Profile: Melissa Gates
NE Regional Mgr, Surfrider Foundation
My family has been making an annual trek from the Green Mountains of Vermont to Old Orchard Beach, Maine, for over a Century. Maine's sea salted, pine drenched air and crisp ocean waves strike elemental chords within me that awaken and engage every ember of my being. It is in Maine that I fell completely in love with oceans, waves & beaches.
This love affair keeps blossoming. It inspires me to act with purpose and responsibility, it rekindles and energizes my soul, it humbles me and reminds me of that which is truly important.
I believe it is my responsibility to help protect natural resources, to be vigilant in efforts that promote sustainability, and to live in a way that honors and supports this magnificent planet, not only for the sake of protecting that which I love, but because it is the right thing to do. That is the calculus by which I arrived at my life's work: grassroots advocacy. I dedicated the last two decades to community organizing, public advocacy and direct action campaigns geared toward promoting and protecting the rights of animals, people and the environment - the interests of which I believe to be inextricably linked. This work led me to Surfrider Foundation.
NoteStreams By Melissa Gates
I had the good fortune to score an invitation from the Healthy Oceans Coalition to attend a series of meetings to promote the National Ocean Policy in Washington, D.C., this March. The National Ocean Policy creates a vision to achieve the lasting stewardship of our nation’s ocean, coasts, and Great Lakes for all people. Nearly fifty ocean stakeholders descended upon Capitol Hill as part of this effort, meeting with U.S. legislators from the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic. A primary goal was to urge these decision-makers to support Regional Ocean Planning, which is a key part of National Ocean Policy implementation.