... Because WE love our beaches
Yesterday was International Surfing Day.
The day included 138 celebrations that took place in more than half of the US (27 total states) and in 48 locations outside the US.
During the day I found myself thinking about two things... which won't be a surprise to anyone that knows Surfrider because they are the two tenets of our mission.
Protection and enjoyment (of our beaches).
Of course it's logical for me to think about these themes. It reflects what we do day-in and day-out... but that's not the point of this post.
What looked like 138 parties around the world was really something more... they were celebrations of what we love... our oceans, waves and beaches. They connected people to the issues that our coasts face.
Those two themes, enjoyment and protection, kept hitting me because that's what EVERYone was talking about.
Those two themes brought just shy of 2,000 people closer to our mission by joining or renewing their membership. A big thank you to all of you that fall into this category.
As part of the day we did an eight hour web-a-thon which included a who's who list of surfers who stopped by to chat.
The list of surfers connecting includes Josh Kerr, Pat O'Connell, Greg Long, Jodie Nelson, Makua Rothman, Matt Biolos, Gregory Harrison, Brad Gerlach, Tony Corley, Parker Coffin, Nate Yeomans, Chris Del Moro, Nick Rosza, Torrey Meister, Nathan Myers, Anastasia Ashley, Courtney Conlogue, Donavon Frankenreiter, Justin LePerra, Travis Potter, Alex Gray, Todd Richards, Pat Gudauskas and of course our ambassadors Kelly Slater and Stephanie Gilmore.
Literally every single surfer spoke of both their love of the beaches and their concerns for the fragile state of our coasts around the world.
The bands that played the web-a-thon all mentioned their love of the coasts in their sets. Huge thanks to Le Blorr, Japanther, Makua Rothman, Nightmare Air and Fishbone.
The volunteers themselves all have their own stories and reasons they invested their day making International Surfring Day happen. Big thanks to Nicole Wilson, Shannon Park, Kelly Keenan, Sean Smith, Jennifer Kelly, Mandy Lausche, Gayane Moloian, Sharalee Eberhart, Carolyn LaBarbiera, Scott Desiderio, Charlie Anderson, Christian Thomas, Chris Cote and the stellar Surfrider staff.
Our partners for the web-a-thon TranswordSurf, Ubiquity and SME also shared in this love for the coasts. Thanks for working on this event and helping make it happen.
Our collective stories... the personal stories of our experiences on beaches where we grew up or a trip we took a few months ago to a land far away... touch on these two themes.
ALL of our stories touch on the core of our mission, protection and enjoyment.
This is important because our stories reflect our culture.
Our stories are our identity.
We love our beaches... and so we protect them.
A heartfelt thank you from all of us connected to Surfrider (our members, supporters and donors, staff, Board of Directors) to all of those that connected for the first time yesterday.
The day came full circle for me when I met my wife and two kids at George's beach in Cardiff. The sun was setting and connected as a family and played in the waves. As I was leaving I snapped that photo above... we're surfers... we love the beach, we all do... and so we protect it.