Why Surfrider Stormed Capitol Hill with Over 150 Surfers
Catching up with Surfrider CEO Chad Nelsen after a big week in Washington DC
Recently in Washington D.C., a mass of surfers coalesced on dry land — on the steps of Capitol Hill, in fact — to blitz through dozens of congressional offices and vocalize their concerns over the deteriorating health of the world’s oceans. The gathering, called the Coastal Recreation Hill Day, was quite a sight as over 150 Surfrider members representing 20 different states and 46 chapters and clubs came together for a common purpose.
The message they brought to Capitol Hill was simple: It’s easy to play ostrich on environmental issues, but if we take our heads out of the sand, we can see that ignorance ain’t bliss — it’s suicide. To learn more about Surfrider’s latest push to engage with lawmakers and the state of their fight for ocean health, we recently caught up with Surfrider CEO, Dr. Chad Nelsen.
So, tell me about Coastal Recreation Day. What is it and what do we need to know about it?
This year, more than 150 Surfrider members, industry leaders and surf ambassadors met with federal leaders about ways to protect our ocean, waves and beaches during Surfrider’s annual Coastal Recreation Hill Day. Collectively, our group visited 145 Senate and House offices to urge immediate action on climate change, plastic pollution, water quality and other key issues affecting our coasts and ocean. During meetings, we also presented federal leaders with surfboards and letters signed by thousands of citizens and businesses demanding immediate action on climate change.