David Helvarg, Pres, and founder of the Blue Frontier which recently concluded a HUGE ocean event in DC during the week of May 11-15th, 2015, the Blue Vision Summit. This bi-annual event is a “must do” for anyone and everyone in the ocean movement. From ocean lovers to ocean activists, marine biologists, writers, fisherfolk, surfers, you name it, if you love it, that is the venue for finding your network to get your voice heard. David has been there at the start, beginning with the miami2maine paddle in 2007. His support has been a crucial piece of this crazy adventure.
Earthjustice helped support last year’s leg from NYC2CHI. They lend a strong voice and leadership in the battle to protect our water. After all, no one wants dirty water to drink or play in. Last year’s paddle would not have happened without this partnership.
Joel Fogel, president of Waterwatch International, has been a believer and staunch supporter. A neighbor of my late grandparents’, he’s been in my life even before I knew he was in my life. He was probably the one person who believed in me from the start back in 2007 when I paddled from Miami to Maine. His training advice and what to expect and help–from hearing me bitch and moan to providing chase boat duties and the “float plan” to keep the Army Corps happy while paddling the Cape Cod Canal are just a few of examples of his support. If he had told me, tho, that I’d STILL be paddling all over for our ocean and our water I’d have told him to go pound salt. Ah well, there is still so much work to be done!
Cindy Zipf, President and founder of Clean Ocean Action is another staunch supporter and her support and friendship have been huge factors that keep me motivated and going strong. She is my hero- a real ocean warrior backing down the mafia, even, to halt ocean dumping back in the ’80’s. Currently working hard to stop an LNG port in the NY/NJ bight as well as ocean blasting off our coasts which would pave the way for more drilling, among other things, she is a force to be reckoned with. She is responsible for my current outrigger canoe which I’ll be using for this journey.
Richard Lee, of SEA (Surfer’s Environmental Alliance) has been a huge fan from the very start when he thought I was absolutely insane for even attempting the first paddle journey up the East Coast. Who could blame him, at times I wondered if I could pull it off, too! Richard devotes every spare second, it seems, to his work of protecting our ocean, organizing the SEApaddleNYC, and thinking of ways to help others. Plenty of times he’s lifted me back up when he didn’t even know I was down. He’s solid to the core, another of my heroes. Like the others on this list of supporters, he’s willing to help even when he’s in the throws and fits of planning SEA’s signature event, the SEApaddleNYC.
And of course, I can’t thank John Weber, of Surfrider Foundation, enough along with all the amazing Chapter activists who organized events, hosted me and my ground crew, and who continue to dig their heals in deep every day to make things right for our ocean, beaches, and waves. Nothing would get better if it weren’t for the growing network of folks who care and who care to get involved, however they can.