Ocean Night, this Thursday, Sept. 2

Come out to our monthly Ocean Night Film Screening at Arcata Theatre Lounge! This Thursday, Sept. 2, we feature September Sessions, A Sheltered Sea – The Journey of The Marine Life Protection Act and The Seagull’s Dream, an Arcata Elementary School documentary about the Pacific Garbage Patch.

Co-sponsored by Ocean Conservancy, Humboldt Baykeeper and the Northcoast Environmental Center.

Doors at 6:30 p.m., movies at 7 p.m. All ages! Free to members, otherwise donation of $3 requested.

More on the movies…

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Humboldt Bay’s guiding forces – candidate forum

November, 2006, Samoa Beach

November, 2006, Samoa Beach (photo by Terrence McNally/Arcata Eye)

Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation and Conservation District Candidates Forum

Wednesday, Oct. 7 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Humboldt Area Foundation, 373 Indianola Road, Bayside

The Humboldt Bay Stewards will host a candidates’ forum for the upcoming November election of Bay District Commissioners.

This is an opportunity for the public to meet the 3rd and 4th districts Commissioner Candidates and listen to them discuss the issues and their positions. The League of Women Voters will conduct the forum.  All candidates will have the opportunity to answer each of the questions submitted from the audience.

Topics of particular interest to Surfrider members: Marina dredging, port development, water quality… others? Add in the comments.

Marine Life Protection Act

Questions are arising about the process here on the North Coast.

I (Jennifer Savage, your Humboldt chairperson) have been hired by the Ocean Conservancy to help implement the MLPA locally. You can contact me directly with questions via jsavage@oceanconservancy.org — but a good starting place is Surfrider’s MLPA blog.

Also, CalOceans, which includes links to the California Dept. of Fish and Game’s main site.

KHUM 104.3 FM recently featured the MLPA on Coastal Currents, a weekly feature hosted by Pete Nichols of Humboldt Baykeeper.

The short answer to the big question:

Will the Marine Life Protection Act “shut down” surfing, diving and other recreation?

No. One of the law’s goals is to improve study, education and recreation opportunities along our coast, recognizing the economic and cultural benefits ocean resources provide to local communities. Marine reserves and protected areas are often deliberately sited near public beaches and state parks to provide easy access for diving, kayaking, surfing, and research. On the North Central Coast, stakeholders have proposed the creation of five to seven small “no disturbance zones,” or special closures, which the Department of Fish and Game can designate outside the Marine Life Protection Act to protect bird and mammal breeding grounds and haul-outs. There are no plans at this time to designate special closures on the South Coast.

Artificial reef in Humboldt?

From the Bay District‘s upcoming agenda:

10.    New Business

  1. Consideration of Resolution 2009-3 in support of the California Ships to Reefs concept of establishing an artificial reef in the waters off of Humboldt Bay.
  1. Consideration of establishment of a North Coast Local-Interest Marine Protected Area Work Group

The Bay District (aka Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation and Conservation District) meets Thursday night at 7 p.m. in the Woodley Island Meeting Room.