Washington Policy Manager
Although I have been immersed in the ocean most of my life, growing up on the shores of New York, my passion for coastal conservation truly began with Surfrider in 1996, when I spent the summer interning with the Santa Cruz Chapter taking samples and evaluating water quality for the Blue Water Task Force from Steamer Lane to Pleasure Point. The lessons I learned from our team that summer about integrating science and policy transformed my thinking about how to impact change and activate the community.
This pathway led to my eventual tenure as Chair of Surfrider’s New York City Chapter, where my past experience with Surfrider combined with several years of school and work led to one of the most professionally satisfying experiences of my career. During a stretch of three-plus year, we activated the entire NY/NJ region to not only prevent a potentially damaging replenishment project in Long Beach, but also make surfing legal in New York City for the first time in recent history.
This past year when Hurricane Sandy made landfall, we all watched in horror. The next day the community leapt into action, and I was lucky enough to partner with local designer Walter Meyer and solar engineer R. David Gibbs to create Power Rockaways Resilience. In a very short time, Power Rockaways Resilience went from providing solar power to a few local residents at the Rockaway Beach Surf Club to having fully functional installations at four community centers throughout the barrier island. This ability to provide immediate relief/rebuild resources where none existed (power would return 6-8 weeks later) was both highly rewarding and very transformative.
Since moving to Washington in 2007, I have been fortunate enough to share the waters of the Pacific Ocean, Straits of Juan de Fuca, and Puget Sound with ever-supportive wife and two young daughters. The coast here is simply unparalleled for its natural beauty and raw power. However the challenges of urban development and climate change are real, and I have repeatedly become sick from stand-up paddleboarding freighter-wake at local creek mouths. This is simply not acceptable, when our kids and fish live and play in these waterways.
I truly believe the future is filled with the potential to make positive change for Washington’s coasts, communities, and creatures and look forward to joining with you to take action towards creating clean, swimmable, and fishable waters. Feel free to connect with me and share your thoughts on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.