Nice to meet you! My name is Anne-Marie Reichman-Totah. I was born and raised in the Netherlands, traveled the world competing for over 10 years and lived on Maui before moving to California a few years ago. I’m a professional water sports athlete (windsurfer, stand up paddler, surfer), artist, board builder, ocean teacher, motivational speaker, event organizer, writer, sports model and environmentalist. The Ocean plays a huge role in my life giving me joy, challenges, friends and amazing experiences on a daily base. Connecting with the Ocean and the beach is like connecting with life; always changing, flowing and offering surprising elements. I’m thankful to have this connection with the Ocean, I want to give something back and keep the ocean and the beaches clean by ‘riding for cleaner Oceans’ with Dopper. Through meetings, motivational speeches, media, beach clean ups and my personal social media, I’m the messenger for a healthier planet #bethemessenger
California Coastal Cleanup Day
On September 19th it is “California Coastal Cleanup Day”, part of the World Wide Cleanup Day created by Ocean Conservancy to clean the world’s beaches, rivers, wetlands, lakes etc. Being a water-woman “riding for cleaner Oceans” with Dopper, I am instantly all ears and eyes. I connect with Surfrider Foundation California and they connect me with Alison Goss, head of the Surfrider Foundation Monterey Chapter. She instantly loves Dopper and we are both excited about the idea of handing out some reusable Dopper bottles for some deserving volunteers.
Feeling like an old lady
When I show up around 9am with my friend Jacqui, we see ‘this person’ fiercely hiking around in the fields carrying out a huge piece of wood. I was thinking to myself “way to go!” It was Alison. Most volunteers had arrived early and were already on the go with buckets and gloves to clean up the beach. My back had gone out 2 days before and I could barely walk. Still, I wanted to be there and support the clean up and represent. Giggling – because I look like an old lady – I make it to the other side of the dune and spot plastic and trash from miles away with my ‘eagle eye’. Surfer buddy Jacqui, who knows how hard it is for me to be out of action, decides firmly she will do the picking and bending and I just have to point out the rubbish. I agree since it’s important to listen to your body. Normally walking a fast past, having a shortage on hands and feet to grab enough trash, I now sit down on the beach and take a breather. Off course I can’t sit still for too long and Jacqui and I make it back to the Surfrider table with our bucket full with trash. Alison sends the troops out once more to reunite at 11:30. Within 3 hours there is a huge pile of trash gathered thanks to 2 Scout teams from Salinas and random volunteers living from Monterey all the way up to San Jose.
Alison gives me the word to talk about Dopper, their initiative for cleaner oceans and mostly their message “The Bottle IS the Message”. We look at the pile of trash and sincerely hope that these piles of trash will be reduced in the near future when we all (all us humans) will reuse our bottles, cups and food containers on a daily base. Plus we also hope more people will become more conscious about reducing their personal trash. Alison thanks all of us for helping and she also gives everyone props of giving back. I love it how she mentions that Our Planet gives us SO much on a daily base: day light, warmth, rain, sunshine, cool days, snow, nature and the list goes on. By helping cleaning up our beaches and cities, we help Mother Nature; which feels GOOOOD.
Do you like to feel this good? Go outside and start picking up some trash or…Google clean ups in your area via these links.