It is so easy to stay preoccupied with constant to-do lists and obligations; however, frequent immersion in the ocean points to the fact that the health of our oceans dictates our health and the health of the whole Earth. When I’m not in Randall Library or an academic building, I am running UNCW’s Competitive Surfing Association Stoked on Surfing, working with my PaddleFit Challenge Non-profit Internship, or in the ocean sailing and surfing. After spending a semester in Mystic, Connecticut through the Williams-Mystic Maritime Studies Program, I realize how the ocean is a lens through which I see myself. Thus, without cold-water surfing, I couldn’t appreciate, nearly as much, the small longboard days of summer. Without hearing firsthand the impacts of the BP oil spill and Hurricane Katrina, I wouldn’t know why people stay in New Orleans despite the odds of losing it all. Evaluation and reflection are powerful tools for personal change. Therefore, the question of “who will save our oceans?” becomes “what can I do to help save our oceans?”
It is that notion of doing what I can exactly where I am that drives my desire to help make Hope Spot Hatteras happen. Making Hatteras a Hope Spot will be vastly beneficial to the Outer Banks and the entire east coast. The Outer Banks is more than just a beautiful place with a series of great surf spots and a community of fishermen, surfers, and families. The Outer Banks is a grouping of shifting islands that are only forty miles from three converging currents that upwell nutrients for a multitude of fish species to thrive above the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). Such a unique area deserves a voice; thus, Mission Blue should create Hope Spot Hatteras.