San Diego County Chapter


Champions of Surf & Sand

Surfrider is a community of everyday people who passionately protect our playground – the ocean, waves, and beaches that provide us so much enjoyment.

Our volunteers are the lifeblood of the Surfrider Foundation. Join our network and help us tackle the issues that face our ocean, waves and beaches.

Events & COVID-19:

Out of concern for the safety of our volunteers and community, Surfrider has canceled the vast majority of our in-person events (and volunteer opportunities related to those events) until further notice. We recommend that everyone #stayhomeshredsafely during these uncertain times, and especially ask that our local surf and beach communities do their part to recreate responsibly, and respect physical distancing for the sake of public health. We look forward to joining you in the water once this is all over. In the meantime, we will use this page to post the numerous virtual volunteer opportunities that further our mission to protect and enjoy our ocean, waves and beaches! 

Monthly Volunteer Committee Meetings

  • The majority of our committee meetings have moved to virtual and we encourage everyone interested to join in – on a positive note, you don’t even need to get in your car and drive anywhere! Please see our Events Calendar for current meeting schedule + virtual join information.


Core Volunteer Orientation

  • Are you interested in volunteering with our chapter, but not sure where to start? Join us for a Core Volunteer Orientataion. These orientations help you learn more about what our chapter does and what programs you might be interested in!
  • During the pandemic, we will be hosting these meetings online via ZOOM. Advance registration is required. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

General & Creative

  • Graphic Design – we rely on volunteers for most of our digital and print assets (flyers, brochures, etc.) Please email mitch@surfridersd.org if you would like to donate your design expertise to a great cause.
    • Currently, we’d like to design PSA type signs & banners with thoughtful anti-single use plastics messaging & post them in high traffic beach areas. It’s one small way to create positive messaging at our beaches while we’re unable to host beach cleanups and events.
      • Examples of previous (and editable) banners can be found HERE
      • We’re totally open to handmade signage too (after all, we are a grassroots org!)
    • Our Ocean Friendly Restaurants (OFR) Program is designing PSAs for registered OFRs to place in their windows
      • “straws and utensils upon request only” 
      • “We accept reusable containers for takeout” – or something to that effect. Find out more about the CA law that allows customers to BYO containers HERE  

Ocean Friendly Restaurants

  • Request a Volunteer Resource Package and receive tools including email templates and step-by-step guides for reaching out to new restaurants and performing compliance checks.  Please email vicki@surfridersd.org for more information. 
  • Recruiting & compliance checks paused until after the pandemic, as we know our restaurant community is suffering to make ends meet right now. We are open to any ideas for how we can support our OFR community at this time! 

Rise Above Plastics (RAP)

  • Our RAP Committee is currently seeking volunteer policy advocates to act as liaisons to various cities in San Diego County. RAP volunteers have worked behind the scenes to help enact over 10 single-use plastic reduction policies countywide, in coastal cities from Imperial Beach to Oceanside. For the first time in over 10 years of tireless local plastic pollution policy advocacy, we’re seeing a snowball effect taking place – inland cities are reaching out to us for assistance in enacting plastic reduction policies similar to the ones their coastal neighbors have passed! These are exciting times for plastic reduction, but we need passionate volunteers who live in or near these cities and are willing to dive in. The good news is, we will pair you with an experienced volunteer who can help you become a full-on plastic pollution policy advocate! If that sounds cool, please email rap@surfirdersd.org.
  • If you’d like to do a little more research, check out our Rise Above Plastics page and join our next RAP Committee meeting on the third Tuesday of every month! 

Beach Preservation & Access Monitoring

  • Our Beach Pres Committee seeks volunteers to help monitor the agendas of city councils and planning commissions + regional and state agencies like SANDAG, the SD Water Authority, etc. for items that relate to the protection of our ocean, waves and beaches. By serving as an Agenda Monitor, you can help our staff and volunteer policy team do the critical work of protecting our coastline from bad projects which jeopardize our beaches, our surf sports, and our public access! Please email lauraw@surfridersd.org if you’d like to know more.
  • Illegal Red Curb Tracking – we’ve been receiving tips of potential illegal red curbs in coastal communities, and could use help withe tracking, verifying, and ultimately reporting these barriers to equitable beach access. Email kristin@surfridersd.org if you’d like more info! 


If you are a student seeking an internship, please email our Chapter Manager, Mitch Silverstein. As a primarily volunteer chapter, we can only offer a very limited amount of internships to students who will a.) receive academic credit for their work, and b.) who are qualified to manage the majority of their project within our chapter’s mission scope. Otherwise, we will classify you as a volunteer.

#StayHomeShredLater Resources