Wisconsin Great Lakes Chapter

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January 8, 2013 | 1 Comment

A Review of 2012

“The protection and enjoyment of oceans, waves and beaches through a powerful activist network” – Surfrider Foundation Mission

Throughout our second year, we’ve generated over 550 supporters via Facebook, over 250 followers on Twitter, 250 on Instagram, 1,200 video views on Youtube, 600 names on our email distribution list, and countless more supporters via our events.

We’ve tabled at events like the Brett Dennen concert at Turner Hall Ballroom, the Dave Matthews concert at Alpine Valley, the Tristan Prettyman and Joshua Radin show at the Riverside Theater (Tristan used to be a Roxy surfer so this show was very exciting for us!) and the Bonfire at the Beach series at Bradford Beach. When tabling, we provide donated BPA free reusable water bottles and encourage folks to refrain from using single use plastic bottles. We also provide donated reusable drawstring bags and encourage folks to refrain from using single use plastic bags. Our Rise Above Plastics campaign is now moving beyond the awareness and education stage and beginning to focus on changing policy thank to the support of Bill Hickman RAP Coordinator. These events are great ways for us to engage with the community and raise awareness about the Surfrider Foundation and what our chapter is doing to deliver on the Surfrider mission.

To encourage the enjoyment of our local waterways, we offered stand up paddle board demos at the Urban Island Beach party (2,000 people in attendance), the Dairyland Surf Classic and International Surfing Day, in an effort to inspire and provide access to future water based recreation. Focusing on the protection of our local waterways and shorelines, we have completed multiple beach clean ups through our events like Raptoberfest, Earth Day Beach Clean Up, and International Surfing Day. Collectively we’ve removed over 2,000 pounds of trash from our shorelines and conducted multiple water tests thanks to organizations like the Alliance for the Great Lakes and Keep Greater Milwaukee Beautiful.

Throughout our journey thus far we have had the good fortune of establishing wonderful partnerships with local business who help us extend our mission by offering discounted SUP rentals and donations. One such company is local outdoor retailer Laacke & Joys and national brands like Rip Curl and Patagonia who have been incredibly generous by donating t-shirts, stickers, and similar SWAG which has proven to be incredibly helpful in drawing traffic to our booth at events. Our treasurer finalized the integration of our growing bank account with Square, allowing us to accept membership dues and donations virtually anywhere via our personal iPad. Also, our brand new Instagram account was featured on the Surfrider Foundation’s Instagram contest over ISD!

Since pictures are worth a thousand words, we linked some of our relevant photo albums. View photos from our Urban Island Beach PartyTabling at Tristan PrettymanTabling at Dave MatthewsInternational Surfing DaySurf Session August 10thSurf Session August 11th, and Surf Session July.

Given these accomplishments, we realize we are young, we are still growing, and we are still in need of support and guidance from our more established chapters. Our goal is to consistently offer an opportunity for Wisconsinites to experience our water through surfing and surfing related activities. We believe surfing is a small voice, but sometimes just one experience is all it takes to lure our senses into awareness. Being active in the water on a consistent basis instills a passion to protect the places we play and we exist to help facilitate that connection. This inspiration to protect the places we play is what we hope to achieve with our Surfrider Chapter. Happy Surfing the Great Lakes!


Diaryland Surf Classic 2012 (Photo: John Suhar)

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