'Speak Truth to Youth'

   

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Sea

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Our Founder in Action...

The most recent installment of the World Oceans Conference (held every 4th year) was held in San Francisco in the Grand Ballroom of the Embarcadero Hyatt Hotel. The first sign of trouble was that public comments were the very last item on the agenda, a sure sign nobody gives a hoot what the public thinks, cares about, or has to say. Business as usual, right? Wrong!

A quick glance at the agenda and all accompanying bird cage liners that were a total waste of trees, revealed something beyond shocking- the ‘platinum sponsor’ was none other than Chevron, evil oil company corporate giant that will certainly destroy the world if we let them.

And here we were, talking about sea-level rise!!

Up to the podium one by one were the liars, criminals political prostitutes and scientists-for-sale, trying their best to talk about sea level rise with a straight face. Not one of them was here to solve the oceans problems- they were all in line to get money. And where, pray tell could that money be coming from? Well, where else? Chevron, Exxon-mobil, BP and all the ocean killers, of course!

Well, no one else was gonna do it, that’s for sure, so I straightened my tie, pushed passed the lady from MMS (marine minerals service) who was handing out pamphlets aimed at brainwashing children into thinking oil was better than solar power, and I stood right up at that podium with Arnold Schwarzenegger watching, and I let them have it- a big, heaping bucket of truth.
 
Enjoy! (for more speeches and issues, go to www.youtube.com and put in spiritpen)

The ill-fated EarthRace super-boat...
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ecords were made to be broken, and the amazing EarthRace boat has done just that, breaking the world powerboat record for circumnavigating the globe by 14 days. Total elapsed time to go 24,000 nautical miles: an astonishing 60 days, 23 hours, 49 minutes! The old record was set in 1998 by the British powerboat 'Adventurer'
Built in New Zealand to travel the world spreading its message of hope and environmental responsibility, EarthRace is a 24 meter (75') tri-hull 'wave piercer', featuring the uncanny ability to actually slip partially beneath the waves when necessary, a bit like the Loch Ness Monster!
 
EarthRace Skipper Pete Bethune, a former oil worker-turned-biodiesel proponent said, "We're completely stoked to have achieved something so incredible; EarthRace's success has proved that any form of transport, including marine, can be nondamaging to the environment as well as being high-performance."
 
EarthSourceMedia had a rondezvous with its 'official' boat in Morro Bay, in 2006. We liked the message then, and we like the message now. ESM has followed suit by running biodiesel and solar in our own RV, the 'Skacciabong'.

EDITORS NOTE: In June, 2009, the EARTHRACE was renamed the ADY GIL and joined Captain Paul Watson and Sea Shepherd Society in their bold quest to end Japanese whaling in World Park Antarctica. During a violent confrontation, the Ady Gil was shorn apart by the aggressor, a much larger vessel named by the Japanese law breakers the Shonan Maru. No lives were lost (except the poor whales) and Captain Watson's Sea Shepherd Society has filed piracy on the high seas charges against the Japanese whalers in a Netherlands Court. The ADY GIL, formerly EARTHRACE, valued by Watson at 1.5 Million dollars, now lies on the ocean bottom near Commonwealth Bay. In the past few years, these escalating oceanic confrontations have saved literally hundreds of whales and have become a huge hit on TV's Animal Planet. Join Sea Shepherd at: www.seashepherd.org

Long live the whales!
 
joey racano, editor ESM

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Below: Sewage in New Marine Protected Areas ____________________________________________________

As is often the case, those who would dump on Mother Ocean do it in the world's most beautiful places. In this photo is the volcanic plug at Morro Bay, California. This was the scene when we first arrived in town to oppose the 301h sewage waiver being used by Morro Bay and Cayucos to dump up to five million gallons a day- with less than secondary treatment. Coincidentally, this is also the epicenter of deaths and epidemic of the Southern Sea Otter. We set up a tour of the wastewater treatment plant and invited the locals along. The San Luis Obispo Coast Keeper (Gordon Hensley) refused to join us. Next: the Morro Bay tour..

-joey racano

Touring Morro Bay Wastewater Plant

When we announced to the Morro Bay City Council that we were in town to stop their waiver, they laughed and asked us how we were going to do it. We told them we were going to tour their wastewater plant, and the public was invited to join us.

