The Surfrider Foundation is a grassroots nonprofit environmental organization dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of oceans, waves and beaches through a powerful activist network.


The Surfrider Foundation was started in 1984, by a group of visionary surfers from Malibu, California. Today, the organization maintains over 250,000 members, supporters and activists with 84 chapters in the United States and affiliates in over 20 countries worldwide. Surfrider Foundation chapters and affiliates are now established throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe, Australia, Japan, Hong Kong, Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Jamaica and Morocco. Our global headquarters is based in San Clemente, California.


Surfrider is involved in a variety of programs aimed at protecting our coastal ecosystems, based on the parameters outlined in our mission statement. Our campaigns and programs are developed to support our strategic goals and initiatives: Clean Water, Beach Access, Beach Preservation, and Protecting Special Places.


With nearly 70 miles of coastline to protect, the Surfrider Foundation San Diego County Chapter is one of the largest and most active chapters in the world.  We are a grassroots organization, which means the people working to protect our local oceans, waves and beaches are volunteers who care about San Diego and want to make a difference.


We strive to be a strong voice in the community, and we are even stronger when we have more voices. If you are interested in getting more involved, please do! Your local beach and break deserve your input and the Surfrider Foundation is the perfect vehicle for your voice. Even if you don’t have a lot of time to help, simply joining really helps our cause.

Volunteer Now


Julia Chunn-Heer

Policy Manager

Julia is a graduate of UCLA, and has been working with the Surfrider Foundation since 2007, including a venture as the General Manager of Surfrider Australia. She grew up surfing in San Diego, giving her a passion to protect the coastline for future generations.

Caroline Canter

Chapter Coordinator

Caroline attended the University of North Carolina at Asheville where she received a degree in Environmental Management and Policy.  Before relocating to California, she worked with a variety of environmental nonprofits focused around water conservation and policy.  She is an avid kayaker and outdoor adventurer.

Mark West


After spending twenty-four years as a US Naval Officer, Mark officially “came” out of the environmental closet. He resides in Imperial Beach with his wife Megan and their two four-legged children Dublin and Zoe.

Sunshine Johnson

Executive Committee Member & Vice Chair

Sunshine is a second generation San Diego Native, and has been a part of Surfrider’s powerful activist network since 2006. Whether working with students as a professional during the day, or just meeting someone for the first time, Sunshine shares her passion of the importance to protect our oceans, waves, and beaches with everyone she meets.

Brian Slattery

Executive Committee Member

Brian is a Captain with the Fire Department where he has worked for the past 13 years and prior to that was a Project Manager in Commercial Construction.    His passion for the ocean and environment inspired him to become an activist with Surfrider so all future generations can share in the diversity and health of our oceans.

Arlo Hitzemann

Executive Committee Member

Arlo moved to California in 2007 where he developed his love for the ocean, waves, and beaches and the lifestyle surrounding them. After transferring from the Monterey Chapter, he became a core volunteer in the San Diego County Chapter and created many designs for various programs and events. It only took one cleanup at Goat Canyon to get hooked on the No Border Sewage (NoBS) program where he serves as a liaison for the Executive Committee. Outside of Surfrider, Arlo is a Graphic Designer and likes to explore new surf spots along San Diego’s beautiful 70-mile coastline.

Jake Sneeden

Executive Committee Member

Jake is a native New Englander who moved to San Diego in 2014 after being drawn to the region by its 70 miles of beaches and rich surfing history. He was elected to Surfrider San Diego’s Executive Committee after two years working with the Beach Preservation Committee on public engagement and media outreach campaigns.

Emily Little


Emiy grew up in Northern California, attended college in Colorado, then took two years off from school to teach English in Thailand, work on the mountain at Mammoth ski resort, and become a divemaster in Honduras. She is an avid adventurer and ocean enthusiast, and she is extremely excited to be dedicating her time to Surfrider’s environmental efforts here in San Diego.

Michael Torti

Executive Committee Member

Michael was born and raised in San Diego where he developed  an interest  and compassion for the environment living along the Cleveland National Forest. After studying Political Science at SDSU he discovered Surfrider’s Rise Above Plastics Committee and was immediately drawn to the mission. In two years Michael has had the support of Surfrider volunteers to work on and succeed in passing local plastic bag and  Polystyrene ordinances in San Diego County cities, as well as worked with the RAP committee to develop the Ocean Friendly Restaurants program.