Surfrider Foundation's ocean protection program
The Ocean Protection Program protects and restores ocean ecosystems through a proactive approach to conservation. Our core areas of work include: Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), Offshore Drilling, Renewable Ocean Energy, and Marine Spatial Planning. Please see below for more information.
Marine Protected Areas
Marine protected areas function as safe havens for marine life and provide areas where the ocean can rebuild and restore itself. Scientific research shows that marine protected areas (MPAs) can boost the abundance, diversity, and size of marine species living within their borders.
As a grassroots organization, Surfrider is engaged in both the planning and implementation of MPAs and fully protected marine reserves around the country. Marine protected areas protect some of the best surfing spots in the country, from the California coast to the Hawaiian Islands and from the Florida Keys to Oregon. These underwater parks enhance the overall experience of a variety of coastline activities by protecting biodiversity, wildlife abundance, and scenic viewsheds. Thriving protected areas provide a richer environment for kayaking, diving, tidepooling and birdwatching.
Ocean-lovers from all walks of life came together to create marine protected areas because MPAs have been proven to enhance the resilience of ocean ecosystems to withstand cumulative impacts of human and natural stressors (e.g., pollution, coastal development, fishing pressure, climate change, etc.). Experience from around the world shows that the success of MPAs depends in part on local understanding and support for the designation. By providing outreach to ocean users and engaging citizens in planning and stewardship efforts, Surfrider chapters play an important role in ensuring the long-term success of these designations.
The Surfrider Foundation is opposed to offshore oil drilling in new areas. Our nation’s oceans, waves and beaches are vital recreational, economic and ecological treasures that will be polluted by an increase in offshore oil drilling. Instead of advocating for transient and environmentally harmful ways to meet America’s oil needs, Surfrider believes we should seek a comprehensive and environmentally sustainable energy plan that includes energy conservation. See Surfrider's Fact Sheet on offshore drilling.
Surfrider's Not the Answer campaign is focused on protecting our coasts from the risky practice of new offshore drilling through grassroots advocacy at the federal and state levels. Our chapter efforts included participation in Hands Across the Sand, an annual event where citizens join hands at beaches around the world to say no to offshore drilling and yes to clean energy. The primary goal of our Not the Answer campaign is to reinstate the federal moratorium on new drilling that was in place for decades until President Bush lifted it in 2008 and Congress subsequently allowed a federal ban on drilling to expire. For more information on Surfrider's Not the Answer campaign, please visit: http://www.surfrider.org/campaigns/entry/not-the-answer-offshore-oil-drilling
Renewable Ocean Energy
Renewable Ocean Energy refers to sustainable means of generating electrical power that do not involve burning fossil fuels. Potential sources of energy in the ocean include solar, wind, waves, tides and geothermal energy.
In recent years, there has been a surge of interest in the development of these industries. Numerous projects have been proposed – and in some cases implemented - throughout the U.S. and world, encompassing a broad range of designs and locations.
The Surfrider Foundation recognizes that technologies that utilize ocean waves, tides, currents and wind may offer important benefits as renewable sources of energy that will reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. These alternative energy sources may also provide economic development through a cutting-edge industry for coastal communities.
Surfrider also recognizes that there are many questions and concerns about ocean energy, including potential impacts to ocean recreation, nearshore ecology, coastal processes, public safety, aesthetics, and fishing access.
The Surfrider Foundation has developed a Policy on Renewable Ocean Energy that articulates as set of ‘best practices’ for evaluating or planning for potential projects.
- Participation of recreational ocean users
- Public outreach and education
- Mapping and data collection of non-consumptive uses
- Dialogue with other stakeholder groups
Marine Protected Areas:
Ocean Energy Issues:
Marine Spatial Planning:
Regional Ocean Conservation Programs:
September 19 2015
A new short film spotlights the growing movement to protect the Atlantic coast from oil drilling. Filmed on location in North Carolina, the film features interviews with Surfrider chapter leaders and beautiful coastal scenery.
