For 35 years, Surfrider Foundation has protected the oceans and preserved coastlines. What started as a small group of surfers in Malibu attempting to protect their local surf spot grew into one of the largest and well known nonprofit environmental protection organizations in the US. Today, Surfrider has 86 chapters across the country, with over 1 million supporters, activists, and volunteers. Together they’ve amassed legal victories toward the protection of the ocean, coast, and marine life.
On Saturday Oct. 12, the Surfrider Foundation Maui Chapter will hold its 4th Annual Ocean Guardian Awards Gala to recognize people and companies who have helped to defend the ocean, land, and environment. The 2019 Ocean Guardian awardees are Campbell Farrell, Lucienne de Naie, and local business Skyline Hawai’i.
Campbell Farrell is a skilled waterman and a big wave surfer. He organized the Hard to Reach Beach Cleanup of Pe‘ahi and helped in numerous other beach clean-ups on the North Shore of Maui. His nonprofit Love the Sea helps ocean guardians around the world battle plastic pollution and keep our oceans clean. He greatly contributed to the Ocean Aid Music Festival and participated in the Eat Less Plastic Voyage in the South Pacific.
Lucienne de Naie, who now lives on a small East Maui farm, has been Surfrider Maui’s vice president for 15 years. She’s helped with multiple beach clean-ups and regularly testifies on coastal projects. De Naie helped in the Save Ma‘alaea Campaign and co-founded Maui Coastal Land Trust. She has served in various citizen planning committees such as Maui County General Plan Advisory Committee, Focus Maui Nui Advisory Committee, and Honoapi‘ilani Hwy Realignment Task Force.
The local business awardee, Skyline Hawai’i, is known for its Skyline Conservation Program that has been proactive in land and forest preservation. It recently expanded its agenda to protect the ocean as well. The program has already restored six acres of native forest. The company has also sponsored water bottle refill stations at Ha‘iku and Lihikai Elementary Schools as a part of the Skyline Wipe Out Plastic grant program, and routinely takes groups of students on tree-planting trips all over Maui. The company refused to sell or distribute plastic water bottles or plastic bags since they opened in 2002, and it became a carbon-neutral business in 2007 with a 100-percent carbon emission offset.
“This annual fundraiser is a celebration of Surfrider Maui’s volunteers and supporters and the year’s accomplishments,” said Rebecca Pang, ocean guardian awards coordinator for Surfrider Foundation Maui Chapter.
Surfrider Foundation Maui Chapter has been voted the Best Environmental Nonprofit by MauiTime readers for the last three years. The organization played a role in the County of Maui’s plastic bag, polystyrene, and oxybenzone bans. Surfrider Maui has also fought to protect Ma’alaea, Pe‘ahi, and Honolua from development, and has been involved in legal battles regarding wastewater treatment plants in Kanaha and Ka‘anapali. The group also organizes beach clean-ups, marine life protection, contribution to research, and preservation of public access to coastlines. Surfrider Foundation supports restaurants in becoming ocean-friendly by reducing plastic waste and refusing the use of styrofoam containers, plastic straws, and other pollutants.
“Surfrider Maui is doing important work protecting our beloved ocean, beaches, and reefs,” said Mike Ottman, chair for the Surfrider Foundation Maui Chapter. “We invite anyone who loves the ocean to celebrate our victories with us, and learn how we as a community can continue to implement positive change.”
The Award Gala includes live ‘ukulele music by Derick Sebastian, cuisine from Andaz Maui, a silent auction, and the awards program. Andaz Maui and Lyft will offer discounts for all of the attendees wishing to use their services. The event is open to the public and will be held in Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort on Saturday, Oct. 12 from 5:30-9pm. Tickets are available at Maui.surfrider.org/ocean-guardians. Surfrider Maui is actively seeking table sales, sponsorships, and silent auction items. If you would like to contribute, you may contact Rebecca Pang at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image courtesy Surfrider Foundation Maui Chapter