This past weekend, 60 volunteers from Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia, came together to share experiences and learn from one another and Surfrider staff.

The weekend kicked off with a warm welcome from Arnold Shouten, Olympic Peninsula Chapter, and Carol Bernthal, Superintendent of Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary. Both Arnold and Carol discussed what makes the Olympic Peninsula special and why the work of Surfrider is so important to protecting special places.

There was a ton of learning and sharing, which can’t all be captured here, but here are some highlights from the Conference:

  • Surfrider Foundation has logged more than 500 victories!
  • Our Chapters are conducting a huge number of beach cleanups every year, but we need to do a better job of recording and reporting data.
  • Chapters and staff brainstormed best practices for recruiting members. Becoming a member not only provides funding, but also strengthens Surfrider’s message by increasing the number of people we represent. (Join today!)
  • NANOOS is an awesome tool that allows anyone to access data about the ocean – like swell forecasts and even live webcams!

    Screenshot of the NANOOS Surfers App

  • Plastic pollution has been a huge focus of our Pacific Northwest Chapters and we all had a chance to take discuss plastic pollution policy, Ocean Friendly Restaurants, Ditch the Straw programs, and beach cleanups in more detail.

    Nancy Nordman discusses the Portland Chapter’s Ditch the Straw PDX campaign.

  • Chapters learned the art of story telling and how to apply it to professional and volunteer settings.
  • In the Clean Water session, we celebrated victories in the PNW and shared best practices for our water quality monitoring program, the Blue Water Task Force.

    Sasha Medlin shares the Blue Water Task Force efforts of the Olympia Chapter.

  • Protecting special places starts with the people who love and keep an eye on those places so we know when a threat arises.
  • Fighting offshore oil ¬†(including exploration and transport) continue to be important campaigns nationally. In this workshop our chapter members and activists learned about key strategies for building opposition through local resolutions and strengthening business coalition support.

    Charlie Plybon, Oregon Policy Manager, presents on the campaign against Offshore Oil.

  • Oregon State University has been leading important work on modeling how climate change and sea level rise will impact coastal communities in an effort to help communities prepare for future challenges.

    Peter Ruggiero, a professor at Oregon State University, discusses climate change and coastal resilience.

Check out all of the photos from the weekend:

Cascadia Conference 2018