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Larry Gray Environmental Sciences Scholarship

Larry Gray OBX

Our chapter is dedicated to protecting our local ocean, waves, beaches, waterways, and engaging the next generation of coastal defenders.

To honor the memory of Larry Gray, the Outer Banks Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation is proud to offer and award scholarships to individuals who are planning to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in an environmental/natural science field. 

About Larry Gray

Larry inspired a generation of surfers on the Outer Banks. He traveled the world in search of surfing hot spots and in pursuit of that perfect wave, bringing home stories that others would go on to emulate. During the mid-1970s he lived for two winters on the famous Hawaiian North Shore, surfing Sunset Beach alongside legendary surf icon Eddie Aikau. Perhaps one of his biggest achievements in the world of surfing came in 1970, when he won the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Centennial Surf Competition, performing a perfect front-side 360 during his set to edge out the challengers. His brothers Tony and Ronnie say that some of their own best moments while surfing were alongside their Big Kahuna brother Larry.

Larry’s love of running led him to organize the first annual Nags Head Woods 5K Run in 1982. A major goal of the race was to allow folks from all walks of life to experience the beauty of the Nags Head Woods and hopefully turn their eye toward its preservation. The Nature Conservancy Nags Head Woods Preserve is a regular beneficiary of a portion of the run’s profits. In 1996, a Coastland Times article said of Larry that the “tone of the run might be said to be an extension of his personality.”

In addition to starting the 5K, Larry’s love of conservancy, athleticism, and surfing led him to help found the Outer Banks Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation in 1993. An organization that still helps preserve these shores to this day, the Surfrider Foundation has taken on issues such as water quality and offshore energy while striving to give back to the community via scholarship programs and beach clean-ups. Larry also pursued other conservation efforts by serving as a board member for the Nags Head Woods Preserve and, early on in his professional career, as a park ranger for the Cape Hatteras National Seashore (U.S. National Park Service).

Scholarship applicants must meet the following criteria to be eligible for consideration:

  • Must be enrolled in a Dare County High School
  • Must be a current high school senior
  • Preference will be given to individuals who are pursuing a career in an environmental science or a natural science profession such as Environmental Science, Natural Resources, Rangeland Management, Environmental Policy, Fish or Wildlife Management, Biology, Botany, Zoology, or other related fields. 
  • Have demonstrated interest or activities related to environmental or natural sciences.
  • It’s a plus to have interests in surfing, kayaking, and the enjoyment of the ocean. 
  • Along with each scholarship, a 1-year membership to the Surfrider Foundation will be awarded. 

Scholarship applications may be obtained from your school’s guidance center. Completed applications and supporting documentation must be submitted to your guidance office per your school’s scholarship deadline policy.

Please address all scholarships to:

Larry Gray Environmental Sciences Scholarship Award

Surfrider Foundation Outer Banks Chapter

PO BOX 1576

Kill Devil Hills, NC 27948

Surfrider Foundation’s Mission: A powerful activist network dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of the world’s oceans, waves and beaches.

In loving memory of Larry Gray

An ocean warrior, loving community member and dedicated Surfrider.

Your memory lives on in Surfrider Foundation.

Rest in Peace.