Activist Spotlight, Wavemakers
April 11 2016

2015 Wavemaker Award Recipients

by Nancy Eiring

The Surfrider Foundation is proud to announce the recipients of its 2015 Wavemaker Awards. These individuals, chapters and companies are recognized for their outstanding leadership, performance, dedication and support in fulfilling the Surfrider Foundation’s mission to protect our world’s ocean, waves and beaches. Through their voluntary and sustainable actions, they have gone over and beyond the call of duty, spending countless hours to address the issues facing our communities, state and nation, while having a positive impact and increasing awareness of the Surfrider Foundation. We thank each of the recipients who follow for the passion and dedication to our coasts.

Environmental Leadership: Awarded to the outstanding individual or group of individuals, selected on the basis of a single recent major moment of environmental activism related to a specific chapter/chapters or campaign

LNG Campaign Team: Nick Lynn (New York City Chapter), Nikita Scott (New York City Chapter), Amanda Moore (Central Long Island Chapter), Marvin Weiss (Central Long Island Chapter), and Michelle Stewart (Central Long Island Chapter). The extensive work that these dedicated activists did to defeat the Port Ambrose offshore LNG terminal resulted in a huge win for our Mid-Atlantic region. It illustrated the power of a grassroots network - the great organization, determination and perservance - and its ability to defeat a well-funded project, which would have been incredibly harmful to our coasts. 

Ethan Crouch, Cape Fear Chapter, North Carolina. Effective organizer, persuasive public speaker, and leader of leaders are just ways to describe Ethan and the role he's played as Chapter Chair for Cape Fear. In the short time serving, he built a strong (and growing) chapter leadership team, fostered relationships in the community, and established the chapter as a credible force. Ethan has been a critical figure in our priority campaign, Protect the Atlantic (from offshore drilling and seismic).

Carmen Matthews & Annie Pollard, Coos Bay Chapter, Oregon. Annie and Carmen are the co-founders of the Coos Bay chapter, which has become the most successful and vibrant (currently) chapter in Oregon. Because of their passion to protect our coasts, they cultivated a chapter towards bringing their community together, especially the youth, through organizing and grassroots activism.  

Outstanding Contribution: To recognize people or organizations for their service to Surfrider above and beyond chapter leadership or environmental activism

Marcus Eriksen & Anna Cumins of the 5 Gyres Institute. Marcus and Anna Cumins discovered the microbeads – microscopic plastic particles – in the Great Lakes and spearheaded the movement to ban the beads. 

Development: For outstanding financial support and/or assistance with Surfrider Foundation's fundraising efforts

Alex Garbuio. For more than a decade, Alex has been a long-time financial supporter of Surfrider and has been a "connector" for Surfrider to donor prospects in NYC. There is perhaps no one in New York who has done so much to connect us to new donors and assist in growing our network.

Distinguished Legal Service: Awarded to an attorney or law firm for distinguished legal work provided to the Surfrider Foundation

Bill White, Esq. from Shute, Mihaly, Weinberger. Bill has been a guiding force and outstanding attorney on our Save Trestles matter for the past decade and our Friends of Martin’s Beach case where he masterfully argued complex matters of property law and the Public Trust Doctrine that will be paramount to the future of beach access jurisprudence in the state of California.

Corporate Partner: Awarded to a corporation or business that displays outstanding dedication to and support of the Surfrider Foundation)

Patagonia. Over the years, Patagonia has been a great supporter of the Surfrider Foundation and our chapter network. Patagonia has generously opened its stores for chapter meeting space, funded local grants and provided support and funding to national priority campaigns like Marilia dam removal, and CA oil legislation.  They have also donated product to support our fundraising efforts over the years.

Surf Industry Partner: Given to individuals or companies - within the surf industry - who have made significant contributions toward supporting the Surfrider Foundation

VANS. Vans has been a generous financial support of Surfrider for more than 10 years.  And Vans included Surfrider staff to share and educate their employees our work to protect the ocean where they play, truly showing their commitment to our mission.

Coastal Impact: Awarded to the person or persons who displays outstanding efforts to make a positive impact on our coasts and oceans

Arnold Schouten. Arnold is a member of the Surfrider Olympic Peninsula Chapter and for more than 20 years, he has made an incredible impact on our organization and coastal conservation in Washington. His intimate knowledge of the Olympic Peninsula combined with his passion for clean waters and a healthy ecosystem has made him a vocal supporter of the Surfrider mission to protect ocean, waves, and beaches for our enjoyment. Arnold works to educate and inform the public and officials about eelgrass beds, ocean acidification, and bluff erosion, and oil spill prevention.  And recently he has spearheaded several large scale marine debris removal projects along a very remote section of the outer Washington Coast in partnership with the US Coast Guard, Makah Tribe, and Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary.

Coastal Preservation: Special recognition of achievement of protecting our coasts and ocean

Cruz Bustamente. Cruz Bustamante is a lifetime advocate for our coasts. Whether as speaker of the Assembly in the mid-1990s, where he appointed members to the California Coastal Commission to protect the state's coasts to keep our open and free from ill-formed development plans, or as Lt. Governor, Mr. Bustamante guided decisions to conserve our natural resources for the legacy of our children's children.