Marine scientist Benjamin Kaye, a marine biology teacher at Santa Monica High School and Santa Monica University, says that tackling the climate challenge requires a three-pronged approach: science, education and action. .

Over 45 volunteers attended the Surfrider LA July Chapter Meeting at Boardriders in Malibu on Wednesday, July 27th to learn how to make small changes in their everyday lives. Kay provided information on current policies, local programs, and inspired individuals to make social change large and small.

Since its founding in 1984, the Surfrider Foundation has evolved into one of the largest non-profit grassroots organizations with a network of volunteer activists dedicated to its mission to protect and enjoy the world’s oceans, waves and beaches.

Today, the Surfrider Foundation has 80 chapters, including 96 student clubs, and more than 100 advocates, volunteers and activists with more than 100 activities nationwide. Surfrider LA hosts a national network of chapters and clubs to protect our community’s beaches. They work with local staff and subject matter experts to carry out their mission.

Kay is the Vice-Chair and Past Chair of the Clean Beaches and Ocean Parcel Tax Citizens Oversight Committees and Co-Founder of Santa Monica Team Marine. Kay was a guest speaker at the chapter meeting.

“My hope is to inspire you, but also to lead some of you to the next level of environmental education,” Kay said. “I’ve been doing this for a long time, and the more I learn, the scarier it gets, but it’s also important to rehabilitate yourself by putting yourself in places like the ocean.”

Kay knows how overwhelming the information can be and reminds everyone to be mentally alert and do what they can.

“We need to set aside time to take care of our mental and physical health. First and foremost, we can’t save the planet without taking care of ourselves,” Kay said. “Be intentional in everything you do. I’ve been on this committee intentionally, so I know what’s been done and what hasn’t been done about this.”

Kay encouraged individuals to attend city council meetings for political change, but also emphasized the importance of encouraging young people.

“As adults we stand there and hope they listen to us and provide us with reliable information, but often they are sick of it and don’t listen enough. “But when the youth get up there, it can really affect the hearts and minds of the members of the council.”

Kay shared how to make better environmental choices at home and outdoors.

“Sometimes you have to put on your cloak and go out and do things like clean up the beach,” Kay said.

Surfrider LA is hosting a beach cleanup. Malibu’s next beach cleanup will take place on August 28th from 10am to 12pm on the rocky shoreline of Sunset Point. Please RSVP for exact location.

Attendees included Surfrider Foundation South Bay Chapter Coordinator Craig W. Cadwallader, Surfrider LA Chapter Manager Newala Brosnan-Faltas, and Surfrider LA Chapter President Eugenia Elmakola.

“I have known Ben Kay for probably 15 years. He is one of the most effective educators, in fact, he is my hero. , has spent years educating students and making a bigger impact than anyone else, I know,” Cadwalader said. “That’s why he’s my hero and this is just a small sample of what he’s done so far.”

Surfrider LA Chair Eugenia Ermacora shared Surfrider’s mission to tackle plastic pollution.

“we [Surfrider LA] Following Plastic Free July, we focused on plastic pollution and invited Professor Kay. He is a volunteer and advocate for Surfrider and has started several of our programs. It’s about fighting single-use plastics that pollute marine life and biodiversity.”

Ermakola said this is affecting all communities.

“We’re trying to create a message, educate people, send out an activist message to draw attention that this has to stop and that something can be done about it,” Elmakola said. “Surfriders believe that if we can start at the local level and go to the state level to pass legislation at the federal level, it will help everyone, not just us in the community. “

Kay shared the important work Surfrider Foundation Los Angeles has been doing at the local and national level.

“The Surfrider Foundation Los Angeles is at the forefront of citizen science and policy initiatives, and as a grassroots and non-profit organization, does a tremendous job of getting members of the community involved in these issues,” said Kaye. Told. “Cleaning up beaches is a great starting point for people to open their eyes to issues such as plastic pollution. will come to do.”

“Change starts with the individual. Surfriders just provide a stepping stone to take their habits, products and endorsements to the next level. That’s why I really care about the organization,” said Kay. Told. “We need all the solutions and now is the time for all to join hands.”

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On Wednesday, July 27th, guests posed for a group photo with members of Surfrider LA after the July Chapter Meeting at Boardriders in Malibu. Photo credit: Samantha Bravo/TMT.

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