Colleen Henn ’16 is a coastal defender and a Blue Water Task Force intern at Surfrider Foundation. She says, "I started with Surfrider by monitoring water quality at seven new sampling sites in Eastern Long Island. I began organizing outreach events like community workshops and weekly beach cleanups, creating information sheets about the importance of water quality and and clean beaches. My morals just align with Surfrider, so I have incorporated many more Surfrider initiatives into my day-to-day life. I’m even helping my family to make our yard an Ocean Friendly Garden." "The biggest thing that I preach is respect for our natural surroundings. I live in a community that is 100% surrounded by water. We depend on our beaches for our livelihood, recreation, and future, so it is essential that we respect it. In my opinion, the easiest way to reduce the pressure we place on marine ecosystems is to deny single-use products (plastic water bottles, bags at the grocery store, coffee cups, straws, etc). This summer, I organized weekly beach cleanups to motivate community members to help reduce marine debris. If you foster habits within people, they will be more mindful about their resource use and subsequent impact on their surroundings. A lot of times, people don’t fully understand their impact, but just simply investing in reusable products and picking up any bit of litter on the beach, adds up to a huge impact. Plus, you’re setting an example for everyone around you."

"Remain open to change, and stay mindful of both the small and big pictures. Never point fingers, simply educate and you’ve done your part. I’m optimistic about our future."

30 Oct 2018