Making waves with Drew McPherson

The relationship between the ocean, carbon and our climate

When did you first get involved with the Surfrider Foundation?

I first got involved with Surfrider Foundation through working on the ‘Stop PEP11’ campaign a couple of years ago.

What are the main issues that Surfrider works on?

Surfrider works on a whole range of campaigns from local issues with our branches to National campaigns against offshore oil & gas. Our main focus of late has been stopping new offshore oil & gas projects.

What was one of the biggest campaigns or victories?

For me personally, stopping PEP11 which was a proposed gas field which extended from Newcastle right through the Central Coast to the Northern Beaches of Sydney. I was born and raised in the area where this was proposed so putting an end to this ridiculous plan felt extra special.

Why is it your personal motivation to protect our oceans?

As a surfer, I spend hours in the ocean everyday, this time immersed in nature is vital for me to live a healthy & happy life. It's my exercise, therapy and my favourite pastime. I've developed a strong relationship & appreciation with the ocean throughout my lifetime and with that appreciation comes a vigorous need to protect it.

Why do you think it’s so important to do so?

Because the ocean is a place of gathering for our communities, it’s an asset that provides a place for people to connect with nature & immerse themselves. It’s also vital for a healthy planet, our oceans play an important role in helping the ecological balance of our planet.

How are you working with Go Neutral, and what were your motivations for doing so?

We are working together to give our audience an easy way to offset their vehicle's carbon emissions for the year. Many people want to do this, but do not know how and this makes it accessible.

What is the relationship between the ocean, carbon emissions and our climate?

Well our oceans absorb 1/3 of the carbon dioxide produced by humans & as our climate continues to respond to decades of increasing carbon emissions the accumulation of energy & heat from the atmosphere builds up in the ocean. Therefore a healthy ocean is vital to our survival on this planet.

What is the current state of activism for our ocean, waves and beaches?

With all the work Surfrider Foundation along with a number of other sea-roots non for profits to engage the communities, I'd say it's growing. The youth and surfers in general are becoming more aware of local and global issues, and finding themselves more empowered to do something about it.

How do you think one person alone can make a difference?

By connecting with your local community, spending time in nature & joining a local environmental group.

How can people get involved with Surfrider?

Join any of our local branches or become a member at Surfrider.org.au

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