This year's 2016 East Coast Chapter Leadership Conference was held between October 7-9 at the Stony Brook Southampton College in Southampton, NY. Core volunteers from Georgia to Maine, as well as Chicago, and all points between, attended with key Surfrider staff for a weekend of networking, learning, sharing and pure stoke!
Chicago Chapter (and the Great Lakes Confederation) was represented by Mitch McNeil, there to spread our very own fresh water stoke (and cause a few jaws to drop with photos of South End bombs being tamed by courageous long boarders) (you can't surf on a LAKE!!). The East Coast salties were brought up to speed on issues like Line 5, plastic bag ban/fee, beach access, surfers being arrested, and water testing @Whiting.
This is an annual event where the movers and shakers of our chapter network come together to build capacity and advance our work to protect the ocean, waves & beaches.
The Surfrider Foundation Eastern Long Island Chapter was a gracious host. They planned an incredible party on Saturday evening, and helped ensure everyone felt welcome and knew where the waves were (plenty of surfing safaris transpired). And the boat tour of Shinnecock Bay was most instructive, thanks to Captain Andy. The stark contrast between the bulkhead-reinforced shorelines of the local landowners (not yielding one inch to the vicissitudes of tides/wind/water - ever) and the Shinnecock Indian Reservation ("unprotected" – i.e. NATURAL – shoreline) was a real take away. The reservation has totally cornered the market on primeval shoreline beauty.