"I am Surfrider because I enjoy being a part of something larger than I am that is doing the things that I most want to do. It is empowering and motivating to be around the people of SR and I see positive results, both personally and for my environment, from being involved with the mission of Surfrider."
Q: Why and when did you get involved with the Surfrider Foundation?
I joined Surfrider in 2011 because it was (and still is), an organization that speaks to the health of the oceans. I like that it is growing here in the Northwest and that people are becoming more aware of the threats faced by marine ecosystems because of the work we are doing.
Q: What are some local issues that are affecting your ocean, waves and beaches?
Big in this area are issues of marine debris, sea level rise and the shipping of coal, oil and other hazardous cargos. Common to all of these issues is the fact that they are not always well-understood by the public and divisions of opinion often center on political affiliations when the issues themselves are not inherently political. I see environmental communication and the ability to relate the health and well-being of the natural world to human interests as being the biggest single challenge for anyone working to raise awareness about these issues.
Q: What Surfrider projects have you worked on?
I’ve split my time the past 3 years as Chapter Treasurer and Chair (18 months at each). In addition, I’ve done publicity for the Clean Water Classic the past 2 years, worked on getting a bag ban passed in Tacoma (in progress), and a whole lot of beach cleanups.
Q: What has been the highlight of your Surfrider experience (i.e., campaign, program, victory)?
I am happy to have helped with everything I’ve been involved with and it’s hard for me to pick out a single “victory” at this point. I do feel like I’ve helped to raise the profile of the South Sound Chapter in various ways and I’m happy with that. If the bag ban goes into effect in 2015, I will count that as the big one for me. And then I’ll move on to the next one.
Q: What is the most important thing you tell others about Surfrider?
I tell them it’s a flexible organization, that if they love the salt water, they will find meaning in being a part of it. I tell them that no other organization has the scope of mission that Surfrider does and I find that there is a lot more awareness now about Surfrider than there was when I began just 4 years ago.