The holidays are a perfect time to give back to your community and make a difference in the world. It’s a chance to look outside of yourself and give to others. In fact, that’s the entire reason for the season.
With that in mind, we thought we’d highlight one of our favorite charity organizations—the Surfrider Foundation—and then give you ideas for getting involved and helping out. After all, there’s never been a better time to take care of our environment than now.
The Surfrider Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of the world’s ocean, waves, and beaches. It does this through a powerful activist network that brings awareness to the many issues that face our oceans and helps raise money for critical support areas.
With a staff of over 50 people, the Surfrider Foundation has multiple chapters all over the U.S. that champion policy to help our coasts. They all share a common passion for our ocean, waves, and beaches. In fact, at any given moment, the Foundation has dozens of campaigns that are actively working to protect our environment. There are campaigns for ensuring ocean health, keeping pollution out of the water, and making sure every beach is clean and accessible.
Over the last three decades, the Surfrider Foundation has had a great track record of success with almost 500 victories for beaches across the U.S. Here’s how they’ve helped.
Beaches are a beautiful and dynamic landscape that require our protection for the future. Shorelines along every coast are in danger of development, structural issues, and pollution. Surfrider’s Coastal Preservation projects help with the constant struggle of eroding shorelines and shrinking beaches by proactively addressing threats.
Volunteers work to establish “setback” lines for structures on the beach, conduct dune restoration, and make informed decisions in regards to coastal development. In fact, some of the most impactful work is being done in regards to environmental policy and legal work to preserve shrinking coastlines.
Beaches are our access to the ocean, which is why Surfrider has a Beach Access initiative to ensure that all beaches remain accessible. Campaigns under this initiative actively fight for beach access in places where private owners have cut off publically-used coastal access.
Plastic pollution is a huge danger to the marine environment. Litter can be found on beaches, streets, and sidewalks that all eventually lead to the ocean at alarming rates. The Surfrider Foundation encourages global reduction of plastic use and advocates for the reduction of single-use plastics everywhere. They do this through many grassroots efforts in communities throughout the U.S.
Improving water quality is one of the Surfrider Foundation’s main missions. They do this through the Clean Water initiative by testing water for bacteria and toxins, raising public awareness, and finding solutions to ocean pollution. Their initiatives work to protect coastal waterways, communities, and wildlife through the Blue Water Task Force (BWTF) and Ocean Friendly Gardens (OFG).
The BWTF is a volunteer-run water testing, education, and advocacy program about water quality for beach communities. The OFG project helps local communities create water gardens that conserve water and wildlife habitat.
The Surfrider Foundation works to protect our ocean and address the dangers facing it. The Ocean Protection initiative includes grassroots campaigns to establish and support Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), stop offshore oil drilling and seismic testing, participate in regional ocean planning, and ensure that renewable energy does not cause harm.
The Surfrider Foundation has a highly active network of chapter volunteers in coastal communities across the U.S. Each chapter serves as boots on the ground to carry out local missions through campaigns, programs, and educational initiatives in their communities. If you’d like to become a coastal defender, putting your passion for the ocean into lasting protection, there are many ways to get involved.
Right now, there are over a dozen initiatives that need your voice. You can take action right from your computer by contacting your elected officials on important issues in California, New Jersey, Narragansett, Nassau, and more. You can use your voice to reduce single-use plastic in Los Angeles, to protect the coasts from harmful algal blooms, and more.
Attend an Event
You can also get involved by attending a Surfrider Foundation event and coming together with other like-minded people to protect our ocean, waves, and beaches. There’s the One Ocean event, International Coastal Cleanup Day, and International Surfing Day.
The Surfrider Foundation is always looking for more volunteers to help. Sign up to be a volunteer at your nearest Chapter or Club in your community.
Money helps the world go round and it’s vital to helping the Surfrider Foundation have a big impact. You can help the cause with your donation, small or large, or by signing up to be a fundraiser and turning your passion into action. Learn how you can raise money today.