Source: Transworld Surf
(HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA) July 19, 2012 — For 55 years, Student Conservation Association volunteers have helped to conserve national parks, forests, and city environments across the nation. Now they’re heading to a new beachhead: the 2012 Nike US Open of Surfing at Huntington Beach, California.
Led by SCA spokeswoman and teenage surfing sensation Lakey Peterson of Santa Barbara, SCA field members will assist in beach restoration and rubbish removal and recycling, removing thousands of pounds of debris from the beach and waste stream during the week-long event, projected to draw upwards of three quarters of a million people.
“I’m super excited about welcoming my fellow SCA volunteers to the Nike US Open of Surfing because when it comes to protecting nature, we all need to get on board,” says Lakey. “From the competition to the conservation, it’s going to be an awesome week.”
An avid advocate for the outdoors, Lakey has been featured in a national water conservation public awareness campaign sponsored by SCA and American Water, participated in SCA park preservation projects, and regularly blogs on the SCA website (www.thesca.org) about her experiences in nature around the world. She also supports Hands4Others and the Cousteau Society.
The US Open of Surfing is sponsored by Nike, Hurley, and Converse, and owned and produced by IMG, the global leader in sports and entertainment. “If you love to surf, you love the Earth, and the US Open is proud to partner with the Student Conservation Association, the national leader in youth service and stewardship,” says James Leitz, Senior Vice President of IMG. “SCA will help IMG and our sponsors ensure this is one of the most sustainable surf, music and lifestyle events on the planet.”
Last year, Lakey took six straight heats in the US Open before placing second in the Women’s Division. This year, she’ll be taking on the additional responsibility of protecting the local environment. “Like so many SCA volunteers, Lakey recognizes that enjoying the outdoors comes with a responsibility to conserve it, and her willingness to take action in the middle of the year’s biggest surfing competition is testament to her commitment and leadership,” says SCA VP for Communications Kevin Hamilton.
Currently commemorating its 55th anniversary, SCA has engaged nearly 70,000 young people in conservation internships and jobs, resulting in more than 30 million hours of service on federal, state, and local lands including those operated by the National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and the National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration. SCA field members conduct tasks that would otherwise not be completed, such as habitat restoration, scientific research, and environmental education. Two-thirds of SCA alumni remain active in conservation; the National Park Service, for example, estimates that more than 12% of its workforce started their careers with SCA.
While protecting America’s public lands and advancing sustainable communities, SCA members gain important job skills and career experience. All SCA service positions are tuition-free and most are expense-paid and available throughout the year and in all 50 states. For further information, visit www.thesca.org
The Student Conservation Association helps tomorrow’s conservation leaders take action for the planet by providing high school and college students with hands-on conservation experiences in all 50 states, from urban communities to national parks and forests. Since 1957, SCA has developed new generations of conservation leaders, provided America’s youth with green job training and skill building, restored community green spaces, preserved our trails and recreation resources, and engaged millions of Americans in conservation service and outdoor education. SCA is a nonprofit organization headquartered in Washington, DC with offices in Boise, ID, Charlestown, NH, Chicago, IL, Oakland, CA, Pittsburgh, PA, and Seattle, WA.