Seabed Mining: A Threat to Washington's Waters

Seabed floor with light rays filtering through water

Thursday, April 8, 2021
4:30 p.m. PDT




Check out this video on Seabed Mining: A Threat to Washington's Waters, and our Successful Campaign to Ban this Practice.

Seabed mining (SBM) is a damaging extractive industry and growing threat to our global oceans as well as our own coast. Washington's state waters contain known mineral deposits that could become a target for industrial extraction. Given the present reality of rising ocean temperatures and acidification, our coastal ecosystems and communities do not need another threat. We’ll explain what seabed mining is, where it's happening, and what it could mean for our marine ecosystems, as well as steps we can take to promote a sustainable circular economy.

Surfrider and Twin Harbors Waterkeeper joined the Pew Charitable Trusts to mount a successful campaign against SBM in Washington State Waters. But this issue is still a real and growing threat to our global ocean. We’ll explain what seabed mining is, where it's happening, and what it could mean for our marine ecosystems, as well as steps we can take to promote a sustainable circular economy.

- Lee First will discuss what steps Twin Harbors Waterkeeper is taking to work with coastal youth to reduce the use of single use plastic, and she’ll discuss the “yellow ropes project.”

- Liz Schotman will explain Surfrider’s many years of marine plastics activism, and highlight recent and ongoing legislation, both local and national, that makes Surfrider Foundation a leader for this important issue.

More information about the speaker series is available here.

Lee First

Lee First


Lee First is a co-founder of Twin Harbors Waterkeeper, on the SW Washington coast. She has worked in the Waterkeeper movement for 15 years; as the North Sound Baykeeper, and with the Spokane Riverkeeper.  When not working to prevent a new dam from being built in the Chehalis headwaters, or out in her canoe or kayak, she is looking for solutions to pollution in the Chehalis River, Grays Harbor, and Willapa Bay watersheds.

Liz Schotman

Liz Schotman


Liz Schotman is the Washington Regional Manager for Surfrider Foundation, supporting Washington's five volunteer chapters in their efforts to address plastic pollution, climate change, and threats to our water quality, and to protect public coastal access. With a Master's degree in Sustainable Development and Conservation Biology and a background in fisheries and marine science, she's always looking for opportunities to share her knowledge and learn more about the PNW and all its majesty! 

Upcoming Talk

April 15, 2021
Speaker: Jeff Antonelis-Lapp, Emeritus Faculty at The Evergreen State College
Title: Tahoma’s Biggest Stories

April 22, 2021
Speaker: Emily Pinckney
Title: Intersectional Environmentalism: The key to Fighting Racism and Climate Change

May 6, 2021
Speaker: Steve Hollenhorst, Dean, Huxley College, WWU
Title: Creating a Carbon Conservation Trust Movement

Questions and Accommodations

Stefan Freelan

Stefan Freelan is the coordinator of the Huxley Speaker Series. Feel free to email or call (360) 650-2949 if you have any questions or comments.
There will be auto-captions available for this event. To request closed captions, please mark the request on the registration form. Advance notice of three days to one week is appreciated.