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September 22, 2015

Chapter Activists Take Part in Surfrider Leadership Development Program

The Surfrider Leadership Program began on the Washington coast as a way to empower coastal community leaders who are actively engaged in conservation efforts.  Initially, several trainings were offered and participants had the opportunity to learn the requirements of public meetings, facilitation skills, how to run effective meetings, and how to improve communications. The positive feedback from those trainings led to an effort to assess the need for a more formal program. Driven by those favorable results a program was designed to address the needs of both the coast and the conservation community.  

This summer Surfrider launched a pilot program, which is currently underway and will wrap up in October.  In addition to developing facilitation, communication, and collaboration skills, the program participants are also working on understanding their own leadership abilities and how to best deal with different leadership styles and personalities types.  The participants will also collaborate on a group project that addresses an important environmental issue.

WA Coast LD Group Shot

This years six stellar participants were chosen and features two of Surfrider WA’s key chapter leaders, Ken Campbell of the South Sound Chapter and Peter Steelquist of the Capitol Chapter. Both are active participants in their local chapters and have a solid grasp of issues related to their own backyard. Additionally, both participants have a lengthy background of knowledge and recreation on the Washington coast. Ken has experienced and led many years of kayaking adventures and currently serves as Director of the Ikkatsu Project while also writing an environmental column for Canoe and Kayak Magazine. Peter grow up in the Port Angeles area surfing and taking part in other recreation along Washington’s coast and currently serves as a legislative aide in the WA House of Representatives.

Peter S LD

Both participants stood out in the selection process as they represent a positive bridge between those that live in the Puget Sound who recreate and care about Washington’s outer coast. Taking part and expanding their own skills hopefully will continue to lead to enhanced collaboration between coastal and Sound based populations in order to better protect key conservation spots on the coast. Honing their leadership skills will also ideally have a direct impact on their local chapter and personal circles motivating and inspiring others to get involved on coastal preservation and conservation.
Ken C LD
According to Ken regarding the program thus far, “This training has been an amazing experience for me. We are currently working as a team on a project related to marine debris on the Washington coast, which is something that I am incredibly interested in anyway. It has been fun to see how we all come together from different perspectives to solve a problem. It is going to take cooperation from everyone if we are going to protect our coast and this is where it starts.” To learn more about the WA Coast Leadership Development Program please contact Surfrider WA Coast Program Manager Casey Dennehy.

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