On a Saturday morning in July, the sun already heating the air even though it’s only a little after eight, a score of kids, teens, and adults swarm onto the soft, white sand of the Emerald Isle beach. But, instead of running straight into the water or plopping onto towels laid on the sand, they spread out, eyes down, searching for litter — plastic water bottles, candy wrappers, empty cigarette packs, and all the other detritus of modern human life that is dropped or blown into this beautiful natural environment. Each of these people giving up their summer Saturday morning to clean up other people’s mess is a volunteer, taking part in the monthly beach sweep organized by the Bogue Banks chapter of the Surfrider Foundation.
Founded a little over thirty years ago in Malibu, California, the Surfrider Foundation is a national network of coastal defenders who transform their passion for our coasts into lasting protection. By bridging local knowledge with national experts in law, policy and science, Surfrider works to keep our beaches open to everyone, promote smart coastal development that avoids coastal impacts, protect special ocean and coastal places before they are threatened, and ensure the water is clean to surf and swim and the beaches are free of plastic litter.
Along with its beach sweeps, to help fund its activities, each summer the Bogue Banks chapter organizes monthly socials at local establishments, as well as a big fundraiser with raffles, gift certificates, gift baskets and, of course, live music.
“Transportation Impact has never batted an eye about sponsoring the bands we invite to our annual fundraiser, which can cost between $500 and $1000 each,” says chapter chair, Walt O’Berry. “TI also lets South Swell Surf Shop donate gear, hats, shirts, longboard skateboards to the raffle. This is thousands of dollars’ worth of gear for us to raffle off, and we put this money directly into our bank account. We have no paid employees, so all the money goes to cleaning the local beaches.”
It’s a sponsorship that comes directly from the heart of Transportation Impact.
“TI was born in the broom closet of South Swell Surf Shop, and several years on, we are still proud to call Emerald Isle home. This town and its beaches and coastline are in our DNA,” says company Managing Partner, Doug Starcke. “The Surfrider Foundation is working to keep the island a clean, safe, and beautiful environment for the people — and especially the marine life — that call it home. We will support that in any way we can.”
Find out more about the Bogue Banks chapter of the Surfrider Foundation on Instagram and Facebook at @BogueBanksSurfriderFoundation or email firstname.lastname@example.org.