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Lincoln Club of Orange County Nov 17, 2022 10:27:23 AM 7 min read

Inspiring Environmental Stewardship Through Thoughtful Policy And Projects

Member Spotlight: Jeff Meberg

Orange County, CA - November 17 - Orange County native with a penchant for protecting our land, Jeff Meberg loves his city, Laguna Beach, and intends to better it through logical principles. As Chairman of the Pacific Marine Mammal Center (PMMC), California’s first marine mammal rehabilitation facility whose mission is to inspire ocean stewardship, Meberg blends his philanthropic heart with his drive to improve environmental practices through the free market.

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Originally a developer gaining experience building waste recycling sites, Meberg’s interest in politics was sparked by dealing with permitting processes. His intention was to reduce environmental waste and improve recycling projects, but Meberg explained that he constantly ran into issues getting help down from the local level and all the way up to the top.

In Meberg’s experience, for example, he found that there wasn’t one Democratic politician who would help him get a permit with the California Environmental Protection Agency, or CalEPA, a state cabinet-level agency whose mission is “to restore, protect and enhance the environment, to ensure public health, environmental quality and economic vitality.”

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Everybody would talk about how the Dems are really big on environmental issues, but then they did nothing to help me create a process that would reduce environmental waste,” he recalled. “It was always Republicans. So I built my business up, sold it, and I just thought I’d like to kind of help the cause that I believe actually does good things for the state: which is the Republican cause.”

A resident of Laguna Beach, Meberg has found his niche championing the environmental cause locally at PMMC with hopes to make a statewide impact. In his experience, conservatism in Laguna Beach looks very different from many other places in Orange County. This might lead people to hide Republican viewpoints to fit in with a more socially liberal crowd, but Meberg was quick to point out that the origins of environmentalism stem from both conservative and Republican values.

Through his work as Chairman at PMMC, Meberg expressed that he seeks to keep the ocean clean and reduce the amount of microplastics in the water since the industries which overuse plastics are really harming the ocean and sea life.

Take the seals or sea lions as the canary in the coal mine. They’re eating fish, the fish are eating the plastics, and so the seals are getting sick,” he explained. “So we’re studying seals and proving just how microplastics are harming them.”
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Expanding on this train of thought, Meberg noted that a lot of the fish that the seals are eating happen to be the same fish that humans are eating which means that we’re also consuming plastics like seals are. This problem drives Meberg’s work at PMMC to try to educate the state about the horrors of microplastics and contamination in the water.


I think both parties should do it, but it would be great for Republicans to take the lead on trying to fix this with a more rational, fiscal mind. You can create legislation, you can influence the manufacturers and how they package things like that,” Meberg began. “I strongly believe that the free market can do a better job than the government.”

PMMC rescues stranded marine mammals, regularly hosts beach clean-ups, participates in the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program for promoting sustainably-caught fish, teaches conservationism by leading by example, researches human interaction’s effects on marine mammals, and provides local students with free educational opportunities such as their Pinniped Pollution Project where grade school students can learn about the rescue, rehabilitation, and release process for marine mammals.

Though Meberg was raised by a father who was a big fan of mid-20th century Republican thought leader Barry Goldwater, he believes that a major portion of his conservative values originate from his Norwegian immigrant grandfather. He explained that his immigrant family knew how to work hard, take care of themselves, do the right thing, and not expect any handouts in return. As he grew older and noticed that the Democrat party had more flaws than just passing out handouts, Meberg realized his tendency to think logically drew him into the environmental cause.

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Let’s logically create laws that make our world sustainable,” Meberg stated.

Early in President Trump’s time in the executive office, the former president faced widespread scrutiny for not signing the Paris Climate Accord. In Meberg’s opinion, despite not having been a huge Trump fan, he was impressed by President Trump’s bold move to not sign the agreement until countries much higher up on the list of world polluters signed the agreement first.

The United States was far down on the list of polluters in the world while China was the number one biggest polluter. Trump’s point was to make these countries reduce their emissions and then he’d sign it,” Meberg explained.

This logical approach to employing policies which better our planet is also what led Meberg to get involved with the Lincoln Club of Orange County. While attending one of the Freedom Forum events where Dennis Prager spoke, Meberg was introduced to Prager’s logic-based style of building an argument for the first time.

That blew me away, so I started following him online and other conservatives who would create logical arguments that make the world a better place. I thought to myself, I want to participate in that and so it seems like the best organization to do that in Orange County is the Lincoln Club,” Meberg shared.

Outside of his work with PMMC, Meberg also serves on Glennwood Housing Foundation’s Board of Directors, a local non-profit organization providing housing and services to developmentally or intellectually disabled adults and volunteers his time to LOCA Arts Education, a Laguna Beach nonprofit coalition which provides local arts education workshops to schools, special needs adults, after school clubs, youth shelters, library programs, and more.

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