On September 10th, we joined big-wave world champion, Greg Long at the Patagonia Freeport store in Freeport, Maine, to help him kick off his premier event on the international Protect Our Peaks tour.

In addition to  hearing him speak about his passion for environmental activism, the Surfrider Maine Chapter was one of five local environmental non-profits, all working hard to preserve our natural resources.

Clear and composed, Long gave a moving presentation on his life as a big wave surfer in San Clemente, California, and the chain link fence that suddenly appeared between him and his favorite surf break at Trestles Beach. He spoke passionately about how this single event was the catalyst that gave him a newfound purpose and identity—not just a big wave surfer, but he has now become a committed environmental activist. Long even worked alongside Surfrider Foundation in California to help save Trestles Beach from a development project that would be devastating to the habitat and the local ocean lovers. 

Through his tour, Protect Our Peaks, Long’s core message is to convey the significance of defending, not just oceans and coasts, but all the wild places that give our lives meaning and joy. He emphasized how valuable our individual actions are, and that leading by example is a powerful way to enact positive change. It was a spectacular night full of optimism and hope, as demonstrated by Greg who posed to all of us the question: what do you stand for and how do you stand up for it? To close, Surfrider Maine was invited up to speak more about our progressive problem-solving strategies, community engagement, and grassroots spirit. 

A huge thank you to Greg and the Patagonia Freeport store, and Patagonia Action Works Team to making this night happen!