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Matt Gove

Mid-Atlantic Policy Manager

I grew up 1500 miles from the nearest ocean in Minnesota, but spent a lot of time outdoors: biking, skiing, camping, and fishing.  When my favorite mountain biking trail near my childhood home was scheduled to be paved-over, I wrote a letter to city government.  I’m quite sure it was not my letter that stopped the project, but it was a lesson in getting involved to save a special place.

I finally got to live near the sea in the Florida Keys (a very special place) teaching marine science to students.  After learning the biological side of the ocean, I decided to focus on the regulations, laws, and policies that govern its use, completing a Master’s degree at Duke University while again living by the sea in Beaufort, NC.

My first experience with Surfrider was in Washington DC, organizing that chapter’s unique Music Outreach Program.  Volunteering with the DC chapter gave me the opportunity to talk directly with people about their ocean experience.  At the same time I was working for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, learning how individual states across the country manage their beaches and ocean waters.  I continued my ocean education working for New York State, putting together a plan to holistically take action to restore and protect ocean ecosystems.

I am very excited to be working with the amazing staff at Surfrider!  I will be focused on the Mid-Atlantic States, asking ocean users what their favorite places are, so we can protect them for the rest of our lives, and for those who come after.  So what is your favorite coastal or ocean spot?  Is it worth saving?  If you think so, get involved with Surfrider today—every bit of help can make a difference.