Surfrider is proud to be partnered with our Surf Industry Coastal Defender, Electric to keep the eyes of Surfrider activists around the country protected from the elements as they carry out Surfrider campaigns and programs in their local communities. Support from Electric helps us achieve important programatic work. Learn about about the amazing impact of one Surfrider activist from our NYC Chapter, Nikita Scott who is on a personal mission to protect our ocean, waves, and beaches.
Tell us a little about yourself. Has the beach always been a big part of your life?
Growing up in Scotland is not conducive to a beach lifestyle, however I was always on a mission to seek out water. We would take off up the hills into the glens, to find watering holes where we could jump into freezing cold water. It really wasn’t until I went to university and came across the surf club that I discovered my affection for surfing. I was hooked and after graduation I traveled the world, my route largely determined by where I could surf my next wave. I’ve now been in NYC for six years. Living in the Lower East Side, working for an advocacy organization that represents the hospitality industry and surfing whenever I have the chance.
How’d you get involved with Surfrider and what is your role within your local Chapter?
I first got involved with the Surfrider Foundation because I was looking to find my people—those who surfed but also felt the responsibility to protect the environment that allows us to do what we love. The Surfrider Foundation epitomizes that and it’s really incredible to be part of a community of like-minded people who come together to achieve really awesome things for our beaches and waves.
I’m the Chair of the NYC Chapter and prior to that I led a campaign against Port Ambrose, a liquefied natural gas port proposed for off the coast of Long Island, which resulted in victory when Governor Cuomo vetoed the project.
Can you tell us about one of the initiatives your Chapter is focusing on right now that is high priority and of timely importance?
Our priority campaign right now focuses on opposing the Williams Transco pipeline that is proposed to run from New York to New Jersey, through Raritan Bay. The project includes over 23 miles of offshore pipeline and we are extremely concerned about the detrimental impact this will have on the marine ecosystem and the commercial and recreational use of the area. Further investment in fossil fuel infrastructure is also concerning at a time when we should be focusing on developing clean, renewable energy sources.
Please share any details about the campaign timeline?
The pipeline proposal first came on our radar last year, however we amped up our strategy once Williams submitted their application to FERC in March 2017. We are currently waiting for the Draft Environmental Impact Statement to be issued which will signal the beginning of a public comment period where people can testify in writing or by attending a public hearing. We expect this to occur towards the end of the year. We are optimistic that we can win this campaign. The fossil fuel industry is notoriously challenging to go up against but we’ve won before and we can do so again.
Are there any specific challenges that stand out with this initiative that we can help raise awareness of?
In order to win, we must demonstrate a powerful movement of those opposed to the proposal. We urge New York and New Jersey state residents to sign our action alert against the pipeline here bit.ly/williamspipeline. You can also help spread the word by telling your family and friends and sharing on social media. FERC have declined very few proposals in their history so it’s absolutely essential that we build a groundswell of people who are going to stand up against this pipeline and fight for our ocean.
For those of us who don’t already participate with their local Surfrider Chapter, how can they support this initiative, support your chapter or make a difference for our ocean, waves and beaches?
I would encourage people to consider what they can start doing today that will benefit our ocean for years to come. For example, plastic pollution is a tremendous threat to our marine environment but it can largely be mitigated by people just making more sustainable choices.
I also recommend attending a local chapter meeting or event. Meet the awesome community, learn about the programs and campaigns and discover what it is that motivates you to fight for our ocean. The ocean needs you - as a grassroots activist network, every voice counts.
Anything comments about the sunglasses gifted to you by our friends at Electric?
These are the first pair of shades I’ve had where I don’t find myself still squinting when I’m wearing them. Taking care of my eyes and skin is very important to me, particularly with being at the beach and in the elements so much.
I also enjoy how they are both stylish and practical. I can be wearing these on the beach in Rockaway in the morning and walking down the streets of Manhattan by the afternoon. They carry over seamlessly wherever my life takes me.
I’m excited for the Surfrider Foundation to be partnering with Electric, a brand that provides beach lovers with awesome products and also cares about the health of our ocean. Looking forward to fighting for our ocean, waves and beaches together!
About the Electric x Surfrider Partnership
All Electric sunglasses sold featuring the OHM+ Polarized Blue or OHM Sky Blue Chrome lenses will share a portion of the proceeds with the Surfrider Foundation. Every pair sold directly supports the extensive team of Surfrider activists who are on the ground, cleaning up our beaches, fighting development, and monitoring water quality. Electric pledges to protect our environment through a number of their best looking sunglasses, get yours now and help save our oceans. Surfrider supporters, use code COASTALDEFENDER30 for 30% off the Surfrider collection. SHOP NOW