“Why are you part of Surfrider?”
Sam Schwarz – As a Coos Bay area native, I’ve grown up working and playing in the river, bay, waterfront, and beaches. Our estuary and surrounding lands are vital to our way of life. For recreation, I surf, sail, swim, kayak, and SUP. I live on my sailboat and own a commercial fishing vessel, both moored in Coos Bay. I choose an efficient lifestyle, keeping my environmental impact to a minimum, maintaining a stewardship for the land and the sea which sustain us.
John Schlesinger – I’m a water-dog, and I love kayaking. I’ve kayaked from Prince Rupert, B.C. down to the U.S./Mexico border (minus 80 miles). I camp, journey, play around rocks, surf, and get together with other kayakers. I’m also an ACA L4 kayak instructor. I enjoy spending time with my granddaughter, recycling, listening to music, being with friends, and enjoying the outdoors. I joined Surfrider to be with like-minded people who want to protect our environment, our beaches, who want everyone to have clean water, and who want a safe place to live.
Gloria Cole – The beach has always been a big part of my life. When I was a little kid, my grandparents started taking me to the beach in Delaware during the summers. We moved to California, and I grew up going to the beach with my family. Moving up the coast to Coos Bay, I always took my dogs out the beach where they could run around and be free. It’s calming … watching the waves, and being in the wide open space. When Annie and Carmen started our local Surfrider chapter, I started participating in beach cleanups. I agree with Surfrider’s mission of protecting the oceans and beaches. A lot of people don’t think about how the oceans affect our lives. It’s great when people visiting from other places help with beach cleanups; they know we care, and they care too. It’s important for mankind as well. It sounds funny, but that’s the truth of it. Most of the world’s population lives near the ocean. I worked and put myself through college. I also received scholarships, and they really helped. In becoming our Scholarship Chair, I feel like I’m coming full circle to help folks with their education. All of society benefits whey they go to college and continue their education. Knowledge is Power. We are helping our youth become more powerful.
Carmen Matthews – As a Coos area native, Carmen grew up loving his community, ocean, and beaches. As one of the co-founders of our Coos Bay chapter of Surfrider, he has been involved in every aspect of the chapter, from water quality sampling and the Blue Water Task Force, to fun events like our annual Stand UP For the Bay celebration, beach cleanups, ocean friendly gardens and restaurants, and more. Carmen’s love and appreciation for our community, the ocean, and the beautiful environment of the Coos
Elizabeth Roberts – As a passionate advocate for clean oceans and coastal stewardship, I spend much of my free time hiking and exploring Oregon’s beautiful coastline and watersheds. Over the years I have participated in large scale marine debris removal projects and research expeditions in both the Gulf of Alaska and the Gulf of Maine. As an artist, I use marine debris to create art that inspires awareness about plastic pollution and how single use plastic and our consumer choices are impacting our oceans fragile ecosystems.
Todd Buchholz – Growing up in Portland, my family didn’t have a lot of extra resources for trips to Disneyland or vacations to Hawaii. We did live in a state where beaches were open to all of us, campgrounds inexpensive, and the beauty our landscape just a short drive away in the ’57 Plymouth. Before we packed up and headed home, Mom and Dad made sure that we always left the campsite cleaner than we found it. That philosophy of making the situation better than I found it stuck with me through nearly 40 years of service as a fish biologist, firefighter, NEPA planner, District Ranger, and BLM Area Manager. What resonated with me when I read the Coos Bay Chapter Surfrider mission statement that the chapter “is dedicated to protecting our local beaches, waterways and engaging the next generation of coastal defenders” is that we must not only ensure the campground is better off then we found it, but we must also fight to defend any efforts that might infringe on the public’s ability to enjoy these amazing places we know and love.
Skaidra Scholey – Originally from the Oregon coast, Skaidra is thrilled to join the Coos Bay Chapter. She looks forward to diving into our vital local campaigns such as No LNG and helping coordinate youth surf camps. Skaidra has volunteered with Surfrider chapters on Oahu, Santa Cruz, and Humboldt, CA starting in 2006. Her passion for environmental and social sustainability informed her decision to obtain an MBA in Sustainable Systems. Skaidra loves sharing her enthusiasm for the beach and ocean with her son, Zane. In her free time, you can find her surfing small waves, hiking, and adventuring up and down this beautiful coast from Seaside to Santa Cruz.
Jean Cassidy – Every day, I am amazed by the beauty of our local waters, forests, and beaches. So close to the ocean, it is easy to see the interconnectedness of all things. I believe that change in the world happens one action at a time, and that when each one of us makes some positive difference in our community, then the whole world can be a better place.