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Activist Spotlight: Megan Hoff with the Newport Oregon Chapter

Q: What is your current role with the Surfrider Foundation?
I volunteer as the Beach Cleanup Coordinator with the Newport Oregon Chapter!

Q: Why and when did you get involved with the Surfrider Foundation?
I got involved with Surfrider in Spring 2021 when I had just moved to the Oregon Coast. I was looking to meet like-minded friends and find ways to tackle marine debris affecting our beautiful beaches!

Q: What are some environmental issues that are affecting your local community?
The loss of coastal habitat, water pollution, and marine debris are the primary environmental issues that I see affecting my local community. I can't remember a time when I've walked on the beach and not seen any single-use plastics. The amount of polystyrene that washes up after winter storms is heartbreaking. Climate change is also affecting ocean conditions and the frequency and intensity of storms is causing more flooding events in the winter and drought conditions in the summer. 

Megan Hoff With the Newport Oregon Chapter at a beach cleanup

Q: What Surfrider projects have you worked on?
I have also participated in our Blue Water Task Force Program and helped with our social media accounts. Additionally, I have been doing highway cleanups, which yield FAR more trash than our beach cleanups. Fun fact: our chapter has adopted a two-mile stretch of Highway 101, in collaboration with the Oregon Hang Gliders Association, for over 20 years! I have also participated in our chapter's youth surf competition, Otter Rock & Roll. 

Q: Are there any specific projects that you have worked on that benefited your community? 
One of the projects I've worked on is to facilitate a "Winter Beach Cleanup Series" with other folks in our chapter to address winter pollution after king tide events. These solo-based winter cleanups allow people to grab supplies from participating surf shops and then pick a beach of their choosing to clean up. They can then return the trash to the surf shop and get entered to win a prize. It's a great way to let individuals clean up their favorite beach as well as get business in the surf shops during the slower months. Our chapter is also so lucky to be supported by the Lincoln County Solid Waste District and the local disposal providers, who have generously donated cleanup supplies and their waste hauling services, respectively, to our efforts, which makes these events so successful. I've also worked on a county-wide 5th of July beach cleanup event with these same partners, and it is incredible to see the community rally to help clean up our beaches after the dirtiest holiday of the year! This will be our third year putting on this post-holiday event. 

Megan Hoff With the Newport Oregon Chapter at a beach cleanup

Q: What has been the highlight of your Surfrider experience?
The highlight of my Surfrider experience is every time I drive down the highway after one of our highway cleanups or walk on the beach, I see the difference we made – it's the best feeling ever! We did 35 cleanups in 2022 and 20 cleanups in 2023 😀

Q: What can Surfrider do to foster an inclusive and welcoming experience?
I have always felt that Surfrider promotes accessible, safe places to advocate for our oceans, waves, and beaches. Whenever I have gone to a Surfrider event it feels really great to be greeted with arms and minds wide open. I have developed some phenomenal friendships with the other people in our chapter and I am so inspired by their passion for our ocean! 


Q: What is the most important thing you tell others about Surfrider?
Surfrider makes a difference at the local level! The sustainability changes you want to see in your everyday life can be influenced and catalyzed by the work of the Surfrider Foundation – from protecting public beach access, to addressing point and non-point source water pollution, cleaning up your local beaches, fixing policy to allow for reusable containers (shoutout to Charlie), and banning plastic bags! 

Q: Why is being a part of the Surfrider ocean conservation community important to you?
It's important for me to advocate for and protect something that I love, cherish, and value so much that cannot protect itself – the ocean. The Surfrider Foundation provides the platform for me to do just that. 

Q: Anything else?
Thank you to all the Surfrider staff for supporting the chapters – we couldn't accomplish what we do without you!

Megan Hoff With the Newport Oregon Chapter at a beach cleanup