Mohamed Ali Mukadam
Growing up in Bombay, going to the beach was our primary family activity. Whatever the occasion may be we would end up at Juhu Beach for some quality time away from the busy city, doing everything from playing beach cricket to just having a snow cone. Until we moved a few hundred miles inland, I realized how grateful it is to have been surrounded by such a beautiful and calming force of nature, the ocean.
Few years later we migrated to Los Angeles, where I found the ocean was the one constant that didn’t change for me. I often found myself just starring at the Pacific from the bluffs of Palos Verdes, didn’t know what I was looking at or for; retrospectively, I guess both everything that I had left behind and what was next for me.
After graduating from UCSB, an opportunity arose to be a part of the Surfrider Foundation, I had to make a choice to win, and I won! Right before I had this opportunity, I went back to India to visit some friends and family. One night I found myself at Juhu Beach again, but this time it didn’t feel the same. All those vendors on the street had moved on to build stores on the beach; trash of all sorts was prevalent, so was overdevelopment. That is why I am stoked to be a part of this organization where I get to contribute everyday to keep our beaches healthy. I am fortunate to not only work but also learn from some of the most incredibly smart, devoted, and funny individuals who work day in and day out to avoid any other kid to feel the same way as I did. Everyone can help at some level, start by connecting with a chapter near you.