08 • 18 • 2019

Activist Spotlight: Brennen Matherly Oregon Student Volunteer

Why and when did you get involved with the Surfrider Foundation? 
We were members of Surfrider while living in San Diego and displayed the Surfrider sticker on our cars. I own a few Surfrider “Drilling is Killing” t-shirts so I was already aware of some of Surfrider’s work. After I moved to Eugene, Oregon and started my Strawless Oregon campaigning, I met Charlie Plybon of Surfrider while talking to senators and legislators about the Senate Straw Bill 90B. We were working on the same single-use plastic bills in the house and senate at the Oregon State Capitol this year and last, so that's when our paths first crossed. 
What are some local issues that are affecting your ocean waves and beaches?
A tidal wave of single-use plastic pollution.
What has been the highlight of your Surfrider experience? 
After working on my Strawless Oregon campaign for almost two years, I saw my city of Eugene and Oregon state pass policies regarding single-use straws, making them available by request only. Eugene’s ordinance was even stricter and included single-use straws, single-use service ware, utensils, stir sticks and lids to be by request only. The policies are effective before our target goal date of January 2020. 
What is the most important thing you would tell others about Surfrider?
Surfrider is a group of people that really care for the ocean and they’re very supportive of others' efforts to help. I especially felt this with my Strawless Oregon campaign and Charlie’s encouragement. 
Why are you a Surfrider coastal defender or why is being a surfer your cost of the fender important to you? 
Helping the planet and the ocean is like a way to pay rent for living here.