Vicki Conlon, OFR Lead

I learned about the Surfrider Ocean Friendly Restaurant program 4 years ago at a Surfrider/5Gyres screening about microplastics in our oceans. It was there that I signed up to be an OFR volunteer, and a few months later, asked to be the OFR Lead. During my time as a Surfrider volunteer,  I have met so many smart, enthusiastic and passionate people.  

It wasn’t that long ago that when I told servers we were a straw free table, or brought out my own to-go containers, that I would get this look of confusion, or an eye roll. Attitudes are changing! Now, when I pull out my to-go container, I get a “Wow, that’s cool” from servers and other diners.

It’s so exciting to see cities across the country, especially here in San Diego County, taking actions to reduce plastic pollution. Nevertheless, we still have work to do. I continue to see beach garbage cans overflowing with single-use food packaging.  

The oceans have given our family so much joy and are essential for all life on Earth. Volunteering is my way of showing my gratitude and helping to make our beaches and oceans better for future generations.

Turtle Hatching, Playa Reina, Panama (Vicki Conlon)

Kellyn Timmerman - OFR Lead

My sister and I dined in at a Thai restaurant in Pacific Beach years ago and for (2) people were given 8+ single-use containers for our meal, which included all forms of plastic and styrofoam.  We asked at the end if they recycle anything and they said, “no, it’s too hard.” We both walked away feeling like we should be in handcuffs – that experience felt like a crime.  When I discovered the OFR Program and met Vicki, the passion, the purpose and the positivity just clicked and was an immediate fit for me. The ocean has soothed my soul countless times, watching and listening to the waves, the feel of the soft sand, and all the birds and wildlife that are part of it makes my world go around ~ I would do anything to protect it and give back the love it has so generously given me.

La Jolla, CA (Kellyn Timmerman)