We live in unprecedented times. Climate change. Systemic racism, oppression and injustice. Global pandemic. Each historic, ongoing and sudden disruption further underscoring the deep divides in our relationship to our fellow human being and the Planet we belong to.
In order to meet the challenges of our time, to ensure social justice, human rights and a livable thriving planet for future generations, we must all commit to making profound shifts in how we work, live and relate to one another. No single person can do it all. But each of us can do something and together we can change the world.
Surfrider Foundation is dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of the world’s ocean, waves and beaches through a powerful activist network. Engaged in advancing local watershed literacy, the Los Angeles chapter is actively working to address beach access equity, build climate resilience, put an end to our disposable single-use plastic consumer culture and help our friends in fence-line communities end fossil fuel extraction in LA County.
ACTIVIST SPOTLIGHT: Tina Segura, Beach Access Enhancer
Tina Segura @wanderingesq came to one of our Core Volunteer trainings a few years back, sat in the front row furiously taking notes and lit us up with her incisive questions and good humor. She quickly went from core volunteer to Chairing our Executive Committee, lobbying our reps in Sacramento, expanding our programs and building the chapter to the point where we could actually hire staff. More than anything, Tina has been a passionate advocate for beach access equity for years, helping launch our One Watershed program for at-risk youth while going after shady property owners in Malibu who thought they could privatize the coast. When she’s not shredding Staircases or San O or blitzing up to Big Sur, Tina works as an Enforcement Officer with the state Coastal Commission and continues to be an invaluable resource to our organization. We love her laughter, we love her wit. We love her tenacity, we love her grit. When it comes to protecting and enjoying, few do it like our girl T!
ACTIVIST SPOTLIGHT: Michael Doshi, aka The Gnarly Beach Cleaner
Some know him as the @gnarlybeachcleaner . Others know him as Michael. Some know him as Baby Boy. Others as Dosh. But we all know him by his righteous vibes and unwavering levels of stoke. Whether he’s hunting tubes or barreling down on the plastics industry, our man Doshi here is always bringing people into his world with open, positive vibes, endless curiosity and all the inspiration you need to jump inot the fight for clean seas and safe communities. Doshi has been an invaluable voice in the fight against plastic pollution, devoting countless hours to our community and the cause. He’s a shining example of how wonderful life can be when you take risks, follow your heart and get stoked on living your best life. Thank you for all that you do, Dosh – we love you!
ACTIVIST SPOTLIGHT: Patrick Migliazzo, Sunset Point Visionary
Few embody the spirit of Surfrider like Patrick Migliazzo, @theheritagerevival. Passionate, motivated and a touch rebellious, Pat saw a problem at his local break and took it upon himself to address it by launching our #KeepSunsetClean campaign in November of 2017. Through Pat’s leadership Surfrider LA has removed 7,905.5 lbs of trash from the beach at Sunset Point in the Pacific Palisades. Pat now focuses on cigarette butt pollution, underwriting our @holdontoyourbutt_la program and working to establish dozens of public ashcans throughout Venice and Santa Monica. We love Pat for his tenacity, ambition, wit and playfulness. Thank you for all the hard work and fun, Pat! Our community is all the tighter because of you.
ACTIVIST SPOTLIGHT: Olia Bolotina, Volunteer Whisperer
If you’ve been to a beach clean up with Surfrider LA, odds are you’ve met Olia @oliabolotina. Holding down one of the most important positions in our organization, Olia serves as our Volunteer Coordinator, helping to manage all our events and working to plug the right volunteer into the right project. She’s on top of all things Surfrider, always showing up for our community and always down to join the crew for a salty session. She has an immense heart and has given countless hours to the cause. Olia, you’re an inspiration! We’re deeply humbled and grateful for all you do to protect our beautiful urban watershed.
ACTIVIST SPOTLIGHT: Steve Williams, Ocean Friendly Gardens
Q: Why and when did you get involved with the Surfrider Foundation?
I grew up in the LA beach area and became concerned about environmental degradation as a teenager. I spent some time in the Bay Area, and when I returned, I was pleased to find that LA had several newer environmental non-profits doing great work. I started surfing more when I moved back here, so Surfrider was a good fit for involvement.
Q: What are some local issues that are affecting your ocean, waves and beaches?
Coastal access & development, ocean desalination plant proposals, shoreline armoring, sea level rise, water pollution, plastics in the ocean, sediment impoundment behind dams, crowds – ha!
Q: What Surfrider projects have you worked on?
Ocean Friendly Gardens. I always tell people that I HAD to get involved with this program. I worked as a biologist in several National Parks; I was working with native plants and doing habitat restoration. I’m a surfing plant biologist, so there you go. I also monitor steelhead trout populations in local creeks… steelhead love point breaks.
Q: What has been the highlight of your Surfrider experience (i.e., campaign, program, victory)?
Ocean Friendly Gardens standards (aka, the watershed approach) are now required for turf removal rebates in LA. It basically requires folks to take the next steps, beyond just climate appropriate and efficient irrigation technology, to build healthy soil and retain rainwater onsite.
Q: Why are you volunteering as a Surfrider Coastal Defender?
I care about the health of our oceans and protection and accessibility of surf breaks. I like working with plants in the upper watershed and seeing how it has the ability to improve water quality downstream. I want my two year-old son to be able to still enjoy the ocean as an adult.
For more info about Surfrider’s Ocean Friendly Gardens program contact OFG!