Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Surfrider West Coast Summit

Bringing together Surfrider's best of the best from Texas, California, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, Canada, and Argentina the 2012 West Coast Chapter Summit was by far the most epic gathering of the West Coast Chapter activists.... EVER.   We kicked off early Saturday morning with Santa Barbara Chapter Chair, Sandy Lejeune who shared a video trailer of "The Twenty," highlighting the 20 years of dedicated work done by 20 men to preserve the last 20 miles of the Gaviota Coast.   Their Kickstarter campaign begins Oct 15th.   Keynote speaker Marcus Eriksen from 5 Gyres shared inspirational and shocking tales from his voyages through the plastic gyres, including displays of actual Tsunami debris recovered from the Pacific.   The State of the State presentation by CEO Jim Moriarty emphasized the message of SHARE, LEARN, APPLY to build a powerful activist network and broaden our reach.

Surfrider West Coast activists gathered for the 2012 Summit in Ventura 
Activists received the latest news from staff and activists on Surfrider's Top Advocacy issues including Coastal Preservation, Ocean Ecosystems, and Rise Above Plastics.   We heard about work being done to address the Tsunami Debris coming from Japan, and were given the latest updates on our Blue Water Task Force Program.  Some ventured outside for field trips to see the restoration efforts at Surfer's Point, and an Ocean Friendly Garden bioswale and curb cut demonstration.

Saturday night allowed activists time to eat, drink and connect with fellow activists while Ojai-based singer-songwriter Todd Hannigan played along, creating a memorable soundtrack for the evening.

The Sunday morning training sessions were very well attended and, most notably, most were run jointly between activists and Surfrider Foundation staff.    This was extremely helpful and we received a lot of positive feedback from Chapters who were thrilled to meet staff and have a better understanding of what staff does and how we provide support back out to Chapters.

A very sincere THANK YOU to everyone who attended, and to all those who contributed to making this year's West Coast Chapter Summit a complete success!   Presentations, hand-outs, and photos from the 2012 Summit will be uploaded to the Summit website and ChapterNet in the coming week.

(...above text from SoCal Chapter Coordinator Nancy Hastings, who organized the event.  Thanks Nancy!)