August 10 2015
A surfboard is gathering signatures as it travels the length of the Atlantic Coast to show opposition to new offshore drilling and seismic testing in the Atlantic and Eastern Gulf of Mexico.
August 06 2015
Surfrider Foundation’s attendance at this renowned conference is just one of the many ways Surfrider is beginning to engage more actively on climate change adaptation work. While adaptation work is still in its infancy across the nation, Surfrider, via its national chapter network, is poised to help agencies, local governments and communities address serious coastal impacts of climate change. More specifically, Surfrider is ramping up our efforts to educate the public, decision-makers, and to strategically advocate for adaptation policies and plans.
July 28 2015
Surfrider’s Cape Fear Chapter helped pass a resolution in Wilmington, North Carolina against proposed offshore drilling off the Atlantic coast.
June 25 2015
Tracking the Plains Refugio oil spill has been like riding a rickety, roller coaster. Since “Day 1” Surfrider has been following the twists and turns of the spill—desperately trying to ‘make sense of the events’ by researching exactly what happened and analyzing how to avoid a similar travesty in the future. It’s been five weeks since the oil began spewing, and unfortunately, concrete information and answers regarding the spill are still very muddied.
June 05 2015
A new short film explores efforts to protect the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast coast from future development. Featuring beautiful scenery from Virginia to Maine, the film makes a compelling case for beachgoers, surfers, and others to engage in ocean planning.
June 05 2015
Oregon’s wild and untamed coastline has inspired great passion and intrigue for many recreational users and visitors to this special place. Oregonians draw deep connections to protecting what they love and no other place exemplifies this more for ocean users than Oswald West State Park and the Cape Falcon Marine Reserve.
June 02 2015
Since May 29th, 2015 oil globs have been found along southern California (concentrated near Ventura, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach, Santa Monica, Malibu, Zuma Beach and Venice Beach). Surfrider Staff and volunteers have been corresponding with cleanup responders. Anxious locals and advocates patiently await the results of oil ‘finger-printing’ to identify the exact source of oil.
May 22 2015
On May 19, 2015, the popular and pristine beaches of Refugio State Beach were covered by sticky, smelly, black oil. Shockwaves spread through Santa Barbara—a tiny town all too familiar with oil spills. As Santa Barbara once again contends with a catastrophic spill, the memories of the devastating 1969 spill still linger. Ironically, the 1969 spill is credited with spurring the modern environmental movement—and here we are 46 years later still dealing with the horrible impacts of offshore oil drilling.
May 22 2015
UNCW Surfrider College Club member and Youth Leadership Program summer intern Alexandra Brooks shares her experience attending 5th Annual Blue Vision Summit in Washington, DC May 11-14th. This is a 4 part series.
May 22 2015
Cal State Channel Island College Club Chair Kevin Piper shares his experience attending 5th Annual Blue Vision Summit in Washington, DC May 11-14th. This is a 4-part series.
May 22 2015
Cal Poly College Club Chair Alex Ly shares his experience attending 5th Annual Blue Vision Summit in Washington, DC May 11-14th. This is a 4 part series.
May 20 2015
On May 11-14th Surfrider staff and four college students from a variety of Surfrider Clubs across the US attend the Blue Vision Summit in DC. Hosted by the Blue Frontier Campaign, the Blue Vision Summit brought together ocean advocates, scientists, and members of industry to discuss ways to advance marine conservation. This is a 4-part series.
May 17 2015
Over 30 Surfrider Chapters participated in Hands Across the Sand events on May 16th, joining thousands of activists around the world in saying NO to offshore drilling and dirty fuels and YES to clean energy!
May 13 2015
The Surfrider Foundation, in partnership with Point 97 and the state of Washington, recently completed the Washington Coastal and Ocean Recreation Study and today released the final report.
May 04 2015
Do you want to see our coasts protected from offshore drilling? Then sign up to participate in Hands Across the Sand on May 16, 2015!
April 20 2015
Today, April 20 marks the five-year anniversary of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Despite the catastrophic effects this spill had – and continues to have – on the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem and coastal communities, the federal government is still attempting to introduce new drilling along much of the Mid- and South Atlantic.