Activist Spotlight
February 16 2016

Diving In Head First

by Nancy Eiring

Caroline "Cea" Higgins from Sonoma Coast Chapter, CA

Q: When and why did you get involved with the Surfrider Foundation?

I started as an officer for our chapter about 7 years ago when one of our favorite surf spots was being threatened with a development project.  It was a huge learning curve as we challenged the project with several Federal, State, and County agencies for many years and in the end won some protective permit restrictions from the California Coastal Commission. I guess I got my feet wet by diving in head first.

Q: What issues are you most passionate about in your community?

Our chapter is passionate about ensuring our Local Coastal Plan is updated properly, public access, marine debris (especially plastic and foam pollution), clean water & tributary health, and youth education.  We are also looking forward to getting the OFG program started in Sonoma County.

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

The highlight of my Surfrider experience has been meeting such incredible coastal activist and realizing that as a team we accomplish great things to ensure coastal protection, preservation, and continued access. The County wide single use bag ban was pretty sweet too! Worth all those days walking administrative buildings, shopping centers, school and college campuses, and town squares in the heavy and hot platic bag monster costume...

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

I tell folks about how Surfrider is a grassroots volunteer driven network supported by a great headquarters.  We all focus on the common mission of Surfrider but by having local chapters we can also put our energy into issues specific to our community and geographic region of coastline.  

Q: Where is your favorite beach and why?

I haven’t met a beach I didn’t love but my favorites along the Sonoma Coast are the more remote locations that I access by hiking trails with my dogs and my board.

Cea was feautured in the Press Democrat's article "Sonoma County's women of the waves" last Fall about her love of surfing.  Take a read here.