Activist Spotlight
March 02 2015

Ban the Bag in New Hampshire

Jamie McCallum
Journey began in 2008
Chapter: New Hampshire Surfrider Chapter, New Hampshire

Hi my name is Jamie McCallum, and I am Surfrider because ... I’m a surfer and I care about my oceans, waves, and beaches. (Yes, they’re mine, but of course they’re yours too).

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

I moved to New Hampshire (from England) in 2007 and by the following year I was surfing a lot. I found out about the New Hampshire Surfrider Chapter from a local newspaper article. I’d seen similar organizations in England, but now I was near the ocean it would be easier to get involved and help protect the place where I was spending my free time surfing and enjoying the beach.

My first volunteer experience with Surfrider Foundation was a beach cleanup six years ago in early December, and it was snowing. Today, I still surf with a few of the people who were at that cleanup.

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

We’re fortunate to have relatively minor issues compared to some coastal areas. The water quality is good and we’re not facing any major development projects that could change the coastline. However, we're vigilant of the beach usage and parking/access issues that flare up through the summer when it gets crowded, and we never struggle to find trash at our beach cleanups – a lot of plastics and cigarette butts.

Q: What Surfrider projects have you worked on?

The New Hampshire Surfrider Chapter is relatively new. We’ve done a lot to raise awareness of the Surfrider Foundation, including building relationships with the local community and establishing our schedule of beach cleanups throughout the year. We’ve also had a voice in many of the local parking/access victories. We got to a point last year where we could start a Rise Above Plastics (RAP) committee within the chapter, which is focused on a bag ban in Portsmouth. We’ve woven the RAP message into the cleanups, farmers markets, parades and other events through the year as the campaign progresses.

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

Kicking off the RAP campaign was a major milestone for our chapter. As the current Chair, I’m very proud of the committee and their dedication to the campaign. Stay tuned for updates.

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

We’re all volunteers doing our part to help protect the oceans, waves, and beaches—whatever time you can spare makes a difference. And don’t forget to renew your Surfrider membership.