Service and The Sea

Mike Gleason and a new friend with Stoked Mentoring at the Unsound Pro In Long Beach, NY.

We all enjoy a lazy beach day, heavy lids and warm skin, punctuated by the difficult choice of which truck to hit up for lunch. A dose of bluebird skies and salt air is worthy of being savored, but don’t let those ocean waves lull you into complete complacency. In it, on it, near it or just inspired by the big blue, there are plenty of ways to be of service to the immediate community—and well beyond.

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Photo by James Katsipis

Not sure where to start? Think about what really gets under your skin. Convert that exasperation into a more constructive output, and it’s remarkable how quickly the annoyance dissipates. Have a frustrating surf session? How about sharing some stoke with underserved youth via Stoked Mentoring? Summer congestion has you feeling like you want to haze some tourists? Go be a tourist-with- a-purpose on a Clean Water Courier mission for Waves for Water. Feeling surrounded by a sense of entitlement? Give a family with special needs kids a beautiful day out at the beach with A Walk On Water. Whatever the issue, there’s a correlating action to be taken that results in improvements, not the least of which is trading that snarl for a smile.

You don’t need to get grouchy to give back. Get informed about the choices you make in your daily life and how they affect the sea. Order smart; download the Seafood Watch app before you sit at the sushi bar. Reduce your carbon consumption by giving the A/C a rest, hop on two wheels instead of in the car, and say “no bag, please” at the IGA. These aren’t inherently difficult acts, but creating new dayto- day habits is an easy and effective way to be ocean-minded.

Photo by Emily Winiker

Blake Jones riding it out with Stoked Mentoring Photo by Emily Winiker

Time-pressed concerned citizens have yet another means of getting involved. Good old cash. You don’t need to be a Rockefeller to be a philanthropist. Even modest donations make a difference with charities such as Surfrider Foundation. Lend some dough and your name to the cause. In some cases, you can earmark where your dollars are put to work. For example, ReSurf gives you the opportunity to choose which of their community serving programs you’re backing, ranging from Baja to Long Island.

The ocean literally feeds us, so whether your actions preserve its health or use it as a way of healing others, your time (and money) are well spent. It doesn’t need to take up your whole weekend, or even your whole afternoon. Added bonus: the welcome feeling of fulfillment is its own reward. Next time you look out at the watery horizon you’ll know you’ve taken steps to preserve and share this beautiful resource.

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Quincy Davis helping out with Stoked Mentoring Photo by Emily Winiker

Surf and Service-wise

To get your service superstar program rolling, here’s a short list of organizations to check out. No need to feel limited by what’s here. Explore, ask around. If you don’t find the right fit, why not start your own grassroots project?