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Activists still testing the water in the Gulf of Mexico

January 27 2011 | Activism, Jim's Blog,
by Jim

I made a trip to the Gulf of Mexico after the oil spill and it was one of the most defining experiences I've had at Surfrider. The essence of Sufrider boils down to an activist engaging to preserve their local coasts and the Gulf trip illustrated that concept in spades. In the midst of a Wag-the-Dog-esque, disconnected feeling I had regarding what I saw in front of me and what I saw on the news, it was the locals, the activists, who helped me make sense of of it all. Connecting with the locals, the people that live where land meets the ocean, always re-centers me regarding Surfrider's value in society. I'm convinced that no one is "born" an activist. People become active with a cause when an event causes them to pause and reevaluate their priorities. People become activists because they are prodded into taking action. They come to the conclusion that something, some issue, is larger than themselves, and they lower the priority they put on their own interests and needs. They act for the greater good. Mike Sturdivant falls in this category. He's the one in the pictures of this article that came out yesterday. Read that article. CNN has come and gone from the Gulf but the people... the real people with day jobs, families and bills to pay... are still there. They are testing the water so others like them, people with families, have some reliable information they can trust regarding water quality safety. Of course there are many more people in the Gulf still engaged with the long-term ramifications of the spill. Those people, local activists, should be appreciated and thanked for the ongoing service they are giving those communities. The media came and left but the locals are still there, still engaged, still active. For more of Mike's story, listen in to the podcast I did with him.
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