Covid 19
March 16 2020

The Power of Surfrider’s Network During the Global Pandemic

by Dr. Chad Nelsen

We are living in unprecedented times as the recent COVID-19 pandemic is impacting all of us across the globe. 

For over 35 years, the Surfrider Foundation has been an organization dedicated to bringing communities together to solve challenging problems for the benefit of all. We are a human powered network of amazingly dedicated people who are committed to not only the protection of our ocean, waves and beaches, but also to our communities. 

Now it is time to put our powerful network into action to help protect the health and safety of our communities from the threat of the COVID-19. 

The Surfrider Foundation’s first and foremost commitment is to the health and safety of our volunteers, activists, staff and community as we navigate through the current COVID-19 situation. Based on new information and recommendations from state agencies and the CDC, we are taking the following steps:

We are immediately suspending all Surfrider Foundation planned chapter and club events, meetings and activations until further notice. This includes, but is not limited to the following: 

  • Earth Day Events
  • Beach Clean-ups of any size
  • Blue Water Task Force Water Testing
  • Executive Committee Meetings
  • Public Gatherings of any size or nature
  • General Meetings

The Surfrider Foundation has closed our national headquarters office and all chapter offices and has required that all staff work remotely for the foreseeable future. In addition, we have put all business travel on hold. All meetings will be held via conference call or video conference. We are confident that we will be able to continue to support our network, members and supporters via electronic means. 

We certainly don’t plan on stopping our mission-related work to protect our coastal resources and plan to engage volunteers in social distanced activism. We are actively developing new resources, guidance and recommendations to our chapter and club networks to keep our network engaged throughout this period. 

Further, we are rallying our network to support science-based recommendations to take responsible action that will help “flatten the curve” and support those who are most in need. 

We also want to acknowledge that the crisis will impact each of us differently and we encourage all to prioritize their individual well-being throughout this period. We recognize the dedication and importance our volunteers play in our mission but it’s clear that the personal health and safety of our large community must be the priority. 

For the latest news and updates regarding COVID-19, we encourage you to follow the @CDC and heed any warnings or advice they provide. In this time of information overload, we intend to help support factual and science-based information updates from reliable sources. 

As new information is made available, we will update our social media channels accordingly. Be sure to follow us on: FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.

This is a time where our values of being science-based, listening to experts, and caring about each other and our communities can really play an important role in helping all of us get through this in a way that minimizes the impact to the health and safety of all. 

Thank you for being part of Surfrider’s network and for your commitment and compassion. You are uniquely qualified to help make a significant difference during this challenging time and we intend to do our best to support that every step of the way. 

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