Constant Pressure, Endlessly Applied

Melissa Gates

Northeast Regional Coordinator

My family has been making an annual trek from the Green Mountains of Vermont to Old Orchard Beach, Maine, for over a Century.  Maine's sea salted, pine drenched air and crisp ocean waves strike elemental chords within me that awaken and engage every ember of my being.  It is in Maine that I fell completely in love with oceans, waves & beaches.

This love affair keeps blossoming.  It inspires me to act with purpose and responsibility, it rekindles and energizes my soul, it humbles me and reminds me of that which is truly important.

I believe it is my responsibility to help protect natural resources, to be vigilant in efforts that promote sustainability, and to live in a way that honors and supports this magnificent planet, not only for the sake of protecting that which I love, but because it is the right thing to do.  That is the calculus by which I arrived at my life's work: grassroots advocacy.  I dedicated the last two decades to community organizing, public advocacy and direct action campaigns geared toward promoting and protecting the rights of animals, people and the environment - the interests of which I believe to be inextricably linked.  This work led me to Surfrider Foundation.

As the Northeast Regional Coordinator with Surfrider Foundation, I support the New England Chapters and work to engage recreational wave & beach lovers in regional ocean planning.  If you believe, as I do, that it is your responsibility to do everything in your power to advocate for natural resources; if you love the ocean and want to protect it, I hope you will join the efforts of your local Surfrider Foundation Chapter.  With over 250,000 supporters, activists and members worldwide, there is bound to be a Chapter doing amazing things on your coast.  Check out our mission, core campaigns, environmental policies and programs, and if these things speak to you, please get in touch with your local chapter…and JOIN!  Each of us has a strong and powerful voice.  If we join our voices together to protect the natural resources we love, I believe we can make a positive difference…no, I KNOW we can make a positive difference.  I see it manifesting at every Chapter event & meeting I attend.  I hear it happening in the excited voices of staff and volunteers, discussing the latest campaign actions.  I taste it.  I feel it.  I am adding my voice to the chorus, working to build a stronger community to protect our oceans, waves & beaches.  I hope YOU will sing along, too, by becoming an active member of Surfrider Foundation today.  And hey, if you're on the New England coast, give me a shout!