It turned out to be a highly successful event. Representatives from from environmental groups from all over Central California attended, asking questions of staff, and it got lots of press. It showed that the people cared about the sewage and the Sea Otters, and that we were willing to be engaged in the process.

This tour was the first of a series of steps that led to a multi-million dollar sewage treatment plant upgrade that is still in progress today for the Morro Bay-Cayucos wastewater treatment plant, home of the Otters!

Water Warriors

 In the days leading up to the tour of Morro Bay wastewater Treatment Plant, I suggested everyone bring along a clipboard to take notes and look intimidating. ") People choose their words carefully when you're taking notes! We had elected officials from three cities, along with members of C.A.P.E. (Citizens Against Power Plant Expansion), Noah Smukler from San Luis Bay Surfrider (now on Morro Bay City Council himself), members of the Ocean Outfall group (my guys), the National Estuary Program (Had no choice but to go or look bad- now works for Simpson Timber who is clear cutting the redwoods), Mandy Davis from Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (went through two antarctic whale wars!), along with journalists and regular citizens. In the end, we brought the heat with aewsome backup from NRDC (Natural Resource Defense Council), especially David Beckman and Anjali Jaiswal. Just recently, Morro Bay and Cayucos tried to get out of it all, and the California Coastal Commission voted for us and against them. This is what happens when the enviro groups have integrity. Next, we'll show you what happens when they don't. ---------------------------------------------------------

Surfrider San Diego Tries to Ruin Our Tour

As we fought sewage dumping up and down the coast, we always heard one recurring theme: "When are you going to do something about San Diego?" When upgrades were done or in progress in Orange County, Morro Bay, and other beautiful coastal areas, we loaded up the 'OOG' mobile (OOG= Ocean Outfall Group), had a few suits dr...y cleaned, printed up 10,000 STOP THE WAIVER bumper stickers, and headed for San Diego! We took our case for a clean ocean directly to the people, speaking to them on TV at every San Diego City Council meeting. We explained that the city of San Diego was the last holdout to sewage treatment level upgrades. The city countered by telling us that their local environmental groups had given their blessing to dumping over 300 million gallons a day of poorly treated sewage in return for money to do studies on recycling (!). I suggested that they didn't have the authority to 'make deals' around the federal Clean Water Act, and that San Diego should make plans to go to full secondary treatment. I arranged for a public tour of the Point Loma Wastewater Treatment Plant, and once again, invited the public along. I got very little cooperation, especially from San Diego Surfrider Foundation, who did come to the treatment plant, but continually hurried me up on the tour and tried to stop me from asking questions. And no one was happy when I started taking pictures- (on the second tour, no cameras were permitted!). Well anyway, it all started innocently enough- here's the beginning of that fateful tour!------------------------------------------------

-joey racan

Touring Point Loma  
With the City of San Diego pouring between 170 - 330 million gallons a day (a total of 50 BILLION gallons every year!) of less than secondary treated sewage into the
ocean off Point Loma, we scheduled a tour and headed there from the KOA campground in Chula Vista

Time was running short and for the life of me, I couldn't pull it up on MapQuest or on the GPS for some reason. At one point, we saw a sign that said 'Point Loma wastewater plant' and followed it. Well, it turned out to be a fake! Yes, they actually have a small, clean, easy-to-get-to decoy plant!

The real plant, as it turned out, was hidden on a Naval Submarine Base, and that's why it doesn't show on Mapquest or your GPS! When we finally did find it, we were stopped by guards, who questioned us, and I nuetralized them by taking their picture! The head guard pointed to the top of a pole to show me there was a camera up there, we took a picture of that too!

Imagine our surprise when we came to another sign, this one saying, 'Cabrillo National Monument'. These filthy dumpers are dumping into one of the most beautiful places on Earth, and into our National Monument!

Next: Into the bowels of Point Loma!

Confronting San Diego City Council

There is nothing quite so satisfying as walking into a town that thinks it is above the law and stepping up to the podium and excersizing your right to free speech by calling them on their deep dark dirty deeds.

In this case, it was the city of San Diego using a sewage 'waiver' that no other municipality in California s...till has, to dump more and dirtier sewage than any other municipality in the United States.

These waivers were first issued as a 5-year temporary emergency measure to help municipalities ease into compliance with the Clean Water Act. But that was 35 years ago! Now, these outlaws just keep dumping and dumping and keep using their political connections to get 'one more 5 year waiver' after another.

