SURFING LAGUNA: People who surf: Roger Butow

Oak Street in Laguna is great place to live if you’re a surfer, partly because of all the notable surfers who now live on or have graced these streets over the years.

One of the classic surfers you’ll find on Oak is Roger Butow. In addition to being an accomplished waterman, he is a champion of keeping the surf clean for all to enjoy.

He founded Clean Water Now! and spearheads all types of clean-up efforts throughout Orange County such as the Adopt-A-Beach quarterly beach clean-ups and the Oak Street Surf Jam coming up this March 8.

He’s full of fire and passion when it comes to protecting Laguna’s coastline and is always ready to explain complex environmental issues to simple folks like me.


He’s part philosopher, sage, mad scientist, comedian and tough guy — all required elements in keeping his sanity when dealing with city, state and federal agencies regarding our precious beaches and watersheds.

Roger is also one of those (seemingly rare) leaders that get down and dirty too, out with the troops on the clean-up days or spending time educating our local kids.

I appreciate Roger going to bat for our coastlines and providing Laguna residents, especially our youth, with opportunities to get involved in keeping our Laguna coastline beautiful.

Thanks, Roger!


To learn more about Roger’s efforts and how you/your kids can get involved, check out his website:

CHRIS WILLIAMS is the father of four surf-crazy sons, a surfing coach and Laguna Beach resident. He can be reached at or (949) 497-5918.