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09 • 15 • 2020

Activist Spotlight: Adriana Estrada, Surfrider Board Member

By Ty Smith

Q: Please give us a brief introduction about yourself. How has your unique experience as someone from the Latinx community framed your perspective as an activist and as a Surfrider board member?

My name is Adriana Estrada. I was born & raised in Los Angeles and have been living in NY for the last 11 years. When I started surfing, I did not know any other Latinx women who were surfers or members of Surfrider. As someone who has always been unafraid to try new things, I thought this was something that I should do for myself and for my community.  

Q: What is your current role with Surfrider?

Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors 

Q: Why and when did you get involved with the Surfrider Foundation?

I think I first joined Surfrider in 1994. I learned about Surfrider and the work they do at a surf shop I used to go to called WISE in San Francisco.  

Q: What are some local issues that are affecting your ocean, waves and beaches?

The never-ending plastic pollution. There is so much plastic garbage on the beach and in the ocean, it's really frightening—and that's just the plastic we can see, not the micro-plastics that fish and humans are ingesting.

Q: What Surfrider projects have you worked on?

I've focused on helping lead our Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion initiative. Surfrider has made a commitment to making the organization more representative of the communities it serves and I'm thrilled by the progress we have made so far.  

Q: What has been the highlight of your Surfrider experience (i.e., campaign, program, victory)?

To date, it was stopping the Williams Pipeline in NY. That was an amazing effort by the local chapters and the coalition of community and environmental organizations that we partnered with to protect NY waterways and beaches from horrible destruction and pollution.

Q: What's been your experience being a surfer and/or ocean enthusiast as someone from the Latinx community?

Being able to pass on the stoke to other POC who are learning to surf. I want to set the best example I can for the people in my community about what it means to be a surfer and to take care of the environment.

Q: What is the most important thing you tell others about Surfrider?

That our work gets meaningful and measurable results. The number of environmental victories that Surfrider has had in 36 years is really amazing.   

Q: Anything else you'd like to share with our network about your journey?

I want our network to invite more people to participate in our community, our work, and our vision. The world's ocean is in crisis and now is the time for all of us to act to protect what we love.