But this time, we were going to stop them. We were going to force them into compliance with the same laws everyone else has to follow, laws designed to protect the public health as well as the health of the ocean, fisheries, and recreational pastimes. But the mayor was a very powerful opponent of upgrading sewage treatment.

In a very close election, he used a friendly judge and a technicality to 'beat' Donna Frye, wife of super-surfer Skip Frye. Donna had run for office specifically tr clean up the water for the surfers. Meanwhile, Mayor Sanders and his dirty water crew, including Coastal Commissioner Ben Hueso, always called in political favors from phony environmentalists like Arnold Schwarzenegger.

In this photo, I am addressing the council and challenging them to clean up their act, Ben Hueso sulking on the right.

Next: On Point at Point Loma!

joey racano

Wastewater or Blackwater?

As we travelled throughout the Point Loma wastewater Treatment Plant, we got to see giant sewage tanks giant chemical tanks, giant powerful machines for pumping, and most of all the giant pipe that dumps it all into the sea. But we also saw giant people! Some of these guys were huge. Try tellin...g me that guy on the right is a wastewater engineer- no way!

Anyway, there were giant tanks that held ten million gallons each, and all they did was hold sewage for an hour or so, let the big peices of human fecal debris sink to the bottom and then they pour from the top into the ocean! That's what 'primary' treated sewage is, a mere two hour settling operation. Why? So San Diego can save money. They (the city of San Diego) paid two million dollars to San Diego Surfrider Foundation and San Diego CoastKeeper, who promised in return not to oppose yet another 5-year sewage waiver!
What was the money for? It is rumored the money is so they can do a 'study' on recycling of the sewage. But if that is true, then why spend 2 million dollars to 'study recycling' at the same time San Diego is spending a BILLION building a seawater desalination plant? I mean, which one do you think they're serious about, the 2 million dollar study or the BILLION dollar desalination plant? Hmm.

Surfrider San Diego's got some 'splainin' to do!

joey racano

Facebook: Ocean Defender Hawaii

Next: The frightening machines that run the place!



Surprising Mayor Jerry 'Sewage' Sanders

As with all battles for the Earth and Ocean, the San Diego Sewage Waiver battle became -and remains- a battle in the arena of public relations. And these battles will be tried not in corrupt courts with judges appointed who knows who. It all comes down to the court of public opinion. And people understand that issues s...uch as sewage dumping are NOT 'complex'. You are either for dumping that crap in the water or you aren't- period.

In this case, our team went straight to the source- San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders. Mayor Sanders stood right in front of the California Coastal Commission and refused to budge an inch on sewage treatment, and he even went as far as to say that when surfrider's 2 million dollar 'study' on recycling came back, that he wouldn't abide by any of it's recommendations!

What's a poor, shy Ocean Defender to do? We went right after him on his own home turf, that's what! Here is a classic shot of us 'takin' it to 'em' on the steps of the San Diego's La Jolla Public Library, where he was giving some blathering and smarmy speech about conserving water (while at the same time supporting rampant out-of-control development that will require yet more water!).

joey racano

 ~Schwarzenegger & Regional Water Board Hold Prison-Polluter Accountable~

In the midst of a global storm of political and environmental upheaval, Arnold Schwarzenegger and his Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board have upheld the sanctity of California's new series of Marine Protected Areas. Facing decisive enforcement action by a Regional Water Board energized by the newly implemented Marine Life Protection Act, the California Men's Colony Prison -despite tough talk- relented and agreed to pay a large fine for a January 27th spill that dumped thousands of gallons of raw sewage into San Luis Obispo's Chorro Creek. Though the creek is several miles upstream from the sea, it runs directly into the Morro Bay Estuary, recently annointed a State Marine Reserve by the California Fish & Game Commission. Designed to restore traditional fishing grounds to health, Marine Protected Areas are in their final process of being created, and prosecution of CMC State Prison, long known as a chronic polluter, not only sets an all-important precedent throughout the State of California, but also sends a strong message to would-be polluters of the California Coast. *In a separate action, a second precedent was then set at the Sept. 5th meeting of the same Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board when they voted unanimously to reject a setlement offer brokered by their own staff and the prison for multiple Chlorine discharges, also into Chorro Creek, saying (for the first time anywhere by a regulatory Agency) that Chlorine in the aquatic environment poses special dangers. They directed staff to re-negotiate with the troubled prison and return with a stiffer penalty.

