Charlie Plybon, Oregon Policy Manager, Surfrider Foundation

“Like many who sometimes don’t appreciate what they have, I didn’t become an outspoken advocate for water quality until I got sick from the ocean. My first surf trip to Mexico resulted in a terrible skin infection and about a year later, I was getting sick from surfing right here in Oregon. Recognizing that a day at the beach shouldn’t require a trip to the doctor’s office, I was not only awakened to the importance of clean water and healthy beaches, I was impassioned to become a strong advocate for solving water quality issues at their source.

Working with Surfrider Foundation to organize locally and understand our water needs, identify problems and support solutions has become something of a life pursuit. I don’t get sick when I go to my home beach break anymore and I want the same for everyone else – healthy oceans, waterways and beaches. Polluted water results 90 million cases of illnesses annually and beyond the health concerns, it’s costing Americans an estimated $2.9 billion year (citation).”