October 13 2016

Chapter Leaders Unite at East Coast Chapter Leadership Conference

by Sarah Damron

Each year, Surfrider Foundaiton organizes regional conferences for chapter leaders. This year, the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and Southeast regions (and even a rep from the Chicago Chapter!) came together for a super-regional conference. Chapter leaders from Maine to Georgia converged on Eastern Long Island to network, share experiences, hear organizational updates, and participate in workshops.

"[...] the DC Chapter enjoyed it very much and learned quite a bit about the current issues, initiatives and tools available for us to use in our local campaigns.  Additionally it was also quite nice and important to meet the other chapter members, to surf and to bond," reflected Minh Dang, who attended the conference as a representative of the DC Chapter.

The conference was held Oct 7-9 at Stony Brook Southampton College in Southampton, NY.  Despite the complication presented by Hurricane Matthew, the conference had a solid turnout from throughout the region. 

Topics covered included updates on and a capacity-building case study from Regional Ocean Planning efforts; campaign strategy breakouts; a presentation of our developing Coastal Preservation and Adaptation efforts; plastics policy; offshore energy; clean water; ocean friendly gardens; and leadership training opportunities through Surfrider Foundation University. 

Several of our activists were honored with Wavemaker Awards for their achievements in activism, including Ethan Crouch of the Cape Fear Chapter and the team of activists that fought and won to defeat an offshore liquid natural gas facility in New York: Nick Lynn and Nikita Scott, of the NYC Chapter, as well as Amanda Moore, Michelle Stewart and Marvin Weiss of the Central Long Island Chapter.

Attendees also enjoyed social events on Friday (thanks, Sweetwater Brewing Company!) and Saturday nights, impromptu surf sessions over the course of the weekend, a boat tour of Shinnecock Bay, and--for those not faint of heart--a blustery tour of Montauk that included a walking tour of the controversial geotube armoring project and a trip to view the revetment at the Montauk Lighthouse.

Many thanks to all of the chapter leaders that made it out! 


Interested in supporting our chapter leadership development efforts and sponsoring a chapter leadership conference? Please contact Tara D'Andrea.