EDITORS NOTE: Arnold Schwarzeneggers office was lobbied long and hard by the California Ocean Outfall Group, making this precedent-setting victory possible. Arnold and his Resources Agency Secretary Mike Crissman (who also Chair's the Ocean Protection Council) rarely if ever protect the ocean or environment on their own. Recently, these two worked together to overturn a California Coastal Commission decision that would have stopped San Diego from dumping 50 Billion Gallons of poorly treated sewage a year into the ocean at Point Loma. Arnold is no friend of the environment. See the story on the ESM blog, entitled, 'The Politics of Pollution'. 
-joey racano, Editor, EarthSourceMedia

For more information:

 http://oceanoutfallgroup.com


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~Raiders of the Lost Coast~

by Joey Racano

'Sleeping soundly in a dream
I swam with salmon in a stream'
Part I
 
'Beginning of the End'
 
California's Lost Coast, 1850
 
As dusk settled upon the great forest, Marbled Murrelets darted nestward beneath the tree-canopy. Far below, white foam on water betrayed a multitude of salmon beneath, newly returned from the sea, spawning in their natal streams.
 
Indigenous tribes-folk tended small fires nearby, having taken only what fish they needed, giving thanks to their creator in a beautiful but now-vanished Athapaskan language.
 
But even Shaman could not forsee as he lay on his back that night, the changes -both swift and terrible- that would come with the dawn.
 
 
Part II
 
'The Mighty Cougar'
 
December 2006, San Luis Obispo, Ca.
 
We arrived at Cuesta College campus, where I had been invited to kick off my winter tour by 'Zanni' Geise, a DJ on 'the Mighty Cougar', KGUR.
 
After introducing me to the staff, we blasted out the easiest blues tune I could think of; it was cold as heck outside, and my hands were freezing. Zanni covered me by jamming tunes off my first album. We talked about my new book, and fiery politics. It's great to do that on a college station because students out there listening are the ones who will have to save the world. We finished with a flurry, and it was time to head to KHUM, a radio station a few hundred miles to the north! 
 
 
Part III
 
'A Solo Coho' 
 
Pacific Ocean
 
'All the night, she could not rest
embarked upon her salmonquest'
 
Her salty ocean years about to end, the mighty Coho felt the irresistable call of motherhood. She swam far offshore in large circles, awaiting the heavy rains that would trigger her mad rush upstream. Small tempting fish swam before her nose, but eating was the last thing on her mind, like a nervous boxer before the big fight. She sniffed the turbulent surface. Yes, the rains were about to begin!
   
 
Part IV
 
'First Contact'
 
Lost Coast, Ca. 1850
 
Many were the moons passed here by the good people of the river, but none of them had ever brought strangers such as those who arrived that morning! They spoke in a strange tongue, were foul-smelling, pale skinned and outlandishly dressed. The stunned family of the river could only watch in wide-eyed horror as the newcomers wheeled an empty wooden wagon to the river's edgeand began using a pitchfork to fill it with salmon!
 
 
Part V
 
'Lovely Lila'
 
Ferndale, California
 
A steady rain washed our rented RV and every cow in the meadows of Ferndale. We turned in at the modest KHUM sign, driving once around the building. I was still tired from playing the annual KMUD Christmasbash the night before, but a friendly neighbor downstairs was kind enough to help. "Stand there by that door, right where they can see you, and good luck!" she said.
 I ran to the RV first for a copy of my book, and came scrambling back to find the door ajar. Inside stood the DJ, Lila Nelson. The studio was cool, the DJ was very pretty, and the ring on her finger proved I wasn't the only one who thought so!  She was also very nice to me. "I'm a touring musician too", she confided
 (www.lilanelson.org). "Mind if I record this?"
 
"Heck no", I said. I played two live songs, chatted about the book, and we hit the road. 
  
 
Part VI
 
'A Lone Soul on the Mattole'
 
Mattole Headwaters, Humboldt, Ca.
'She fought the rapids white with foam,
as mother forest called her home'
  
The rains came, and lifted the water, allowing for the movement of salmon. Our sacred lady of the fin followed her heart upriver. Facing new man-made obstacles, lesser fish now spawn right out in the main channel, with disastrous results. Not so she. Like the mighty Steelhead, Coho Salmon are superfish, genes hardened by a million journeys so arduous they sometimes swim through wet gravel!  She splashed furiously, whacking her tail on the water as she forged upstream, alone against a whitewater current.
 
