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North Coast Winds - Robin Joy Wellman - September 2016


North Coast Winds - Robin Joy Wellman - September 2016

Honoring our coastal volunteers is just the right thing to do. Thank you to the Jenner Community Center Volunteers for hosting a recognition dinner for the Timber Cove Fire, Fort Ross Fire, Monte Rio Fire, Bodega Bay Fire – all volunteers, and California State Parks lifeguards. The fire departments, state parks, CHP, and Sheriff departments along our coast all work closely together to bring an amazing response network to our coast. These are heroic people responding to all sorts of emergencies on our behalf. All of our local fire departments are volunteers…these are people who have full lives and give the extra bit they have to learn the skills to respond as professionals. The best pay they can receive is a personal thank you so the next time you see these folks please reach out and offer a handshake.

Speaking of volunteers in our community I want to offer a shout out to Iris Gradunov for her community service in keeping our river and coastal waters clean. Iris has always been ‘mesmerized by the ocean’ and ocean critters. She spent many days in her childhood at the beach and exploring tide pools. She became involved in the anti-captivity activism 15 years ago and eventually became involved with Sea Shepherd – and found her calling. She mission is to do everything possible in her power to restore and protect the oceans. When she started taking her young son Max to the beach she was moved to action by all the garbage they would find. Taking action they would clean the beaches several times a week picking up what they found. A few months ago she met Chris, founder of Clean River Alliance and started doing weekly cleanups on the Russian River. They have seen a 90% decrease in debris making it to the ocean – so in clean up of the river she was also cleaning the ocean. Thank you Iris and Max for being such passionate and active protectors of our coastal area and planet.  

September is Coastal Cleanup Month and there are many events where you live. Fort Ross State Historic Park will host a clean up – please contact Sarah King at Contact these groups to find out how they will participate in our Coastal Clean up Week: Gualala River Watershed CouncilFriends of the Gualala River  and Redwood Coast Watersheds Alliance. You can create your own group of family and friends – have a day at the beach or river and offer a one hour clean up. If you enjoy the outdoors and love a good walk or long afternoon hike take a bag with you to collect any trash you might come across – every little bit helps.  

I am returning from a visit to Russia and traveled to Northern Russia and learned that even in Northern Russia they too are taking steps to keep our planet clean. At their national parks and local parks they are doing an excellent job at protection, education, and interpretation. I enjoyed many of their signs encouraging good steward ship. I felt so good about this as it really is becoming a part of our global consciousness to take care of our planet. 

Well, I want jump to a different topic completely but certainly connected. I am hoping you are all joining in with friends, neighbors, and family with as many political conversations as possible to get as informed on your own personal vote for our local, state, and national elections coming up. At first I was going to write that maybe it is best to not talk politics with family but I have been rethinking this a lot. I have been reaching out as much as possible (without crossing the line of pushiness) with family about this election. Why not – I might learn a thing or two and want to share a few pointers that I have. On September 18 our former Coast Commission President Charles Lester will speak at an open event in Jenner. I really don’t want to turn political here – it’s not my job – but to be the most informed on Election Day bringing all your smarts it is a good idea. It’s OK to talk politics and listen to all sides. 

Blessings to you all – keeping the earth green and the politics clean.