The Redwood Region Climate & Community Resilience Hub Goes to Washington
In May 2023, participants in the Redwood Region Climate & Community Resilience Hub (CORE Hub) visited Washington D.C. to share a bold vision of climate resilience, social equity, sustainable economic development, and Tribal and community engagement in the Pacific coastal region including the California counties of Humboldt, Del Norte, and Trinity, Oregon’s Curry County, and 27 Tribal Nations and ancestral Indigenous territories.
As the region prepares for a heavy-lift marine terminal or port in Humboldt Bay, and as many as 100 floating wind turbines to be installed across 207 square miles of federal waters in the Pacific Ocean offshore of Humboldt County, the CORE Hub is elevating the need for equitable and sustainable investment centered on low-income and Tribal communities, fishermen, workers, and others who could be most impacted by this development. The Washington D.C. trip built upon ongoing active conversations with state and federal officials, issue experts, and thought leaders, to encourage innovative models of community benefits and Tribal leadership, and place-based climate policies.
The group visiting Washington D.C. included Bryna Lipper, CEO of the Humboldt Area Foundation and Co-Founder of the CORE Hub, Fernando Campos, Business Representative and Political Director for Laborers International Union (LiUNA) Local 324, Jana Ganion, Director of Sustainability and Government Affairs for Blue Lake Rancheria and Co-Founder of the CORE Hub, Jill Sherman-Warne Hoopa Valley Tribe Council member and Executive Director of the Native American Environmental Protection Coalition, and Mike Wilson, a Humboldt County Supervisor and California State Coastal Commissioner. Together, the delegation represented a broad range of stakeholders interested in ensuring development around the Redwood Region is equitable, clean, and non-extractive.
“The cluster of offshore wind industries developing around Humboldt County presents a tremendous opportunity for our region to drive climate solutions for the entire West Coast and the nation. But we must work closely with federal, state, and local government agencies to ensure that this transition to wind energy is just and sustainable, addressing past harms to Tribal Nations and other communities of color, low-income and rural working families, and our ecosystems.”— Bryna Lipper
While in the nation’s capital, the delegation met with White House officials leading on the President’s climate and Infrastructure agenda. They also met with U.S. Treasury officials, the Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration, leadership of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Bureau of Indian Energy, the Bureau of Ocean Energy and Management (BOEM) at the Department of the Interior, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The delegation also exchanged and received counsel from the Brookings Institute, the Hamilton Project, and the Natural Resources Defense Council. Discussions with these federal officials, issue experts, and thought leaders centered on how implementation of offshore wind and related infrastructure projects can succeed in delivering on both climate and justice goals.
By “putting faces to the Redwood region,” the delegation strengthened nationwide relationships. CORE Hub participants shared how strategies such as public-private partnerships, community benefits agreements, civic participation structures, and community-led investments could catalyze sustainable development and minimize environmental and community impacts resulting from unmitigated infrastructure deployment.
By raising the voices of underrepresented people and promoting Tribal leadership the CORE Hub aims to ensure a new approach is adopted; one that does not repeat the region’s painful history of ecosystem degradation and community exploitation, from the Gold Rush to logging to harmful river dams.
“We are excited to create local jobs and partnerships as the offshore wind industry develops in Northern California and surrounding communities, alongside community benefits such as career pathways, workforce training, housing, and services. Together, we can put people to work in clean energy and shape a sustainable and resilient future.“— Fernando Campos
While representing the diversity and richness of the Pacific Redwoods region, the CORE Hub delegation brought with them decades of expertise across the fields of local, state, federal and Tribal government, sustainability, environmental stewardship, Tribal sovereignty and traditional ecological knowledge, philanthropy, public policy, and workforce development.
By traveling across the continent to the nation’s capitol, this delegation of diverse residents set forth an ambitious vision of offshore wind becoming a catalyst for an equitable, decarbonized and resilient future for the entire region.
About the Redwood Region CORE Hub
The Redwood Region Climate And Community Resilience Hub (CORE Hub) is a community organization dedicated to solving the climate emergency through actions that result in more just and resilient communities and ecosystems. The CORE Hub is based at the Humboldt Area Foundation and Wild Rivers Community Foundation, serving the California counties of Humboldt, Del Norte, and Trinity, as well as Curry County in Oregon. The CORE Hub’s service area includes 27 Tribal Nations and Ancestral Indigenous Territories. The CORE Hub’s goal is to help the region become the first proven carbon-sequestering rural and Tribal region in the United States.