can play in threatening our water supplies. They do not underscore the urgency many coastal residents feel as they experience less rainfall as well as more pollution in the water that we do have. Timber harvesting is ODF’s top goal, and protecting drinking water gets scarcely a mention.
You can see more about ODF’s plans here.
On that website, look under Hot Topics for: (1) Western Oregon State Forest Management Plan and (2) Habitat Conservation Plan.
To e-mail a message to BOF: https://www.oregon.gov/odf/board/Pages/CommentsBoard.aspx.
You can send snail mail to: Board Support Office; Department of Forestry; 2600 State St., Salem, OR 97310. Their fax # is (503) 945-7512.
The North Coast Communities group encourages people to focus their comments on drinking water, to raise a red flag. We must protect our watersheds. Coastal water sources are particularly threatened, because of all the clear-cutting that is happening in our watersheds. That directly affects both the quantity and quality of water that’s available for drinking. After logging, watersheds are sprayed with untested combinations of pesticides. They are asking for a two-year moratorium on the use of these chemicals in watersheds while we study and map water sources, and while we have independent analyses of water quality done.
To contact the North Coast Communities, call Nancy Webster at (503) 355-2516, or go to North Coast Communities for Watershed Protection.
Ask for Stronger Protections to Prevent Whale Entanglement
Whale entanglement in fishing gear is a global problem. It is a problem off the U.S. West Coast, including Oregon. Fishery gear entanglement is a direct human cause of harm and mortality to cetaceans. Oregon Dungeness crab fishing gear has been found to be a major source of entanglements. Most such entanglements go unobserved or unreported, so the information we have indicates the minimum. Many whales carry evidence of previous entanglement through abrasions, scars, amputations, and deteriorated body condition.
The Oregon Whale Entanglement Working Group (OWEWG) has been working on the issue of whale entanglement in the commercial Oregon Dungeness crab fishery since May of 2017. There is now a public opportunity to weigh in on this issue. Our colleagues with the American Cetacean Society-Oregon Chapter are asking for support in advocating for better protection for whales. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has prepared and published a draft Conservation Plan for whale species. The public comment period on the plan runs through Sept. 16.
You may read the draft Conservation Plan here.
Comments may be submitted to the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission at https://www.dfw.state.or.us/agency/commission/. There is an email link on the page.
For more information and talking points, see our article on this issue.
South Coast Colleagues Seek a Treasurer
Bandon’s Shoreline Education for Awareness (SEA), a group with which CoastWatch collaborates (and has adopted a CoastWatch mile), is seeking a volunteer who shares their conservation commitment to serve as treasurer on their board. Responsibilities include establishing the yearly budget, supervision of the bookkeeper to ensure accurate financial reporting, paying bills, and making deposits. This individual would work closely with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) in support of the cooperative intern program. Good organization and computer skills a plus. Bandon-area residents are encouraged to apply. If interested, please phone the SEA office, 541-313-6751, and be prepared to discuss and send your qualifications and references as directed. SEA also welcomes new board members at large so if you love the southern Oregon coast and its marine wildlife, this could be a way to make a difference.
Adopt a Mile of the Coast
One way to take action now, for those who are not already CoastWatchers, is to adopt a CoastWatch mile. One of our goals for CoastWatch's 25th anniversary year, 2018, is to finally attain coverage of every mile of the Oregon coast through CoastWatch. You can help us reach this goal by adopting a mile that is not receiving regular coverage.
Participate in Citizen Science Research
Another form of action is to participate in one of our citizen science surveys, such as those for marine debris, beached birds, sea stars, stranded marine mammals, and others. For more information check out the CoastWatch section and this article on citizen science opportunities.
Ditch Single-Use Plastic Straws
Plastic straws are among the most common items found at Portland Chapter Surfrider cleanups – both on the Oregon coast and in Portland! They are not biodegradable, which means that every plastic straw created is still around in some form. Plastic has a huge impact on our ecosystems, wildlife and people, and it is the chapter’s goal to reduce the amount of plastic that ends up in the environment.
In August 2017, the Portland Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation launched the DitchTheStrawPDX program in the Portland-Metro area. The mission of the program is to assist businesses in reducing the number of plastic straws used by their customers. The chapter provides support to these businesses who agree to go straw free for an entire month as a pilot program demonstrating that paper straws are a sustainable, cost-effective alternative.
Surfrider Portland's Ask: Join their movement to reduce plastic straw pollution by piloting a straw-on-request program for one month. Eliminate plastic straws by only providing paper straws upon request.
Are You a Business Interested in Participating?
Click Here & Help Be Part of the Solution
Are you an individual that wants to participate?
Next time you’re out, simply ask for no straw, post a photo and tag (@SurfriderPortland) and #DitchTheStrawPDX on social media! They need your help to spread the word and the message.
Interested in supporting this program as a volunteer? Contact [email protected]