Nine More Women Shaping our Seas & Surfing
Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel
It's been a year since SurfWriter Girls published its first Women Making Waves story focusing on nine amazing women who are making a difference in the life of our oceans and the sport of surfing.
Like the ninth wave in a set, which is bigger and more powerful than the rest, these women have had a powerful impact on the environment and the world around us.
Now, in this year's Women Making Waves 2017, here are nine more incredible women. Scientists, surfers, entrepreneurs, educators, artists and more. SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel are excited to introduce you to this lineup of dynamic women.
Anna Cummins, Co-Founder of the 5 Gyres Institute, dedicated to reducing the level of plastic pollution in the ocean, is educating people about the dangers of plastic bags, bottles, straws, microbeads, and other contaminants to our oceans and sea life. The former Education Advisor for the Algalita Marine Research Foundation, Cummins has explored the world's oceans and researches and writes extensively about marine conservation. An expert on coastal watershed management, sustainability and ecology. Cummins is working to engage individuals, companies and communities about the need to "deplasticize" our lives.
Diana Dehm, Executive Director of the International Surfing Museum in Huntington Beach, CA, is working hard to preserve the history of surfing and promote the culture, lifestyle, and future of the sport. A show host on Sustainability News & Entertainment Radio/TV, Dehm probes the environmental issues of our times from energy and water management to green products and jobs. In addition to working with organizations and Fortune 500 companies like Hewlett Packard, she is reaching out to the next generation as an Executive Committee Board Member of California's Environmental Protection Agencies' Environmental Educational Initiative.
Dr. Sylvia Earle, National Geographic Society Explorer-in-Residence, is a "Hero for the Planet," says Time magazine. The former chief scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Dr. Earle has walked untethered on the sea floor at a lower depth (1,250 ft.) than any other person. Founder of the Sylvia Earle Alliance (S.E.A.) and Mission Blue initiative to "ignite public support for Hope Spots that are vital to the health of the ocean," she believes that we are all connected to the ocean: "No water, no life. No blue, no green." Explorer, scientist, author and entrepreneur, Dr. Earle is often called "Her Deepness" - a regal title that is justly deserved.
Sally Fitzgibbons, professional surfer extraordinaire, is the author of Live Like Sally, which shares her life lessons for personal and professional success, and winner of the Australian Open and U.S. Open of Surfing. A fitness entrepreneur, Australian Fitzgibbons is a member of the Canon Dream Squad, using photography to tell her life-affirming stories. Voted "the most trusted athlete in Australia," Fitzgibbons is a role model for young people around the globe as she pursues her dream of winning surfing's World Title (after three runner-up finishes).
Colleen Gnos, self-described "painter, cancer survivor, surfer, mom and bass player," is capturing the look of California's Central Coast with idyllic scenes of surfers and breaking waves. Voted San Luis Obispo's Best Visual Artist of 2016, Gnos has painted murals on lifeguard stations and images of gold-scaled mermaids on surfboards. Her paintings are in galleries throughout the U.S. and Italy where she studied in Florence. The granddaughter of a tugboat fisherman, Gnos is fascinated by the sea and expresses this in her paintings, using a technique called "optical mixing" that makes colors sparkle and resonate.
Lindsey Kraatz, Advisor to the Chief Scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, develops strategy and policy to protect our oceans, coasts and fisheries. Kraatz formerly advised the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Conservation and Management about ocean ecosystems and marine and coastal habitat conservation. She also helped build NOAA's Digital Coast Partnership that provides communities with the scientific and economic data, satellite imagery and other predictive tools needed to address coastal issues.
Jessi Miley-Dyer, World Surf League Women's Commissioner, has been surfing most of her life, building a successful junior and professional surfing career and serving as the ASP Women's Tour Manager. Formerly sponsored by Rip Curl and endorsed by Roxy, Reef, Aquasun, Dragon, and others, she was chosen to represent Australia as an Olympic torch-bearer in 2000. Miley-Dyer, who says she comes "from a family of strong women and we all have an opinion," is now a strong voice for women surfers, using her communication skills and Master’s Degree in Business to further the sport of surfing.
Stefanie Sekich-Quinn, Surfrider Foundation Coastal Preservation Manager, is an expert on environmental politics, law and policy. She spent 15 years spearheading Surfrider's Save Trestles campaign to protect Southern California's legendary surf break from having a six-lane toll road run through it. A Colorado native, who grew up hiking and camping in the Rocky Mountains, Sekich-Quinn's love of nature quickly expanded to the ocean and surfing when she moved to the West Coast. Now, whether it's battling against global warming and rising sea levels or polluted oceans and cigarette-littered beaches, she is right at the forefront.
Alison Teal, called "a female Indiana Jones" by Time magazine, goes where the action is and shares it through her films, Alison's Adventures blog, public speaking and more. A true eco-warrior, Teal focuses on survival and sustainability, whether it's surfing on her trademark pink surfboard at the edge of the erupting Kilauea volcano, swimming with sharks or exploring the jungle. Home-schooled by adventurer parents who traveled the globe, the whole world is Teal's stage and she invites you to "journey with me to exotic and mysterious cultures." Along the way, Teal is using her storytelling skills to raise awareness and support for the environment.
Excelling in their chosen fields, each woman shares one thing in common - a passion for the world around us and a desire to make it better.
To meet the 2016 Women Making Waves, click on 2016.
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