What did you accomplish with your host organization? What was the impact of your work?
While working with Save the Waves Coalition, I was able to lay the foundation for a legislative bill proposal form (Leg Form) for a network of protected surf reserves, which we submitted to California State Senator, John Laird. This is essentially the very early stage of bill creation. I helped to compile resources and fill out the form that we submitted. We were able to set up a meeting with the Senator, in which the form outlined the bill that we proposed. The meeting with the Senator was informative, and based on the status of the proposal we submitted, it was concluded that the bill proposal be delayed for one year in order to garner more support for the proposal.
Describe the benefits of this experience for you professionally and personally?
This internship was highly insightful in many ways. I gained a new perspective on the intersection of recreational sports and marine conservation and learned about the beginning stages of the legislative process. This experience also gave me practice in being proactive and in time management skills.
Did your experience provide any unexpected discovery, self-reflection, or epiphany?
During this experience, I did not realize that there are many research papers that have been written on the intersection of surfing and marine conservation efforts. From one paper I read, “American surfers have a median age of 34 years old, have a college education or above, and are employed full-time earning $75,000 a year”. It was interesting learning about the average surfer profile because it goes against the stereotypical surfer portrayed in the media. Using surfing networks as a strategy for conservation and sustainable coastal management really opened my eyes to the different pathways to conservation.
|Wagner, G. Scott, Chad Nelsen, and Matt Walker. “A Socioeconomic and Recreational Profile of Surfers in the United States A report by Surf-‐First and the Surfrider Foundation.” The Surfrider Foundation. http://public. surfrider. org/files/surfrider_report_v13. pdf (2011).