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OFR Program 2023 Recap


Thanks to the incredible work and dedication of Surfrider’s chapters, student clubs, and staff, 2023 was a year of monumental growth for the Ocean Friendly Restaurants (OFR) Program! In 2023, Surfrider added 210 new OFRs, reaching a total of 540 OFRs in 28 states and Puerto Rico. This year, we also welcomed our very first OFR in Alaska, 4 Great Lakes Friendly Restaurants, and dining halls on University of California Berkeley and University of California Los Angeles campuses. 

The Ocean Friendly Restaurant Program now serves more than 99,000 single-use, plastic-free meals a day. That's nearly 36 million single-use plastic-free meals in a year! Thank you to all of our Ocean Friendly Restaurants for your commitment to protecting our oceans, waves, and beaches by reducing the amount of single-use plastics used in your establishment. One restaurant, one customer at a time – together, we are increasing awareness, driving behavior change and ultimately creating scalable impact to reduce our collective plastic footprint.

Screenshot 2023-12-18 at 10.33.06 AMFind an OFR near you HERE

Ocean Friendly Restaurants Month

In August, Surfrider hosted a successful Ocean Friendly Restaurants Month, where our chapters and clubs came together to host OFR-inspired events and celebrate our OFRs dedicated to eliminating single-use plastic. During this month alone, we added/renewed 73 OFRs, hosted 23 OFR-inspired events, posted about the OFR program on 18 different Surfrider social media accounts, and had 76 members register for a members-only OFR webinar. 

IMG_5187-2Ocean Friendly Happy Hour hosted for by the NYC Chapter for OFR Month

Ocean Friendly Restaurants Program and Policy 

Surfrider's OFRs help show society and policymakers that a plastic-free future is possible, one plate at a time. Our Plastic Pollution Initiative always says that our program and policy connection is our secret sauce. With the help of our OFRs, the Surfrider NYC Chapter successfully passed a law that reduces plastic utensils and single-use packaged condiments at restaurants in New York City. In addition, CJ O'Brien, Surfrider's Ocean Friendly Programs Manager spoke with FL State House Representative Anna Eskamani about ways to help businesses reduce single-use plastic despite many plastic policy preemptions in Florida. 

IMG_5096 2CJ O'Brien, Ocean Friendly Programs Manager (left) and FL State House Representative Anna Eskamani (right)

Ocean Friendly Restaurant Spotlights

Our Ocean Friendly Restaurants range from fine dining establishments to food trucks, bars, coffee shops, bakeries, dining halls, and more. Each month, Surfrider shared the ways our OFRs are eliminating single-use plastic and making more sustainable choices for our ocean on the Coastal Blog

Copy of MB-7 copyJocelyn Pierce, the owner of Mayflour, an OFR and sustainable bakery in Essex, MA Photo Credit: Bear Brooks

January: The Saloon in Ventura, CA - serves up local Californian cuisine, cocktails, and coffee in a hip setting on Ventura’s distinctive Main Street, less than a mile from the famed C Street/Surfer’s Point break. In addition to eliminating single-use plastic, The Saloon composts all of their coffee grounds, filters, and food waste as well as the vegetable scraps and waste. Read more HERE.

February: Rise and Shine Hospitality Group in San Diego, CA - is the largest restaurant group to register as Ocean Friendly and is the umbrella company for its 5 concepts, Fig Tree Cafe, Breakfast Republic, Gaslamp Breakfast Company, Feast and Fareway, and Eggies. One of the more unique ways they keep single-use plastics out of their restaurants is by using reusable metal straws instead of paper or plastic ones. Read more HERE

March: Magnus on Water in Biddeford, ME - is an intimate cocktail bar and restaurant. There are three people behind the bar and all three of them are avid Surfers. The ocean inspires everything they do, from their cocktails and restaurant logo, to their dedication to eliminating single-use plastic. Read more HERE.

April: Tiny Turtle in Cocoa Beach, FL - serves Puerto Rican cuisine with a touch of Caribbean fusion. Husband and Wife duo, Chef Moises and Kelly Lieneke have set the bar for other restaurants in Cocoa Beach to reduce single-use plastic and prioritize better choices for the ocean. Read more HERE

May: Locals Collective in Rockaway Beach, NY - is a coffee shop and community space where you can do everything from enjoy an iced coffee, to join a beach cleanup, to even store your surfboard. Read more HERE. 

June: Channel Islands Juice Company in Ventura, CA - is a juice bar, vegan restaurant, and yoga studio serving organic cold-pressed juices using local ingredients in reusable glass bottles. They aren't just promoting a healthy lifestyle for humans, but their successful bottle return system is helping to keep the ocean healthy from plastic pollution as well. Read more HERE

July: Merriman's Hawaii - is a restaurant group helmed by Chef Founder Peter Merriman who has been a pioneer of Hawaii Regional Cuisine for the past 30 years. Driven by a long-standing commitment to Hawaii regional fare and sustainability, these OFRs support local farmers and ranchers while offering fresh, authentic, favorites. Read more HERE

August: Matter of Craft in Huntington Beach, CA - is a craft gastropub owned by three soccer dads who became friends after spending weekends at their daughters' soccer games. Matter of Craft has now become a local favorite hang out spot not only because of their delicious food and ever changing offerings of craft beer, but also for fun events like weekly trivia games. Read more HERE

TropishackOwners, Cristina (left) and Nicolas (right) of Tropi Shack, an OFR in Puerto Rico

September: Bamboo Sushi in Portland, OR - is the world's first certified sustainable sushi restaurant. Sourcing the highest quality and the most sustainable ingredients available, this Ocean Friendly Restaurant is loved by patrons for their unique flavors, colorful dishes, and dedication to making more sustainable choices for the ocean. Read more HERE.

October: Tropi Shack in Pozuelo, Guayama, PR - is a beach bar where you can eat plastic-free, rent surfboards, shop at “Siempre Tropi” and “Flora pal corazón,” read, play table games and billiards, and even take an art workshop. Read more HERE. 

November: Mayflour in Essex, MA - is a small batch and sustainable bakery specializing in cakes and desserts. Owner, Jocelyn Pierce is an active member of the Surfrider MA Chapter and even joined Surfrider in Washington, DC at the last Coastal Recreation Hill Day to talk with the General Services Administration (GSA) about reducing single-use plastic and packaging. Read more HERE. 

December: Giddy Goat Coffee Roasters in Charlotte, NC -  is a laid back coffee shop, serving up fresh roasted coffee, delicious Argentinian empanadas, and breakfast-style fares. They even donate proceeds from the bagged coffee to the Charlotte Surfrider Chapter and hosts Plaza Midwood Street Sweeps several times a year. Read more HERE.

sp_giddy-goat3_carson-enzo-and-calder_0523Carson Clough, Co-founder and CEO (left) with Clough's lab Calder and Enzo Pazos (right), Team Captain of OFR, Giddy Goat Coffee Roasters in Charlotte, NC Photo Credit: Justin Driscoll

Stay tuned in 2024 as we continue to grow our OFR program, release an updated version of our Ocean Friendly Foodware Guide, and launch an Ocean Friendly Hotels Program to reduce single-use plastic waste in the hospitality industry.

Is your local restaurant Ocean Friendly?  If not, encourage them to sign up and join the movement to end single-use plastics!

Want to help Surfrider stop plastic pollution at the source? Consider donating today!