Seven years ago I was living in Pittsburgh, PA following my now wife as she finished her education. While a great location, we were thrilled she was able to land a position back in the PNW and specifically in the Tacoma area. A friend was kind enough to pass on the job announcement for Surfrider’s Washington Field Coordinator to which I applied and have served as for the past seven years. I couldn’t be more happy to have been a part of the battles to protect our coast along with all the laughs and good times with staff and chapter members over the years. Trying to summarize the highlights is difficult but here is that attempt. Thanks to everyone who has supported me and the organization over my time. I look forward to continuing to stay engaged and to support the organization from my new home in Nevada.
One of the best things about working for Surfrider is the close relationships you build with your co-workers. I’ve been fortunate to have such an awesome crew of close friends in the PNW and an extended group of solid pals from HQ and around the country. Together we’ve had late nights, early mornings, worked hard and played hard. While covering a lot of ground in the state, our staff and chapter network have achieved significant victories together from local campaigns, like the Tacoma Bring Your Own Bag ordinance, to the key success of the Marine Spatial Plan and the rec-use study.
The chapter network in Washington and British Columbia is as strong as ever and the friendships I’ve made I know will last a lifetime. Surfrider volunteers spend countless hours from leading beach cleanups and events, to directly impacting key policy decisions. The Surfrider organization is focused on developing leaders and utilizing individual talents to advance the mission all while growing volunteers skills sets as they move forward in their personal and professional life. Always a welcoming crew, stop by your next chapter meeting or beach cleanup to learn more and thanks to all the friends I’ve made over the years for your time and energy!
Our network showed it’s strength just last year when Washington was included in a federal plan to open 90% of our continental shelf to offshore oil and gas drilling. Surfrider staff, chapter members, and our extended network led the charge to say no way to this dangerous proposal. Catch the summary from this past blog post and while we are not out of the woods yet, I feel this campaign put our reach, direct action, and quick response ability on full display.
I’ve been lucky to attend the first two Surfrider B.C chapter conferences. The growth on display that has taken hold so smoothly and prompt has been nothing but remarkable between the three B.C. chapters. If making a trip north check out the Pacific Rim, Vancouver Island, and/or Vancouver websites and social media to see what may be happening during your visit. Amazing people who have gone above and beyond to effect change in their communities and I can’t wait to see what they have in store down the road.
In the end, I’m still a lousy surfer but more in love with our oceans, waves and beaches then ever. I know Washington and B.C. are in good hands with the people who continue to grow and strengthen Surfrider in the PNW. Please continue to support your local chapter and Surfrider by becoming a member, getting active, and enjoying the beaches that we are so fortunate to have in this region. Cheers to the future and one last big THANK YOU for all the good times!!!