Meet Kauai'i Surfrider Chapter Volunteers, Lori Stitt and Scott McCubbin, who have been members since 2005 and 2013, respectively.
Why and when did you get involved with the Surfrider Foundation?
Scott: In March 2013 I went on a hike with former Sydney surf legend, Graeme Merrin, from Kealia beach to Anahola bay. I noticed derelict fishing nets along the entire coastline. I knew these needed to be removed for the safety of marine life but I didnt know how to go about it. I attended my first Surfrider Foundation beach cleanup on July 6,2013 and have been removing nets from the Kauai coastline ever since.
Lori: Over 10 years ago I saw a beach cleanup flyer posted in Kilauea town. I was excited to see it because I knew of Surfrider Foundation in Orange County, CA from the early 90s. I went to my first beach clean up at Kalihiwai Bay where I met great folks who kept me in the loop of the then forming chapter. At my first meeting I accepted the Treasurer position. Seven years later I moved over to the Secretary position and after 10 years on the Executive Commitee I am now taking a break from it.
What are some local issues that are affecting your ocean, waves and beaches?
Both: Our ocean swimming and surf areas are for the most part clean, but our streams and waterways are often polluted. Our chapter tests 20+ sites monthly and it is common that many waterways test high for enterococcus bacteria. Also, ocean currents drop literally tons of marine debris on the East side of Kauai. Microplastics have become a major issue over the past 10 years as well. We are also working on a campaign to Ban Styrofoam from the island.
What Surfrider projects have you worked on?
Both: Rise Against Plastics, Beach Cleanups, Beach Access rights
Lori: I've been very involved in fundraising and community outreach as well.
What has been the highlight of your Surfrider experience (i.e., campaign, program, victory)?
Scott: Meeting my (now) wife! And also becoming co-coordinator of Beach Cleanups & Net Patrols. Starting weekly Net Patrols in September 2013 where we cut up derelict nets into movable sizes and haul off the coastline.
And finally, serving on the Executive Committe of the Kauai Chapter with an incredible crew of talented, dedicated ocean lovers.
Lori: So many great memories over the past 10 years! The volunteers, the Executive Committee, protesting the Superferry, protesting RIMPAC, banning single use plastic bags, the list goes on and on. But since I have to chose one highlight I would say that seeing kids have a great sense of accomplishment when they clean up a beach is an ongoing victory! For years I set up an education table in Hanalei and it is the kids who ask the most thoughtful questions.
I remember meeting the proud grandmother of a middle school girl who attended city and county council meetings to get her Southern California city to ban single use plastic bags. And after much effort, she did it! She also started a Quad at her high school and passed on her passion for Surfrider Foundation and for the ocean to her younger sister who took over the Quad when she graduated. I will always remember that incredible girl and her rightly so, beaming with pride grandmother. And meeting Scott McCubbin, net patrol volunteer extraordinare!