Samantha Siegel grew up between two homes: one in Rockville, Maryland and one on a tiny island in the Bahamas called Harbour Island. At three miles long and one mile across, it was mostly undiscovered by the hordes of tourists looking for the perfect paradise. To Samantha, and everyone else who was lucky enough to call that island home, it was the last little bit of heaven on earth. She currently lives in Charleston, South Carolina—a perfect blend of the suburbs of DC and the tiny island in the Bahamas that she grew up on.
Samantha became an activist when an historic 1400-year-old live oak tree, called the Angel Oak, became threatened by a large development. She founded the organization “Save the Angel Oak” to protect the beloved tree on Johns Island, through the preservation of surrounding forests and wetlands. Founded in 2008, they successfully built a grassroots campaign that culminated in over 10,000 donations from people all over the world, and raised over $5.9 million. “Save the Angel Oak” purchased 36 acres of land surrounding the tree, which is now forever protected via conservation easements. Samantha also worked for the Sierra Club as a Conservation and Development Coordinator in South Carolina and for National Sierra Club as a Clean Energy Campaign Organizer, which culminated in the passage of solar energy legislation in the state. Samantha is beyond excited to use the knowledge that she has acquired in her previous campaigns to work tirelessly toward protecting her first true love—the ocean.