Profile: Stefanie Sekich-Quinn
California Policy Manager
I was born and raised in Colorado and spent most of my childhood hiking and camping in the Rocky Mountains. As cliché as it sounds, growing up around mountains helped me form a deep appreciation for nature at a young age. As I grew older, I physically sought out nature in order to deepen my appreciation of the natural world. I began rock climbing, backpacking, river rafting, and traveling around the world to ‘be in nature’. When I moved to Seattle I found myself falling head-over-heels with the coast and ocean. Since then (13 years and counting), I have lived along the west coast (except when I moved to England for graduate school – but hey, it’s an island!).
Having spent the past 15 years working on environmental issues, I think the ocean is the last, blue frontier for environmentalism. For several decades, much of the focus has been on land and other terrestrial issues. Fortunately, coastal issues are beginning to receive more attention, and subsequently we have seen more measures to protect ocean resources.
For those of us who love and use the ocean, it's incumbent upon us to build a movement of concerned citizens who will speak up for ocean protection. There are several ways to get involved with your local Chapter (whether it’s licking envelopes, participating in a beach cleanup or by attending a City Council meeting). Join us!
NoteStreams By Stefanie Sekich-Quinn
The heart of California’s Coastal Act is its requirement that development not interfere with the public’s right to access the beach. Yet, this right is increasingly at risk as private landowners seek to shore up their own properties by building seawalls, revetments, and other structures on top of publicly owned beaches. The result is a loss of beach access statewide that will only get worse as sea levels are predicted to rise. A case in point is Broad Beach in Malibu.
Category: Social Awareness
In late May 2015, Surfrider published a NoteStream about the oil spill in Santa Barbara at Refugio State Beach. At first, we were hopeful the spill was contained and clean up efforts would stop the oil from spreading further along the coast. Now, we are questioning that assumption entirely. Since May 27th, oil globs have been found along southern California (concentrated near Ventura, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach, Santa Monica, Malibu, Zuma Beach and Venice Beach). Surfrider Staff and volunteers have been corresponding with cleanup responders. An Official from the state informed us they have received reports of oil from Morro Bay down to Imperial Beach, San Diego. Point of reference: That’s about a 350-mile stretch of coastline.
On May 19, 2015, the popular and pristine beaches of Refugio State Beach were covered by sticky, smelly, black oil. Shockwaves spread through Santa Barbara—a tiny town all too familiar with oil spills. As Santa Barbara once again contends with a catastrophic spill, the memories of the devastating 1969 spill still linger. Find out what you can do to make a difference.