Meet Lisa Rider… Born and raised on the water, she is an avid sailor, surfer, paddleboard yogi, beach sweeper, and scuba diver certified as a PADI divemaster, basically she lives for the call of the ocean.
Lisa’s work as a Solid Waste Assistant Director for local government in Onslow County, North Carolina means she gets to focus on proper resource management at the coast full time.
But it’s not just Lisa’s day job that keeps her busy protecting our environment. She also initiated and coordinates the NC Marine Debris Symposium  and Earth and Surf Fest, and in her spare time, Lisa writes conservation articles for Beach Carolina Magazine, volunteers for the local Surfrider Foundation Chapter, is a volunteer diver for the Pine Knoll Shores, North Carolina Aquarium, and fills in as needed as a PADI Divemaster at Olympus Diver Center – you literally can’t get this girl out of the water! 
Lucky for us Lisa’s Type A personality means she multitasks like a boss, so when we fired these questions at her, she replied quicker than a fish out of water 😉

Q: What colour is your toothbrush?

A: Bamboo – it’s made of Bamboo and is 100% biodegradable.

Q: If you could teleport where would you go and why?

A: Underwater, because I adore diving and getting to hang out with my shark buddies and sea turtle friends.

Q: Who do you admire the most (dead or alive)?

A: My father. He has always supported me in all of my adventures and he gives the very best advice.

Q: What’s your top tip for reducing plastic use – what works for you?)

A: Vote with your wallet and don’t buy things that are not biodegradable or recyclable, and support companies that eliminate single-use and non-recyclable materials. Reduce plastic at the source by not buying it. Refill and reuse.

Q: If you could put just one thing at the top of your bucket list, what would it be?

A: Definitely dive with Whale Sharks in the Ocean

Q: What would a perfect world look like to Lisa?

A: A world where everyone cares about the future of our planet and where everyone sees the connection between ourselves and the ecosystem that we are a part of. A world of peace and equality for all species. A non-violent world is the most delightful world.

Q: What’s your biggest fear?

A: I’ve got a huge fear of heights.

Q: Favourite flavour ice-cream?

A: Vegan Orange Pineapple

Q: Who would be your 4 ultimate dinner party guests (dead or alive)?

A: Aside from my normal dinner party guests, because they are all awesome… Sylvia Earle, Edgar Allan Poe, Bruce Hornsby, and Jon Stewart.

Q: Where would you go if you were invisible?

A: Everywhere

Q: If you owned your own Yacht, what would you call her?

A: My former 27ft sailboat was called “Mullethead” – named after my cat at the time, but I would name my new boat: “Beans” – it is my husbands nickname.
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Lisa and her husband Wes even got married on a beautiful North Carolina beach, sans surfboards! 

Q: What have you done that you are most proud of?

A: In the beginning of my career, my most proud moment has to be starting the very first school recycling program in Onslow County with no tax dollars spent that I then expanded to all County Schools within a couple of years. I did this through several grants and collaboration. Since then thousands of tons of materials have been diverted from the landfill and recycled into new material. I am also proud of creating and coordinating the Earth and Surf Fest, an eco-award winning and waste-free environmental awareness event and surf contest here in Onslow County, NC. This was also done with collaboration and has given me the opportunity to speak at conferences and workshops on how to plan eco-friendly events. In the last three years, I have been very proud of creating and coordinating the North Carolina Marine Debris Symposium,

Q: What would your Superhero power be?

A: Make plastics disappear while creating a clean capturable energy source

Q: What piece of advice have you been given that was most rewarding?

A: Wow that is tough.. Here are a few pieces of advice:
“Do everything you ever wanted before it’s too late.” – Victor Smith
“Don’t take any wooden nickels.” – Wes Rider (my hubby)
“You get more flies with sugar than with vinegar.” – Jim Horne
“Do your best, because we need you.” – this one was a quote from the first eXXpedition trip (Atlantic) film from a guy on the beach during the beach clean-up. I found it very inspirational and lately whenever I get down about how stressful things are in the business of waste reduction and pollution prevention, I remember this quote and it keeps me focused and energized about the future.

Q: What’s the most important thing you want to take away from your eXXpedition voyage?

A: I hope to absorb every ounce of knowledge I can from my fellow crew members and use that knowledge to further efforts to reduce, remove, eliminate, and educate others about ocean plastic pollution. I also hope to gain international friendships that will become a lasting resource to help expand efforts across the globe. I hope to inspire others. I hope to learn more about how other countries handle their waste and waste reduction efforts. I hope to come home with new ideas and solutions to prevent pollution here in North Carolina.

Q: What’s your favourite marine animal and why?

A: Sharks – all of them. They are so beautiful. They keep everything in balance by keeping the population in check. My favourite thing to do is dive with sharks. Here in NC we have a huge shark population and I get to dive with them very frequently. One of my favourite is the Sand Tiger Shark. If you go to the Caribsea wreck and some other wreck sites you will see hundreds of them at a time.

Q: What’s drive you crazy?

A: That’s an easy one… Single-use plastics!
Great answers Lisa!

A passionate vegan and self-professed foodie, Lisa RiderLisa is going to be a star asset in the galley during our Amazon voyage, and is already bringing lots of fire to the party as we plot and scheme yummy meal plans via skypes.
Using up every hour of holiday entitlement to make this mission a reality she’s worked tirelessly to Crowd Fund for her spot aboard Sea Dragon.
Give her some cheers over on her campaign here and if you’d like to hear more from our Southern Belle, and if you can quite believe she finds the time, you can read more about Lisa’s wave making conservation efforts over on her blog Coastinista
So there you have Lisa, our very own underwater Super Woman!