Why and when did you get involved with the Surfrider Foundation?
I hated seeing the manatees swimming around with garbage.
What are some local issues that are affecting your ocean?
Litter is a huge problem on beaches in south Florida, and it is a big problem in the intracoastal waterways. Climate change, sea level rise, beach erosion, and beach replenishment due to storms are also all huge issues in Florida.
What Surfrider projects have you worked on?
I try to organize one cleanup per month, whether it be a beach cleanup or paddle cleanup. I organized a paddle cleanup with South Broward High School's environmental club called the Plastic Free Mermaids. I taught them all how to stand-up paddle, and then we loaded our boards with buckets and bins and removed trash from the intracoastal. We support local cleanups by joining forces with other groups, providing education, and we help to provide free ice water refills to local events to decrease the use of single use plastic.
What has been the highlight of your Surfrider experience?
The highlights of my Surfrider experiences have always been seeing kids come out to the events, and seeing them caring for the ocean and all of its creatures, because they are the future. I also love it when I hear people tell me that they've changed certain habits (bringing reusable bags to the store, or not drinking bottled water) because of the information I've shared. Oh, and a huge highlight was having Jack Johnson show up to a Surfrider Miami beach cleanup where I was volunteering with friends. He's my favorite!
What is the most important thing you tell others about Surfrider?
Surfrider aims to protect our oceans, which are necessary for life on this planet. The health of our oceans affects all living things. And for my friends and family who love the ocean, it is important to give back and do what we can.
Why are you a Surfrider coastal defender?
I am a Surfrider coastal defender because I love my beach, I love my ocean, I love my planet.