A big thanks goes out to the many local leaders and our congressional delegates on this effort, who’ve embodied the Surfrider adage “Constant pressure, endlessly applied”. From the early announcement of the closure, the Newport Fishermen’s Wives never stopped applying pressure and seeking avenues to retain the helicopter in Newport. The local Newport Chapter of Surfrider signed on early to the campaign, understanding the critical role that the air station has provided over the years in not only saving recreational lives, but also in protecting the ocean environment as a lead responder and enforcer of marine pollution (a.k.a. MARPOL). Chapter volunteers attended multiple hearings, supported petitioning and letter writing, met with Senator Merkley and Wyden’s staff as well as design and launch a campaign webpage. With the passing of the CROmnibus, came the blessing of just one more year of funding, so we’ll be continuing to work on this effort with lead partners throughout 2015 to secure longterm funding for this important resource.
Newport Chapter of Surfrider Foundation has played an active supporting role for the past 4 months to help ensure the Coast Guard’s helicopter, an important tool in protecting recreational lives and the environment on the central coast, remained in Newport after an announcement earlier this year that the USCG was closing the station and moving to North Bend. Beginning as a local campaign led by the Fishermen’s Wives, the effort scaled to our congressional delegates who helped secure funding for another year.