The Surfrider Foundation is a non-profit environmental organization dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of our ocean, waves and beaches, for all people, through a powerful activist network. The Surfrider Foundation has achieved many important victories by persuading federal, state, and local governments to protect vital coastal and ocean resources. These accomplishments demonstrate the important role of community members and recreational users in advancing coastal and ocean stewardship.

The San Diego Chapter is seeking a highly motivated person for the position of Policy Coordinator, to lead the Chapter’s policy efforts by advancing local campaigns and programs to improve coastal and ocean protection. We are looking to recruit a team member to work in a high volume, self-motivated, deadline dependent environment. The ideal candidate will seek longevity and grow with the position. The main goal for this position is to increase environmental victories and preserve coastal resources across San Diego’s 70 miles of coastline. This position will work in a coordinated effort with the Chapter Executive Committee, Committee Leads and Surfrider Foundation Headquarters staff.

By joining the Surfrider Foundation, you will be welcomed into an open and inclusive network of incredibly supportive and collaborative people who work hard and play hard. You have the opportunity to work with dedicated people, who are also passionate coastal users, that have their feet in the sand and toes in the water. You help bring together divergent voices and perspectives to provide our community with the leadership and tools necessary to make a difference at their beach and in coastal communities across the United States. At Surfrider, we build leaders and we are problem solvers; our culture sets us apart and influences everything we do. Coastal recreation is fun and working at Surfrider is too.


  • Support policy initiatives including efforts to prepare the region for sea level rise through Local Coastal Program updates. 
  • Support policy initiatives and efforts to support integrated water management through stormwater advocacy. 
  • Devise and implement advocacy and organizing strategies to advance Surfrider Foundation’s mission in San Diego County.
  • Collaborate with coalition partners, state agencies, and advisory bodies to support coastal policy initiatives.
  • Advance policy campaigns by building coalitions, testifying in hearings, and activating our grassroots network. Engage in outreach and consensus building on key policy initiatives.
  • Bring divergent voices from the community into the policy process.
  • Analyze policy campaigns with an equity lens.
  • Advocate for coastal planning and programs that adhere to the California Coastal Act and Clean Water Act. 
  • Support Chapter volunteers in developing and implementing chapter programs including Beach Preservation, Clean Water, Climate Change and Ocean Protection. 
  • Ensure that the Chapter’s positions and policies are scientifically based and within the scope of the Surfrider Foundation mission, policies and principles. 
  • Stay current with science, policy, and political developments relevant to the Surfrider Foundation mission.
  • Act as Chapter’s spokesperson on environmental policy issues with the media.
  • Work in partnership with Chapter Staff, Committee Leads and HQ staff to engage Surfrider members in campaigns at the local and state level.
  • Work in partnership with Committee Leads and HQ staff to achieve, document, and report coastal victories
  • Maintain communication with members regarding policy issues via website updates, newsletters, press releases, blog posts, and social media outlets. 
  • Develop and maintain positive relationships with the funding community and identify new opportunities to support the Chapter’s environmental work. Complete grant reports and proposals.
  • Provide support for the Clean Border Water Now Campaign Lead by assisting with major campaign asks and liaising with HQ  

Reports to: California Policy Manager


  • Undergraduate degree in environmental science, environmental studies or marine science (preferred) OR Graduate degree in environmental management, ocean policy, marine science OR a minimum 5 years of experience working in environmental policy and/or advocacy.
  • In-depth knowledge of coastal and ocean management issues.
  • Experience or commitment in fostering a just, equitable, diverse and inclusive organization.
  • Familiarity with the Coastal Act, Coastal Commission and Clean Water Act.
  • Knowledge of state, regional and national environmental management and policies.
  • Experience speaking publicly in front of a large number of people in diverse situations.
  • Ability to conduct policy analysis with an equity lens. 
  • Ability to understand complex policies and processes and communicate to wide audience
  • Experience in campaign planning, grassroots organizing, community outreach, and coalition building.
  • Knowledge of the legislative process and the issues affecting coastal communities.  
  • Experience in coastal land use planning, shoreline permitting, sea level rise adaptation, and beach dredge and fill projects.
  • Proven ability to effectively manage multiple, complex tasks and to establish and regularly evaluate priorities.
  • Professional experience communicating, both orally and in writing, with agency staff, elected officials, industry representatives, and ocean stakeholders.
  • Experience communicating with news media in all forms.
  • Proven success in project management including coordinating teams of diverse individuals.
  • Experience in grant management, reporting and communication with foundation program officers.
  • Willingness and ability to travel extensively throughout San Diego County.
  • Willingness to work flexible hours (including evenings and some weekends)


This is a full-time position. The San Diego Policy Coordinator position will be compensated with a competitive salary commensurate with candidate’s experience level, starting at $50,000+. The Surfrider Foundation offers a salary that is competitive with other national, not-for-profit conservation organizations.

Benefits include medical, dental and vision coverage monthly premiums compensated 100% by Surfrider Foundation, Long-Term Disability insurance, Employee Assistance program (EAP), Section 125 Flexible Spending Account (FSA), 401(k) plan with partial employer matching. Surfrider also provides paid holidays, vacation and sick time.


Please send your cover letter (including your salary requirements) and resume to:


Deadline for receiving resumes: November 5, 2021


The Surfrider Foundation is committed to fostering a just, equitable, diverse and inclusive organization for all people who protect and enjoy the world’s ocean, waves, and beaches. Our success and impact depends on learning from our community, standing in solidarity with our allies and working towards a more just future, both for our organization and the environmental movement as a whole.

The Surfrider Foundation is proud to be an equal opportunity workplace that is committed to attracting and retaining a diverse workforce. Together we strive to create and maintain working and learning environments that are inclusive, equitable and welcoming. We are committed to equal employment opportunity regardless of race, color, ancestry, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, age, citizenship, marital status, disability, gender identity, Veteran status, or any other protected class. To learn more about our JEDI commitments, please visit: