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. This includes public beach cleanups and in-person volunteer meetings. That said, our important work continues… please use this page to explore the numerous “virtual” volunteer opportunities that further our mission to protect San Diego County’s ocean, waves, and beaches for all people.
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.
Feel free to scroll through the entire page, or if you know where you want to go, you can use the table of contents below.
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.
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.
- Due to public safety concerns and our inability to secure event permits during the pandemic, the program’s current focus is on solo cleanups – get the lowdown HERE (includes info re: community service hours)
- As part of the Solo Cleanup program, we’ve partnered with The Shed OB, San Diego Surf School, and Everyday California in La Jolla to create Beach Cleanup Supply Hubs where volunteers can conveniently pick up supplies and data sheets during business hours.
- If you would like to become a supply hub captain by soliciting and setting up a beach-adjacent storefront in your area, please contact BeachCleanups@SurfriderSD.org
- 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.
Ocean Friendly Restaurants
- Find our more about OFR HERE.
- OFR’s 2021 focus is the Ocean Friendly To-Go Program, whose aim is 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 linked introduction post and reach out to OFR@surfridersd.org with any questions.
- 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 email@example.com 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!
- 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
Rise Above Plastics (RAP)
- Find out about RAP HERE
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like more info!
- Students seeking an internship should email our Chapter Manager, Mitch Silverstein.
- 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.
- 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 email@example.com
- Have you heard of our Beachapedia website? It’s like Wikipedia for coastal issues and can serve as your coastal knowledge resource!
- Last but not least, a LIST of websites, books, movies etc. curated by Surfrider staff. Now is a great time to brush up on the issues!
- Digital Ocean Education/Activities for KIDS!
- The Beach & COVID-19: Understanding the Risks by Surfrider Staff Scientist Katie Day
- Surfing & Beach Access during the peak of COVID-19, a statement by The Surfrider Foundation
- Staying Healthy & Happy at Home, a resource guide by Ty Smith & the Surfrider staff