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San Diego County Chapter

Volunteer

Champions of Surf & Sand

Surfrider is a community of everyday people who volunteer their time to passionately protect our ocean, waves, and beaches. Our volunteers are the lifeblood of the Surfrider Foundation.
You can join our network and help tackle the issues that face our ocean, waves, and beaches.

Scroll down to see our entire list of programs and learn what they do.
Or click the program you want to explore below:

Core Volunteer Orientation

  • Are you interested in volunteering with our chapter, but not sure where to start? Join us for a Core Volunteer Orientation. These orientations help you learn more about what our chapter does and what programs you might be interested in.
  • Our volunteer orientations are offered as a service to help you better understand the Surfrider mission, structure, and our current chapter programs and opportunities. It is NOT required, nor is it a prerequisite to attend other meetings or engage as volunteer.
  • We will be hosting these meetings online via ZOOM. Advance registration is required. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email with the ZOOM link.
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Volunteer Committee Meetings

The majority of our committee meetings are virtual or hybrid. No registration or prerequisites requirements, if you’re interested in the topic we encourage you to join!

Please see our Events Calendar for current meeting schedule + virtual join information.

Beach Cleanups

  • Details on our 2022 cleanups can be found on our Beach Cleanups landing page and our chapter Events Calendar.
  • With monthly cleanups back online, we are looking for 1-2 volunteer “Site Captains” for our monthly Imperial Beach cleanups. Other locations will be considered too.
  • We are always seeking volunteers to assist with beach cleanup data tallies via our online database and countywide spreadsheet. Community service hours are available for this task.
  • Please direct ALL cleanup-related inquiries to BeachCleanups@SurfriderSD.org

Ocean Friendly Restaurants

  • Find our more about OFR HERE.
  • 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.
    • Surfrider recently updated the OFR criteria (we’re calling it OFR 2.0 internally), which means we have a good deal of outreach and compliance checks to do with our 100+ existing OFRs. Plus, new restaurants are signing up again now that people are dining out again. We could use help in this area! 
  • We continue to focus on our Ocean Friendly To-Go Program, which aims to provide a convenient, zero waste takeout option for restaurants and their ocean-minded customers. As with any new program, Ocean Friendly To-Go’s success will hinge on the work of motivated volunteers to do outreach, create engaging content, and get restaurants and customers on board! Check out the OFTG webpage and/or reach out to OFR@surfridersd.org with any questions.  

Rise Above Plastics (RAP)

  • Find out about RAP HERE
  • Our RAP Committee is currently seeking volunteer policy advocates to act as Surfrider representatives in various cities in San Diego County. RAP volunteers have worked behind the scenes to help enact over a dozen single-use plastic reduction policies countywide, in 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@surfridersd.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

  • 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 mitch@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 with tracking, verifying, and ultimately reporting these barriers to equitable beach access. Email kristin@surfridersd.org if you’d like more info! 
  • If you witness what you believe to be illegal coastal armoring, development, or blockage of public beach access in San Diego County, please email beachpres@surfridersd.org if you’d like assistance looking into it. 

 

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Climate Change 

Climate change is one of the greatest threats to face our ocean. Our climate change committee works on issues from building electrification to wetland restoration.

Learn about our Climate Change committee HERE

Clean Border Water Now

As a direct response to the water quality crisis plaguing our southern coastline, this committee works bi-nationally and within South SD’s communities to raise awareness to the water quality problems, and call folks to action. This committee works with local, state, and federal representatives to advocate for a solution to the transboundary pollution in the TRV.

  • Learn more about the Clean Border Water Now (CBWN) campaign HERE.
  • For any questions about the committee please contact: CBWN@surfridersd.org.
San Diego water quality

 

 

 

 

 

Blue Water Task Force

  • The Blue Water Task Force (BWTF) is our volunteer-run water testing, education, and advocacy program.
  • Learn more about BWTF HERE! 

Internships

  • Students seeking an internship should email our Chapter Manager, Alex Ferron.
  • As a primarily volunteer chapter with only 2 full-time staff, our capacity to manage interns is extremely limited and the Dept. of Labor requirements are somewhat stringent.
  • To qualify for an internship, a student must:
    • receive academic credit for their work and include all relevant course paperwork at time of request
    • be sufficiently qualified to manage the majority of their project within our chapter’s mission scope (usually a better fit for grad students, etc)
    • If you are an undergrad looking to gain experience in coastal advocacy and activism, the best way to do is by volunteering with our chapter (and you’re already on the right page!). A dedicated Surfrider volunteer can gain experience that equals or surpasses that of an academic internship. Indeed, many volunteers have ended up working professionally in the non-profit environmental field thanks to their experience as a Surfrider volunteer. 

Other Resources

Take a Surfrider University Training Course! SFU is aimed at providing interactive learning and development opportunities to the whole chapter network, to increase the knowledge and skills of individual activists and increase the effectiveness of our chapter network. If you experience any login issues, please email aferron@surfrider.sandiego.org

Have you heard of our Beachapedia website? It’s like Wikipedia for coastal issues and can serve as your coastal knowledge resource! 

Digital Ocean Education/Activities for KIDS!

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