Hello Washington Chapter Members and greater Surfrider community!
My name is Amelia Brown and I recently joined the Surfrider staff to fill the Washington Regional Manager position (previously held by Brice Boland). I could not be more excited to be on the team and to roll up my sleeves and get to work coordinating the local and statewide campaign and program efforts of our incredible chapters in the Washington region. Below you’ll find out a little bit more about me:
I was raised in Chelsea, Michigan and grew up with the Great Lakes as my playground. Growing up surrounded by what we like to call our “freshwater oceans” impacted me greatly, and water is deeply engrained in who I am. Much of my time growing up was spent appreciating our natural world, and that was the foundation of my desire to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Policy at the University of Michigan. While in college I became more and more passionate about conservation and sustainability. I gained my first field experiences at a sea turtle conservation site on the Southern coast of Sri Lanka locating and rehabilitating sea turtles that had been injured by fishing nets and other plastic pollution, and working with local fishermen to reduce marine mammal injuries.
While completing my degree I also spent four months studying applied environmental sciences across the diverse ecosystems of New Zealand. During that time I completed extensive field work, ecological surveys, and a thesis on the impacts of mammalian pest control on native amphibians for the New Zealand Department of Conservation. I also spent over a year interning for my local county government’s Solid Waste Division and worked with various stakeholders to draft plastic bag ordinances, launch a Zero Waste Events program for county-sanctioned events, and promote waste reduction and diversion practices at public events and in schools.
After graduating from the University of Michigan, I worked in political organizing and later moved to Seattle after the 2016 election. I was drawn to Washington’s incredible coastline and mountains, abundant wildlife, and endless opportunity for adventure as well as the strong values of stewardship that so many Washingtonians hold dear. I have worked in political organizing and on campaigns across Washington State for the last several years and have become well-versed in the stakeholders and social and cultural landscapes of the Pacific Northwest, as well as the environmental challenges we are facing. I am passionate about addressing the complex environmental issues of our time through effective policy-making, community organization, and grassroots stewardship efforts.
As the new Washington Regional Manager, I will be coordinating the local and statewide campaign and program efforts of chapters in the Washington region. I’ll be your new go-to person for growing our statewide membership, supporting chapter volunteers in direct action organizing, and strengthening chapter programs including Ocean Friendly Gardens, Ocean Friendly Restaurants, Blue Water Task Force, Rise Above Plastics and student network outreach.
Surfrider does so many incredible things — from organizing around local, state and national policies, to taking legal action in defense of our coasts and waters, to collecting critical scientific data that we need to protect and enjoy our environment. Our approach is extraordinarily comprehensive and everything we do is made possible because of our expansive and engaged chapter network (you!). I’m very passionate about our unique and powerful combination of mission and model, and I couldn’t be more stoked to be on the Surfrider team.
In my free time I love to hike, snowshoe, kayak, dive, camp, cook, write, read, and generally be in nature as much as possible. The beauty of the Pacific Northwest is humbling and inspiring. From waking up in the morning to the sight of Rainier behind Seattle’s skyline, to spotting orcas off the Olympic Coast, to hiking in the Cascades, this corner of our natural world is my greatest joy in life. I feel a strong calling to be a steward of this planet that gives us so much. I hope to one day teach my children how to appreciate our planet in the same way I had the opportunity to growing up around the Great Lakes. But first, I want to do my part to make sure our future generations have a healthy environment to grow up in. I’m also interested in bringing a social justice perspective to this position and to ensuring that Surfrider’s work impacts all communities and particularly those that need environmental advocacy the most.
This is a really exciting time to be joining Surfrider, and I’m so excited about everything we have planned on the state, local and national levels. I can’t wait to meet each and every one of you — let’s get to work!