This past weekend, I had the honor of receiving Surfrider Foundation’s 2010 Wavemaker Award for Coastal Impact. I was joined by two colleagues from the West LA / Malibu chapter, Juli Schulz and Drew Albenze, in receiving honors for our work.

I am deeply grateful for this recognition, because I am just one of many volunteers who work to make the Surfrider mission statement real: To protect our oceans, waves and beaches.

Asked to tell a story at the podium, I said this:

“My obsession with surfing brought me to Surfrider. It is my deep gratitude for the treasures that we have as our coastlines that makes me an activist. Recently, I’ve also picked up rock climbing as an obsession. I never thought I’d be interested in an activity away from the ocean, until I read something that blew my mind: Geologists have found fossils of ocean animals in the Himalayas. That spoke to me because it shows that what is ocean becomes land, and what is land becomes ocean. I hope that geologists of the future find ocean animals instead of plastics in the rocks. This is exactly why I work on Rise Above Plastics.”

My thanks goes to Angela Howe for being a stalwart guide on the legal matters of bag bans, Ximena Waissbluth for giving me the presentation that made me realize I was a complicit consumer in plastic pollution, and Juli Schulz for inviting me to that presentation. It changed all my habits and decisions, and opened me up to a world of the most savvy and dedicated environmentalists.

The day after, I celebrated at Old Man’s for a day of surfing with Angela and Karen. The waves were mellow and peaceful. A new generation of cool kid teenagers gave a great show of longboarding style. Kassia Meador paddled past me in her checkered wetsuit, then gracefully rode by on a slow motion peeler. It was Superbowl Sunday, yet it was timeless, as always at San Onofre. I thanked the waves for leading me to Surfrider.