Activist Spotlight
October 10 2017

Activist Spotlight: Meet Alec Buchness with the Sebastian Inlet Chapter!

Meet Alec Buchness, Chair of the Surfrider Sebastian Inlet Chapter, in Melbourne, Florida!

Q: Why and when did you get involved with the Surfrider Foundation?

Like most who are long-time surfers, I had always known about the Surfrider Foundation and thought it was a noble cause. While attending a local Surf Expo in the summer of 2011, I stopped by their booth and decided I had put it off long enough! Time to give back to an activity which has been part of life since my older brothers pushed into those first waves when I was but a tadpole. I can’t remember my first wave, but I know surfing and the beach have always given me refuge.

Q: What are some local issues that are affecting your ocean?

As with virtually all Atlantic coastal communities right now, offshore oil drilling is back in the spotlight right now. We also work hard on trying to reduce plastic use by our beachside communities, especially plastic bags.

Q: What Surfrider projects have you worked on? 

Numerous shoreline restoration projects, RAP projects, seismic airblasting and an ongoing battle with the ‘Dredge & Fill’ lobby.

Q: What has been the highlight of your Surfrider experience (i.e., campaign, program, victory)?

It was when then President Obama put Atlantic offshore oil leases off the table late last year. Unfortunately, now it’s back to the drawing board. My most enjoyable annual event is International Surfing Day – watching the stoke of kids (and adults) as I push them into waves for the first time in their lives!

Q: What is the most important thing you tell others about Surfrider?

We have to ‘be the change’ we want to see. Most folks think other people are going to take care of things for them. If you love it, protect it!

Q: Why are you a Surfrider coastal defender? 

I am a Surfrider coastal defender because our coasts and ocean need a voice. We have a moral obligation to be good stewards of God’s gifts. Surfing has given me the best times of my life. It’s time to pay it back.

Want to get involved? Find your nearest chapter at or support our coastal defenders at