Profile: Dr. Chad Nelsen
CEO, Surfrider Foundation
I grew up as beach kid and lifeguard in Laguna Beach where I gained a true appreciation for both the power and fragility of our oceans and coasts. Now as Surfrider Foundation's CEO, I have the privilege of leading the world's largest grassroots network dedicated to the protection our ocean, waves and beaches.
NoteStreams By Dr. Chad Nelsen
In recent weeks, the news has been full of stories predicting one of the strongest El Niño’s on record. The last two very strong El Niño events (1982-83 and 1997-98) affected the weather globally and brought strong storms to California, which resulted in high amounts of rain and snow and big surf along the coast. This extreme weather can have serious consequences on our coasts.
While millions of waves break along the coastlines of the world, it takes a very unique combination of geographic, geologic, meteorological and oceanographic conditions to make a wave surfable. World class surf spots are even more rare.
When thinking about protecting a surf spot, it is easy to focus right on the wave itself but protecting a surf spot is a lot more than that.
At any given moment, Surfrider and our chapter activist network are working on dozens of campaigns for the continued protection of our coastal communities. These campaigns range from improving coastal water quality, cleaning our beaches and fighting for plastic-free oceans to advocating for legislation to protect at-risk coastal places and keep beaches accessible. Since 2006, we have been tracking our victories. In 2014, our members enabled our chapters and activists to win 34 victories for our ocean, waves and beaches, giving us a current victory count of 297.