MISSION

The Surfrider Foundation is dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of ocean, waves and beaches through a powerful activist network.

HISTORY

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.

GLOBALLY

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.

LOCALLY

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.

USE YOUR VOICE

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.

OUR LOCAL TEAM

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 began her career in the nonprofit realm with a river conservancy while working on her Environmental Management degree from UNC-Asheville. She has since worked for a variety of enviro nonprofit organizations, bringing a strong background in environmental, nonprofit and volunteer management to the Chapter.  Caroline is an avid kayaker, rock climber and all around outdoor enthusiast.

Dana Williams

Development Manager

A Canadian native, Dana joined Surfrider in late 2016 after an extensive career in fundraising, cause marketing and sponsorship activation.  Dana is passionate about the environment and doing her part to protect it for future generations. One of her favorite quotes is: “If not us, who? If not now, when?” When she’s not helping individuals and companies make an impact, she loves hanging out with her husband and two daughters, ideally at the beach.

Michael Torti

Executive Committee Chair

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.

Mitch Silverstein

Executive Committee Vice Chair

Mitch is a native Californian with a love for all things ocean, wave & beach-related.  As an activist, he a.) strives to raise awareness of how our everyday choices affect the ocean & planet, and b.) advocates for sensible environmental policy at a local level.  His ultimate goal is to see good environmental stewardship become mainstream, even “cool.”  Mitch previously led the Rise Above Plastics committee, where he helped achieve several policy victories and expanded the Ocean Friendly Restaurants program. When not fighting the good fight, Mitch is usually dancing around on roller skates, catching waves, or generally acting like a giant manchild.  But don’t let the goofy exterior fool you; the dude is dead serious when it comes to protecting the ocean for future generations to enjoy!

Eunique Deeann

Executive Committee Secretary

 

Udo Wahn

Executive Committee Member

Udo grew up in the small village of Sayville along the shores of the Great South Bay separating Long Island, NY from Fire Island and the Atlantic Ocean. His environmental activism dates to the time of the 1969 Santa Barbara Oil Spill. This horrific event sparked a great movement in environmentalism. He joined Surfrider Foundation in the 80’s. Udo is a retired physician. He penned the Cabo and Coral series of books with aloha for the ocean-minded child. These books are chock full of environmental messages. He is also a supporter of Reef Check Foundation, Heal the Bay, and the Helen Woodward Animal Center.

Ryan Espinoza

Executive Committee Member

Ryan is a designer, entrepreneur, and aspiring Labrador retriever. By day he turns clicks into dollars creating marketing campaigns, consulting startups, and designing memorable experiences through art & pixels. An avid surfer and music junkie, legend has it he spends weekends chasing waves and DJ’ing parties in remote parts of Mexico. Ryan believes no amount of tacos are too many, that curiosity is the spirit of youth, and as a society we are only as strong as our weakest link.

Matthew McConaughey is his spirit animal.

 

Laura Walsh

Executive Committee Member

Laura grew up in the Mojave Desert, but her first science project was inspired by a visit to the tidepools near Scripps pier. After studying political science and working in public relations in Los Angeles, she returned full circle to the Scripps Institution of Oceanography to study how pollution affects coastal water quality. She now works for the San Diego Regional Climate Collaborative, where she helps public agencies advance climate-smart stormwater management strategies. Laura is stoked to be collecting data on ocean health by riding a Smartfin, and to be supporting the Blue Water Task Force in monitoring water quality and raising public awareness about coastal water pollution.

Abby Caschetta

Executive Committee Member

Growing up on the East coast, Abby spent most of her days outdoors exploring the forests, mountains, estuaries and beaches of Maryland. She obtained a B.S. in Biology at St. Mary’s College of Maryland and an M.S. in Applied Ecology and Conservation Biology from Frostburg State University. Since then, Abby has worked in the nonprofit space for more than 15 years, which includes working with Surfrider for the past two years as well as volunteering at the Annual Art Gala. Abby is excited to expand her role and connect her passion for fundraising with her love of the environment.

Bobbi-Jo Dobush

Executive Committee Member

Bobbi-Jo is ocean-obsessed, curious, strategic, Canadian, and a career nomad who has found a home by the sea in San Diego. She’s a lawyer, diver, and writer-painter-maker as well as a budding surfer and passionate marine conservationist. The world’s wild places bring her joy and she hopes to inspire ways for herself and others to share and protect what they love. She’s honored to help Surfrider share how healthy oceans matter to each of us and loves her work with the South Bay Clean Water/No Border Sewage team who dare to imagine and support a solution for a clean Tijuana River Valley.

Suzie Setzler

Executive Committee Member

Suzie is a California native that recently moved back to the area after both her and her family spent a little over a decade in Honolulu, Hawaii. As a fellow ocean lover, she knew she wanted to contribute more to protecting it and joined Surfrider San Diego several years ago as an active volunteer with the STOP Coastal Climate Impact committee member. It was within this committee, that she and other Surfrider members, had the opportunity to train on Climate Change with the Climate Reality Leadership group and Al Gore. Understanding the political climate in which we are now facing threatening years of progressive forward movement, Suzie is more than eager to help join the good fight in protecting our oceans. In her free time, she enjoys road trips with her family, a good concert, maybe a little yoga and playing with her 3 dogs (Lily, Blue and Gucci Gus) and her 2 cats (Luna and Mochiko Chicken, aka Chicken)

Mikaela Bolling

Executive Committee Member

Mikaela was born in Alaska where she grew up loving the outdoors. However, it wasn’t until she moved to Hawaii that she truly fell in love with the ocean. Mikaela has a communications background in clean energy and environmental conservation and works for an environmental nonprofit, Center for Sustainable Energy, where she manages their local policy and research initiative, the Equinox Project. Mikaela’s excited to be on the Executive Committee and to be working with an influential organization that has a direct impact on the health of our oceans and the sustainability of our region.

Maria McGregor

Executive Committee Member

Maria is a San Diego native, growing up in Leucadia and learning to surf at age 13. She has a passion for surfing, clean water and beaches, which aligns perfectly with Surfrider’ mission. She earned a bachelor’s degree in public relations from Hawaii Pacific University and has been working in the profession for 12 years. She has volunteered to help clean beaches through Surfrider Foundation for many years, and more recently she found a deeper passion to get involved with raising awareness of and advocating against local pollution issues. Maria supports the Rise Above Plastics program.