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By Carly Layne

Surf & SUP: Ride the Wave

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 You may have heard about the Surfrider Foundation a lot recently. It’s been continuously gaining momentum over the years, and now, it’s bigger than ever. Sounds cool—what is it?

The Surfrider Foundation is a grassroots non-profit environmental organization that’s doing a world of good. The foundation mostly focuses on major issues such as water quality, beach access, marine and coastal ecosystems, and preserving beach and surf spots.

 It was Founded in 1984 by a handful of visionary surfers in Malibu, California to protest threats to their local surf break at Malibu Point. The mission was quite simple—to keep the protection and enjoyment of the oceans, waves and beaches.

 The Surfrider Foundation doesn’t want there to be any confusion and have folks thinking that they want to put a velvet rope around the beach. The Surfrider group are surfers, beach goers, and watermen and women. They are engaged with environmental issues that affect the coastlines.

Volunteers and staff have put together a number of programs to help protect the coast and environmental awareness issues. Some of these programs include:

Respect the Beach - A coastal education program that’s meant to inform students.

Beach Access - Surfrider Foundation promotes the right of low-impact, free and open access to the world's waves and beaches for all people. Part of the Surfrider Foundation’s goal is to preserve this right of access.

Blue Water Task Force - An all-volunteer led monitoring program that tests and reports on coastal water quality. The Surfrider Foundation’s chapters use the BWTF program to alert citizens and officials in their communities about water quality problems, and they work together toward solutions.

Ocean Protection - The Ocean Protection Program protects and restores ocean ecosystems through a proactive approach to conservation and education.

Ocean Friendly Gardens - Is an outreach program designed to reduce urban runoff and residential water consumption. OFG educates and assists people in creating landscapes that utilize native plants, create wildlife habitats and design beautiful spaces.

Rise Above Plastics - Is an educational program designed to raise awareness and reduce the amount of plastic pollution in marine environments.

Know Your H20 - Is a program designed to educate people on the link between freshwater management issues. The Know Your H20 Program promotes education and action regarding the interconnections between water supply, urban runoff and waste water treatment. It’s based on the simple mantra: reduce, reuse and recycle.

Quad: Youth Outreach Program - Launched in 2008 by the Surfrider Foundation, the QUAD youth service began in response to overwhelming interest across the country from the younger generation that wished to become more involved in Surfrider Foundation’s activities on their campuses and communities. The activities Quad range from beach clean ups, to eliminating single use plastics on-campus.

 There are currently 90 Surfrider chapters worldwide located along the US East, West, Gulf of Mexico, Hawaiian and Puerto Rico coasts.

Notable members and supporters include actors Jeff Bridges and Woody Harrelson, and musicians Bruce Johnston (The Beach Boys), Jason Mraz, Tristan Prettyman and Eddie Vedder.

The Surfrider Foundation success so far could have only be done through a powerful activist network. It started out small, and now maintains over 50,000 members. It consists of surfers, activists, kids, moms, dads, teens, and more—and it can consist of you. You can be a member by joining at this link here:

Cheers to a cleaner, greener environment!

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