The New Year is upon us and all of us at the Surfrider Foundation are invigorated to continue our work to protect what we love. While the threats facing our coastlines are enormous, Surfrider is ready to take them on with our powerful grassroots network of chapters, clubs, and supporters dedicated to protecting these special places.
In 2018, Surfrider will focus on these 4 priorities to protect our ocean, waves, and beaches (to see our full list of campaigns click here).
1) Protect clean water so it's safe to surf and play in the ocean
Water quality at our beaches is threatened by pollution, causing 20,000 health advisories to be issued each year. Surfrider pledges to protect coastal water quality by building awareness of local pollution problems and advocating for solutions. With 35 volunteer-run water testing labs across the US, our Blue Water Task Force will monitor over 350 beaches and perform more than 5000 water quality tests this year. Surfrider will also wage advocacy campaigns at the local, state, and federal levels that protect clean water. This includes fighting for the BEACH Act - a law we helped pass in 2000 - to protect the public health of beachgoers.
2) Keep plastic out of the marine environment
Plastic pollution is one of the greatest threats to the health of ocean ecosystems. In 2018, we will pass and defend local and state policies that keep plastic bags, cigarette butts, styrofoam, and other forms of plastic trash out of the environment. Through our Ocean Friendly Restaurants program, we will register hundreds of restaurants to ensure over 20 million plastics-free meals. Finally, our grassroots network will remove 150,000 pounds of plastic and other trash from beaches and parks by engaging over 25,000 volunteers in cleanup events.
3) Stop new offshore oil drilling off U.S. coastlines
The Trump administration is proposing new offshore oil drilling, putting the Atlantic, Pacific, Gulf of Mexico, and Arctic at risk. To stop new oil rigs off our our coasts, Surfrider's network will advocate for local resolutions against offshore drilling and seismic testing. We will lead Hands Across the Sand events to educate communities about the dangers of offshore drilling. Finally, we will meet with over 50 congressional offices at Ocean Recreation Hill Day to ensure that our voice is heard in Washington D.C.
4) Grow the Coastal Advocacy Movement
Surfrider is the leading grassroots coastal protection group in the U.S. and we will continue to grow and diversify our movement in the coming year. The issues Surfrider fights for – clean water, ocean health, coastal access – are not partisan issues but priorities that should be embraced by all interests. In a time of political division, a grassroots approach is exactly what’s needed to protect our coasts for now and the future!
We invite you to join us in our efforts to protect our ocean, waves and beaches by volunteering with your local chapter or club and renewing your membership.