That is how we spotted her as we walked along the bank, cameras in hand. And we worried, because she was the lone soul on the Mattole.   
 
Part VI
 
'Boundless Greed-Raiding the Lost Coast'
 
Mattole Headwaters, Humboldt, Ca.
'They fished in the rivers, they fished in the sea,
cut the forest to ribbons, felled every kind of tree'
 
The native peoples were sent to reservations a hundred miles to the south, where they and their language went extinct eleven years from first contact. As the years passed, the logging trucks became so many they had to agree on one route in and one route out. The superfish finally succumbed in the 1970's, when the number of salmon returning to spawn collapsed. By 1990, their numbers fell below the threshold scientists deem neccessary for recovery. But no one seemed to have told the she-fish, our lady of the fin- she blazed her path upstream!
 
Part VII
 
'(Everybody Got) Jo Mama Don't Love Me Blues'
 
Redway, Ca.
Hottest blues DJ on the northcoast, Jo Mama was an artist, the KMUD airwaves were her canvas, and I was her guest for the best live show of the tour. It hardly seemed 7 years since we raised $100.00 together for Friends of the Eel River
 (www.eelriver.org). Later that night, I listened to the rest of her show as I drove to a campsite along the Eel River. I was so proud when Jo Mama said, "We had Joey Racano playing live here tonight, and it was sweet!" The next morning, I did the last show on KMUD with Program Director Michael Jacinto, and wrapped up the tour with a red hot political interview on KHSU, the Humboldt State University radio stationwith Bonny Johnson.
 
After a tour of the famous wastewater treatment plant at Arcata, we headed back to the Mattole River, where Richard Gienger and Traci 'Bear' Thiele waited to take us deep into the old growth- on the grounds of a Cistercian Monastery!
 
Part VIII
 
I have always sought that idyllic place, that pristine wonderland of the wild, and finally found it on the banks of the Mattole near the grounds of a monastery where Cistercian Nuns work in a holy symbiosis with bees to make the worlds most delicious creamed honey. 
 
We sauntered through the old growth, wolf pack leading the way. Though the pools lay void of spawning salmon, we hit paydirt several miles upstream, where our she-salmon had now made her way to traditional spawning grounds; living proof of success of the 27-year grass roots Mattole River restoration effort. More of her kind have since been spotted, both in the Mattole and in the spawning pools deep within the forest- long may their numbers grow!
  
 
 
Raiders of the Lost Coast, epilogue...
 
 
'Salmon fed the world for years,
now the streams are full of tears
 
Fight for Coho, take the test
join us on a salmonquest'
 
How?
 
Cut and paste the sample letter below, sign it, and send it to our Governor at:
 
 
 Dear Governor Schwarzenegger, Please act to save California¹s wild salmon from extinction by urging the Board of Forestry to adopt these stronger forest practice rules that protect our endangered salmon:
 
* stronger riparian zoneprotections including doubling the number of retained trees for large woody debris recruitment.
* stronger landslide prevention measures.
* stronger restrictions on silt infiltration of our streams, rivers, estuaries and bays. * adequate monitoring processes to insure success.
More than 106 native salmon runs are extinct, and 214 at risk of extinction. Along with the salmon population decline, the rural communities and native tribes that are dependent on healthy fisheries have also seen decline in their way of life.
There has been an amazing long term effort by these communities to recover salmon populations, but carefully and expensively restored in-stream and estuarine habitat continues to be buried by rip-shod logging upstream onsensitive forested slopes. Though the last three governing administrations in California have acknowledged a need for improved forest practice rules to protect salmon, it has been left to your administration to make the changes needed to protect them. It is imperative that you act immediately to improve forest practices in California to eliminate harm to coho salmon and other salmon species.
Thank you,
Your name
Your address
Your organization or affiliation
Nice work! :)  
 
*****joey's note: After sending this Email out around the globe and perhaps in part because of it, NOAA prosecuted a Laytonville, Ca. forest landowner for removing old-growth next to a river, killing Steelhead with the resulting silt.
This set an enormous precedent, as the CDF (California Dept. of Forestry) had given the THP (Timber Harvest Plan) its blessing. But the plan was found by NOAA to violate the Federal Endangered Species Act. The landowner, who removed the trees to build a vinyard, was fined $155, 600.00!
Reliable sources say the CDF and California Board of Forestry were "Livid"! PDF file available upon request.
jr