A Better Beach Ambassador is someone who, through their actions and dedication to the improvement of our communities, demonstrates a commitment to community ownership, responsibility, and accountability. 

 
 
 Tyler Hoppel   General Manager, HK on the Bay

Tyler Hoppel 

General Manager, HK on the Bay

Tyler Hoppel - HK on the Bay

We simply love going to the beach. We grew up on these beaches and believe that it is our purpose to ensure that we save the beaches so our children can enjoy them as much as we did when we were kids. Our beach is the bridge between us and the ocean, with warmer weather it attracts thousands of visitors to our communities. Our beaches are such fragile environments that we must be attentive in how we treat these beautiful stretches of land. 

When the community works together to to achieve a common goal of making our beaches cleaner and safer, they gain a sense of ownership. I think the community of Chic's Beach already has that sense of ownership of our beach. Between the Chesapeake Beach Civic League, Save the Bay day and now the Better Beach Project, I think it's safe to say that our beaches are in really good hands. These organizations are giving us the tools to have a better beach, it is our job as the community to come together to use these tools.

 

 
 Rae Timmons  Executive Chef, American Brew

Rae Timmons

Executive Chef, American Brew

Rae Timmons - American Brew

The beach is our back yard - it is our home. We all share an equal role in making sure that the beaches are clean and safe for locals, tourists, and our furry friends.

Community ownership means we need to take full responsibility for the preservation of our communities, from the beaches to the rest of the planet. No one person can make that sort of change alone. It requires a community with the same mindset pushing toward improvement, which starts here with a better beach. 

 
 Jess Bycraft  Owner, Torch Yoga

Jess Bycraft

Owner, Torch Yoga

 
 Hales Parcells  Mermaid

Hales Parcells

Mermaid

 
 
 Commonwealth Kevin,  Certified Bulldog/Chic's Beach Mascot

Commonwealth Kevin,

Certified Bulldog/Chic's Beach Mascot

 
 Nick & Kara Halleran  Owners, MAR Surf Exchange

Nick & Kara Halleran

Owners, MAR Surf Exchange

Jess Bycraft - Torch Yoga

We believe it is important to come to together as a community to make our beach a safe place to play.

We believe that we all live and work together. If we learn to take small steps in a positive way we can make big changes within the community. We have to hold ourselves responsible for this community and the more we step up to help the more others will act. We hope to create a common ground within the community that harnesses respect, cleanliness compassion and dedication.
 

 

Hales Parcells - Professional Mermaid

I grew up in Virginia Beach. I went to the beach about twice a week as a kid, and as an adult I only live blocks away. I'm a SCUBA diver, a freediver, a (wannabe) surfer... heck, I'm a mermaid. As a professional mermaid, I get to visit local schools and talk to kids about litter and its impacts on the ocean. What I come to find is that they are so full of compassion, and they want to do all they can to protect their beaches. They already have a sense of ownership from a young age, and the Better Beach Project is a fun way to put that compassion into action. The concept of picking up litter is simple, and the partnership with local businesses is rewarding. 

Community-level change is the best way to tackle big problems. Virginia Beach is our home, just like the turtles, dolphins, and sharks are like our neighbors. I think that it's our responsibility to be good neighbors to the animals and to each other by working hard to keep the ocean clean and healthy. It's about working together for a cause that's bigger than us, and it's about feeling proud of the difference we are making together.

 
 

Kevin - @CommonwealthKevin

The beach is my happy place. Why wouldn’t I want to help protect it? No matter if it’s the middle of winter or the middle of summer, you’ll see me on the beach swimming in the bay, chasing ghost crabs, and digging holes (I’ve heard there’s buried treasure around here somewhere!). Sometimes, my parents don’t let me play near certain places because they say it’s “dangerous” or that I’ll “cut myself.” It’s a bummer. I mean, the beach is my backyard. The BEST backyard. My ‘fence’ is the water and I get to share it with everyone. Which is cool because I love everyone. On walks, my parents do their best to pick up the trash, but it’s hard to get everything. I wish I could help, but I don’t have thumbs. I know I’m a lucky dog to call the beach my backyard. Not many dogs have had the chance to feel the sand beneath their paws. But maybe if we all do our part, more dogs will have the chance to play in the sand with me. After all, I need help finding that buried treasure.

We only have one place to live. Why trash it? If everyone treated the beach like their own backyard, I think we would see a real difference in the world.

 

Nick & Kara Halleran - MAR Surf Exchange

Our core belief is that you can engage with the sport of surfing more deeply when you're riding equipment specifically designed for you that you've made yourself. In the same spirit, we believe that you will enjoy the benefits of the beautiful place we live more when you take an active part in making it better. 

Every place and situation has its own unique beauty. That beauty is always there, but often it's the activity of looking and doing your part to add to that beauty that allows you to become aware of it. We're all lucky to live in a place where the natural beauty is so self-evident and it is our responsibility to make sure that we add to that beauty rather than to detract from it. When you take ownership of your community, you take steps to make it better; that makes you more proud of your community and so the endless cycle of improvement that we are all called to is enacted!