For over 10 years, George Tinker has been a volunteer with Surfrider Foundation’s Blue Water Task Force (BWTF) in Charleston, establishing the first of what was to be 6 lab programs in the state of Oregon.It’s hard to imagine or even begin to list the things that George has brought to his community, to the State of Oregon and to Surfrider over the years. George had vision when it came to water quality monitoring, initiating a citizen sampling program (BWTF) well before the state had such a monitoring program (which is again threatened – read more about that here). He was instrumental in helping to get the state of Oregon’s Beach Monitoring Program officially up and running through the Federal Beach Act.

Beyond his vision for water quality, George had a vision for engaging the youth and was a well respected science teacher at Marshfield High School in Coos Bay. He created a class that not only engaged youth in the sampling, gaining valuable hands-on science skills, but also engaged in city sewer and stormwater mapping to help solve water quality issues in the local community. His plight to engage students didn’t stop there, as George officially founded a scholarship program at Marshfield HS for kids engaged in water quality and scientific inquiry work, a scholarship that lives on today well past his retirement from the school.

And retirement was really only the beginning for George. He continued to run our Coos Bay Chapter’s Blue Water Task Force Program and began serving on the State of Oregon’s Marine Board, building upon his love of the ocean to improve recreational boater safety, invasive species education and enhancement of outreach programs and materials. George is moving on from the Blue Water Task Force Program this month and passing the torch for another leader within the chapter. George, for all you’ve done for Surfrider, the State of Oregon and your local community, our hats off my friend!