Surfrider Foundation is opposed to any new offshore oil drilling.
Our nation’s oceans, waves and beaches are vital to recreational, economic and ecological treasures that would be polluted by an increase in offshore oil drilling.
We strongly support reinstatement of the federal moratorium on new offshore oil drilling.
Instead of advocating for transient and environmentally harmful ways to meet America’s oil needs, we should seek a comprehensive and environmentally sustainable energy plan that includes energy conservation.
Chad is the Environmental Director at the Surfrider Foundation, where he has worked since 1998. Prior to joining Surfrider, Chad was a NOAA Coastal Zone Management Fellow working with Oregon’s state coastal zone management program. He is an alumnus of Brown University and Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment and is currently pursuing his doctorate at UCLA in the Environmental Science and Engineering program. Chad is an avid surfer, swimmer, and beach enthusiast who lives in Laguna Beach with his wife and twin boys.
Florida Regional Manager
Ericka D’Avanzo, Florida Regional Manager, is the Surfrider Foundation’s first full-time Florida employee, and assists our chapter network for the entire state. She received anM.A. in Environmental Planning from Towson University, Maryland, in 2001. Prior to being hired as Regional Manager, Ericka’s most important experiences with the Surfrider Foundation included working as a volunteer with the NYC Chapter to stop the large dredge-and-fill projects on Long Island and beginning an activist’s guide to challenge these projects. Shortly after moving to Florida, she founded the Treasure Coast Chapter and served on numerous state coastal task forces. During her time as Chapter Chair, the Treasure Coast Chapter grew its chapter membership extensively and made coastal management history by forcing a complete remediation of a badly managed beach project. Ericka believes in both working and playing hard by surfing, biking, skiing, scuba diving, sailing, running with her dog, and fishing. In addition to her Surfrider role, she continues to serve on FEMA’s Hurricane Liaison Team.
Angela Howe, Litigation Manager, works to manage Surfrider Foundation’s legal strategy and advocacy efforts to assist chapters with beach access and environmental litigation and to assist with general counsel duties. Angela earned her law degree from Boalt Hall, Berkeley School of Law. Before joining Surfrider’s staff, she worked for Hogan & Hartson LLP in both their D.C. and Los Angeles offices. Her legal career at Hogan centered around Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act work with the Environmental Practice Group, as well as a great deal of pro bono litigation efforts. While working in Los Angeles, Angela was an active volunteer member of the West LA-Malibu Chapter as part of the Executive Committee and head of the education program. Although she grew up in Texas, she started surfing and snowboarding as soon as she came to California. Her appreciation of the beauty and power of the ocean drives her passion to protect it.
Coastal Campaign Specialist
Stefanie Sekich, the Coastal Campaign Specialist, has been involved with the Surfrider Foundation since 2003 (primarily through the San Diego Chapter and most recently with the Surfrider National Office on the Save Trestles campaign). She obtained her M.A. in Environmental Law and Policy from the University of Keele, in Staffordshire, England, and earned a B.A. in Liberal Studies with an emphasis in Environmental Studies. Stefanie has 13 years of experience working for environmental and social service nonprofits. Prior to joining the Surfrider Foundation full time, Stefanie taught an environmental studies course for the University of Phoenix’s online program. In her free time, Stefanie enjoys going to the beach, camping, hiking, sewing and practicing yoga.
Emerald Coast Chapter Chairman
Mike Sturidvant is the current Chairman of the Emerald Coast Chapter and lives in Blue Mountain Beach, Florida. He helped found the chapter after local officials tried to ban surfing in his home county. Mike’s first job was giving sailing and windsurfing lessons on Choctawhatchee Bay. He then went off to college to study engineering and, by a few twists, earned master’s and specialist’s degrees in Mental Health. He has competed in countless sporting events: road running, cycling, sailing, swimming and triathlon – including a couple of Ironman races. He actively competes in the Eastern Surfing Association and has represented the Gulf Coast as a district champion longboarder for the past several years. Mike owns Blue Mountain Surf, Inc. and provides environmental education and surfing lessons for children. When not at the beach, Mike works with adults and children in his licensed counseling practice.
Since the BP oil disaster, Mike has dedicated countless hours to testing the Gulf waters for oil and dispersant. The Emerald Coast Chapter has conducted more testing for dispersant than the entire Florida Department of Environmental Protection program has. Even though positive results are still being found, no state or federal agency is currently testing the water; only Surfrider remains vigilant. Mike is also working hard to address public health issues. Currently, there are no state or federal funds for oil-related public health services. With many in the community experiencing illness, Mike is determined to secure funding for some simple blood tests and treatment.