Chad Nelsen: Four Environmental Threats Surfers Should Care About

23 hours ago

Chad Nelsen, CEO of the Surfrider Foundation, has been in the surf environmental game for two decades. He’s seen victories like the Save Trestles Campaign, which set every record for public participation in the state of California. He’s seen oil spills like the one in Refugio a couple years back, which spewed 105,000 gallons of oil over seven miles of coastline, closing beaches and coating wildlife. And he’s also seen the public’s growing interest in environmental issues. But he’s also been around long enough to know that it’s not enough. More needs to be done.

“There are more people involved in coastal conservation and more coastal conservation organizations than ever before,” he says. “And awareness of issues like plastic pollution are probably at their highest they’ve ever been, so there is a reason for optimism. But the scale of the activist conservation movement isn’t at the scale of the problems. So we’re trying to build that movement so it’s up to scale with the problems. Because if it is, we can solve all these problems.”

Enter Surfrider’s new campaign, “United States and Oceans of America,” which was created to “rally Americans to join the bipartisan fight to protect our oceans and coasts for the future.”

“Everybody loves the ocean,” Nelsen says. “But nobody takes responsibility for it. That’s why we’re launching this campaign — to tap into people’s civic pride, their love of country, and sense of....

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