10 • 25 • 2017

Activist Spotlight: Meet Anupa Asokan with Surfrider’s Washington D.C. Chapter!

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

Washington D.C. is the farthest I’ve ever lived from saltwater, so I joined the local chapter when I moved here four years ago to continue making positive change for the ocean and to meet some like-minded people.

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

Our chapter has been involved in conversations about open access for our paddling community to the Potomac River, as well as reducing pollution to our local rivers. This trash ultimately makes its way to the Chesapeake and then the ocean. As we like to say, it’s an upstream battle!

Q: What Surfrider projects have you worked on?

I was most actively involved in last year’s Stop the Drill campaign to prevent new leases for offshore drilling in the Atlantic Ocean; and we’re ready to keep up the momentum and make this victory happen again. I’ve also lent a hand/voice to local Ban the Foam campaigns (and victories!), river cleanup efforts, and conversations on local waterfront development projects.

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

I LOVE the way all the East Coast chapters came together for the offshore drilling campaign last year. It was exciting to be a part of that movement which had a strong message and so many chapters, businesses and organizations behind it at once. We built something together that ultimately translated into a victory, and I hope we can do it again on this and other issues impacting the east coast.

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

You don’t have to be a surfer to be part of Surfrider! If you love the ocean, your local chapter - and new friends - are waiting to welcome you!

Q: Why are you a Surfrider coastal defender (or why is being a Surfrider coastal defender important to you)? 

I paddle, surf, dive, fish… the ocean is a wonderful place and one that so much of the world relies on. I think it’s so important to do what we can now to protect it for our future.

Surfrider is a great organization, bringing people together with a common interest and giving us the tools we need to make a difference at a local level on issues that have broad impacts - it’s fun with a purpose!

Q: Anything else? 

Always stoked to be a part of the Surfrider team!

Anupa working with supporters including musician, Jack Johnson (center), to protect our ocean and coasts!

Find your nearest chapter at or support coastal defenders at!