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Volunteer Spotlight: Tyler Russo

This month we are happy to recognize Tyler Russo for his outstanding efforts. Tyler is a student at California State University Channel Islands who is completing his capstone project with Surfrider Ventura this year. You may have seen him at one of our Respect the Rincon Parkway or C Street cleanups recently.

We asked Tyler a few questions about himself and his experience with Surfrider.

1. How long have you lived in Ventura County? I have lived in Ventura County my whole life. More specifically, Simi Valley.

2. What draws you to the ocean? What really drew me into the ocean was my love for surfing. I started surfing almost six years ago in Ventura at Mondos and C St, and I instantly fell in love with it. Going out to Ventura to go surfing became the highlight of my week and I gained a respect for the ocean after spending so much time in it. It became a place where I would go with my friends, family, or even paddle out by myself to simply spend time in the water.

3. What makes you passionate about advocating for the ocean? Surfing is what makes me so passionate about advocating for the ocean. It is really disappointing to be paddling out and seeing all of the wildlife around you in the water, on the shore, and just the natural beauty of our coastline, and then seeing plastic and trash floating around next to you in the lineup. Surfing has really opened my eyes to just how big of an issue pollution and littering is at my home beaches, and has made me want to preserve one of the things that I love so much. 

4. What gives you joy volunteering for Surfrider? Volunteering for Surfrider gives me great joy knowing that what I am doing is directly impacting my local community. It is a great feeling knowing that all of the efforts Surfrider has been making in the Ventura County area, is giving back to not only myself, but to my friends and other local surfers in the community. Being a part of those efforts over the last few months has become something that I am extremely proud of. 

5. What is your future hope for the health of the ocean? My hope is that in the future, we can have more laws and regulations in place in order to help preserve the ocean so that generations beyond me can experience what I grew up around and learned to love. 

6. Anything else you want to share about yourself? I am currently a senior at California State University Channel Islands graduating this spring with a bachelors in Organizational Communication. If I am not surfing, I am usually either snowboarding or camping.