Cape Fear Chapter
Volunteer Since: 2011
Q: Why and when did you get involved with the Surfrider Foundation?
While I attended some great Surfrider events when I was living in Hawaii, I didn't really become actively involved in Surfrider until I moved to North Carolina. I have been the Vice Chair of the Cape Fear chapter for the past couple of years. I wanted to be surrounded by people who share a love of the ocean - for being out on the water and for taking care of it! It is a positive group of proactive people, and it's inspiring to be around them. I’ve been lucky to travel around the world for my work – the Bahamas, Panama, Mexico, Vanuatu, Hawaii, Belize – and I’ve marveled at how amazing and beautiful our oceans are. But I’ve also seem first hand how pollution and poor management can devastate our oceans and beaches. These experiences have taught me that it is up to each one of us to take a stand in protecting our oceans. Our oceans need advocates, and I'm happy to help!
Q: What are some local issues that are affecting your ocean, waves and beaches?
One of the issues that I have always been the most passionate about is plastic pollution in the ocean, and unfortunately that is a problem in every ocean. Here on the Atlantic coast, we are also actively fight the threat of offshore oil drilling.
Q: What Surfrider projects have you worked on?
I've been lucky in working with the Cape Fear Chapter, because we are currently tackling those issues that I am most passionate about, reducing plastic pollution and fighting offshore oil drilling here in the mid-Atlantic. I've also helped out on our dune renourishment program, where we use recycled Christmas trees as natural sand fencing to build up the sand dunes. It's always fun to come back months later and see how much the sand dune has grown! We have also planted a lot of sea oats on the dunes to help stop erosion.
Q: What has been the highlight of your Surfrider experience (i.e., campaign, program, victory)?
I recently spoke to the Wilmington, NC city council about a resolution they were considering that would oppose seismic testing and oil drilling in the Mid-Atlantic, and they passed the resolution unanimously! It was an exciting night with hundreds of local citizens. It was great to be part of an event where elected officials were listening to the voice of the people, and now Wilmington is the largest city in NC to come out in opposition to offshore oil drilling!
Q: What is the most important thing you tell others about Surfrider?
I think people get overwhelmed by the huge issues, and they don't see how the small actions that they do can make a difference. There is nothing that you can do that is too small - every little bit helps. And that is the great thing about Surfrider - we all volunteering on the issues that affect us locally, but when our efforts are combined you can see big things happening all across the country! And because there are so many ways to protect our oceans, beaches, and waves, people can choose the issues that they are the most passionate about and combine their efforts with the larger campaign that volunteers throughout the Surfrider network are contributing to.
Q: Will you complete the following sentence: I am Surfrider because…I couldn't image a life away from the water! Since the ocean takes such good care of me, I am happy to return the favor.