Activist Spotlight
April 01 2015

Wet Feet and Dirty Hands

Bill Stuempfig
Journey began in 2000
Chapter: Surfrider Foundation South Jersey Chapter

Hi my name is Bill, and I am Surfrider because…I surf, sail, paddle, photograph, band osprey, explore, go fishing, and live for the water.

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

I work and play in the ocean and the waters leading to it. I live on a beautiful river that not so long ago was polluted and dying. It is now healthy and productive. Joining Surfrider 15 years ago gave me a vehicle to help our waters recover and stay productive.

What are some local issues that are affecting your ocean, waves and beaches?

Local issues are many. The B.L. England generating station is a dirty coal burning power plant in the Great Egg Harbor Bay, only 2 miles from the ocean. Locals want to make it into a natural gas powered plant by bringing a pipeline through my back yard, which would mean toxic runoff into waterways .

What Surfrider projects have you worked on?

Ocean Friendly Gardens (OFG) is the most recent project. I am working with local schools, green teams and municipalities to encourage responsible land use. Previous campaigns include reusable bag initiative and dune planting programs. I also lead guided kayak nature tours for Surfrider members, as well as organize bay cleanups.

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

The focus of positive energy to carry out campaigns to make the oceans cleaner and more accessible is always a highlight. Every opportunity to show people the connection between OFGs and a healthy ocean.

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

We are grassroots. We are the people with wet feet and dirty hands. We care and are capable of bringing positive results.