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Oceana Magazine Summer 2008: Ocean Advocates: Chris Turner and Alex Winston

Ocean Council member Chris Turner and her daughter Alex Winston have found innovative ways to support Oceana. Both not only live near the ocean in Santa Monica, CA, they live for it. Together they are ocean advocates.

In 2007, Alex, an avid surfer, wanted to find a tangible way to bring attention to the ocean and to Oceana. Chris and Alex created a successful 24-hour Surfathon through their Make A Wave Project, which raised over $80,000 for Oceana.

This fall, they are co-organizing another innovative event for Oceana: the Malibu Invitational, a Celebrity Pro-Am Surf Competition scheduled for late September.

Chris: What is your first memory of the ocean?

Alex: My grandparents live in the south of France, and I remember being on a boat with my brother and my grandfather going out to this rocky cliffside where we were going to catch sea urchins. My grandfather handed us little maps and snorkels, and we dove off the boat. I remember looking down into this clear blue water and seeing these spindly little creatures on the bottom of the sea and just this whole other world down there, and being so amazed and overwhelmed, and from then on I was hooked. Mom, what is your very first memory of the ocean?

Chris: My parents used to take me to the ocean all the time. So I remember running up and down the beach building sandcastles. I always loved the water. Alex, let me ask you this. How do you honor the ocean in your daily life?

Alex: I have to say that surfing has changed my life. When you're out there on your board it's very raw. It can be big and intense and pounding down or it can be gentle and sloping and crumbly and sweet. When I see trash floating by, I generally try to fit as much of it as I can into my wetsuit every day. That's definitely something I try to do to honor the ocean. Mom, tell us how you became interested in Oceana.

Chris: The reason I became interested in it was because of you. I think you should answer the question.

Alex: I was getting so much from the ocean, I decided to give something back. I created the concept of the Surfathon. The idea was to get as many surfers involved to spread awareness with what was happening with the oceans. Oceana is really getting to the root of the problems.

Chris: What Oceana projects are you working on right now?

Alex: I'm very excited because I'm working on a fabulous event with Oceana for this coming fall. I am managing the Malibu Invitational, a Celebrity Pro-Am Surf Competition. We're partnering with great Malibu surf and community organizations for this. We want to create a really fun event that allows people to come out and learn about the oceans, and all the news and events happening with Oceana. I'm just so thrilled to be working with Oceana on such a fresh project.