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03 • 30 • 2022

Surfrider Expands Global Impact With New Canada Affiliate

By Surfrider Foundation

The Surfrider Foundation U.S. has announced the launch of the international affiliate, Surfrider Foundation Canada. Based in British Columbia, Surfrider Foundation Canada joins the global Surfrider community of international affiliates located in Argentina, Australia, Europe, Japan, Senegal and the U.S. 

“We’re thrilled to welcome Surfrider Foundation Canada to our growing worldwide network of affiliates dedicated to protecting clean water and healthy beaches,” said the Surfrider Foundation’s CEO, Dr. Chad Nelsen. “Over the past 15 years, Surfrider chapters in Canada have had a tremendous impact by tackling numerous threats and advancing progressive policies to protect our ocean and coasts. They have also grown and evolved to the point where they can now work independently on the national level in Canada as a Surfrider global affiliate.”

Surfrider Foundation Canada currently has three local chapters based in Pacific Rim, Vancouver Island and Vancouver. It has been operating as a hybrid affiliate since 2006 through on-the-ground efforts in coastal communities with a focus on clean water, coastal preservation, ocean protection, beach access and the reduction of plastic pollution. As an official independent affiliate, it has recently hired its first Executive Director, Lucas Harris.

“The growth and impact of the Surfrider Foundation in the U.S. and around the world is a strong example of what is possible here in Canada,” said Surfrider Foundation Canada’s Executive Director, Lucas Harris. “I look forward to helping grow Surfrider Foundation Canada, strengthening our existing volunteer-run chapters in B.C. and expanding the network to new communities across the country.”

Several of the Surfrider Canada chapters’ achievements to date include:

  • Single-use plastic bylaws have been implemented in the District of Tofino and District of Ucluelet banning plastic straws, single-use plastic bags and polystyrene takeaway containers, and in the City of Victoria banning single-use plastic bags.
  • The registration of more than 120 businesses as ‘Ocean Friendly’ to help eliminate plastics, divert waste from landfills and implement circular economic practices.
  • Federal legislation banning plastic microbeads in consumer products as a result of Surfrider Vancouver’s campaign to “Ban the Bead,” Canada’s first campaign advocating for the elimination of microbeads in consumer products.
  • Settlement to resolve concerns over false or misleading environmental claims made to consumers about the recyclability of single-use plastic coffee pods.

“Surfrider chapters and volunteers in British Columbia (B.C.) have been a powerful voice on coastal environmental issues over the years,” said Surfrider Foundation Canada’s President of the Board of Directors, David Boudinot. “Becoming an international affiliate will enable Surfrider Foundation Canada to invest in the chapter network to make our voice even stronger in the years ahead.”

To get involved or find a nearby chapter, visit Surfrider Foundation Canada