Who We Are

The Surfrider Foundation is a non-profit grassroots organization dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of our world’s oceans, waves and beaches. Founded in 1984 by a handful of visionary surfers in Malibu, California, the Surfrider Foundation now maintains over 50,000 members and 80 chapters worldwide.

The Oahu Chapter’s mission is to improve water quality, ensure the public’s right to beach access, reduce plastic marine debris, and work for responsible, ocean-friendly development on the island of Oahu.

The Advisory and Executive Committee members of the Surfrider Oahu chapter for 2013 are:

 

 

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Marvin Heskett (Chair)

Being a life long surfer, Marvin joined the Surfrider Foundation in 1996. Marvin started his career path in 1990 as an environmental chemist, working to protect California water quality. He moved to Hawaii in 2000 and joined the Oahu Chapter where he eventually became chapter chair in 2007. He has continued to work in the field of environmental science. Marvin has worked on several campaigns preventing irresponsible and destructive coastal development, working to preserve beach access and helping to ensure Hawaii’s Beaches water quality. He is a co-author on several environmental papers on topics such as pollutants associated with Marine Debris. Marvin is happily married and has almost retired his own surfing to coach his 8 year old son.

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Gene Bennett (Vice-Chair)

Gene was born and raised in Lima, Peru.  He has spent some of the best moments in his life enjoying the ocean and beaches.  He is passionate about protecting our amazing beaches and our oceans.

 

Stuart Coleman

Stuart Coleman (Hawaii Chapters Coordinator)

A Surfrider member for over nine years, Stuart started surfing as a grom in Charleston, SC, and gradually moved Westward in search of bigger and better surf, in California and later Hawaii. He is the author of “Eddie Would Go” and “Fierce Heart” and previously served as Vice-Chair. Stuart is the first Hawaii Coordinator, and he is looking forward to building up Surfrider’s membership in the Islands and organizing the 2nd Annual Hawaii Chapters Conference.

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 Rafael Bergstrom (Oahu Chapter Coordinator)

Rafael is the chapter’s first coordinator and comes to Surfrider Oahu after recently completing his Masters Degree in Natural Resources and Environmental Management at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. He grew up hiking and playing outdoors in Oregon, Arizona, and California surrounded by family with a deep environmental ethic. After finishing his undergraduate at UC San Diego, Rafael played various levels of professional baseball in Germany, Australia, Israel, and the East Coast USA. Grateful to now call Oahu home, Rafael is dedicated to helping create a sustainable future for these beautiful islands and uses his passion for the art of photography to share the beauty and intricacies of this world with others.

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Matt Moore (Volunteer Coordinator)

Matt currently works for an ecological design firm in Honolulu. He has always had a passion for minimizing the impact on environments as well as connecting people with their surroundings in order to enrich local communities. Being born and raised on the south side of Oahu, he is familiar with the impact that we have on our coastlines. He is excited to help Surfrider achieve its goals. When he isn’t working he can be found exploring the mountains, biking around town, or…most likely in the water.

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Ruey Hwu (Treasurer)

Ruey has been a member of Surfrider Foundation since 2003. His work outside of Surfrider focuses on energy conservation and sustainable buildings. You can sometimes find him surfing, hugging trees, and dabbling in crochet.

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Eric Zielke

Eric first started volunteering for the Surfrider Foundation – Humboldt Chapter in fall 2002 when he moved out to California from Wisconsin, but the Chapter wasn’t very too active at the time.  After seeing the potential of what a Chapter can accomplish at the Surfrider Foundation – Rincon Chapter in Puerto Rico in 2006, he came back to the Humboldt Chapter and helped get them back on track with establishing the Humboldt Chapter website on the National Surfrider website (spring 2008).  Eric, and his wife, Aydee, then moved over to Oahu and joined the Oahu Chapter shortly after (summer 2009) and has been helping out and volunteering ever since.  Between juggling their days jobs (e.g., Eric as an Engineer and Aydee as a Scientist/Planner), Eric and Aydee couldn’t be any happier to be on the Oahu Chapter Executive Committee.  Mahalo for checking out who we are.

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Mary Finley (Beach Cleanup Coordinator)

Mary moved to Honolulu in 2012 from Washington State with a passion to make this her forever home. Her lifelong love of the ocean as well as prior volunteer work with People for Puget Sound and the Seattle Aquarium fostered a nearly obsessive need to clean beaches and support legislation that protects our environment. She currently volunteers with the Oahu chapter, coordinating beach clean-ups and supporting various other projects. She works as a nanny, and believes that the best way to encourage change is through engaging environmental education. In her free time you can find her snorkeling for (rubbish) treasures, paddle boarding or playing with her huge dog on the South Shore.

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Fawn Liebengood (Beach Cleanup Coordinator)

Fawn is from Portland, OR and moved to Hawaii after spending 2 years in Los Angeles. Fawn has been a member of Surfrider Foundation since 2012. During beach cleanups, you can find her corralling her Marines & Sailors who volunteer with Surfrider as part of the Single Marine & Sailor Program.

In her free time, you can find her doing yoga, SUP, freediving, playing beach volleyball, watching Sci-Fi, & cooking. Fawn volunteers at the Waikiki Aquarium & is a founding member of HALT & 808Cleanups – organizations that remove grafitti & tagging from beaches & trails around the islands.

 

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