Better Beach Alliance

A Surfrider Foundation initiative to tackle the ocean litter issue - primarily caused by plastic pollution - through education for action, community science and campaigns to change legislation and policy.

The Surfrider Foundation’s volunteer network conducts beach cleanups throughout the West, East, Gulf, Great Lakes, Hawaiian and Puerto Rican Coasts. Our national Beach Cleanup program provides a fun and easy way to volunteer and engage with our mission to protect our ocean, waves and beaches, for all people. Volunteers of all ages, community groups, tourists, clubs, local and corporate businesses and elected officials around the country contribute to the success of this program and are essential to keep our beaches and coastline clean.

Launched in 2018, the Better Beach Alliance was founded by the Surfrider Foundation and REEF to expand the impact of Surfrider’s Beach Cleanup program and amplify the amount of trash removed, volunteers engaged and events hosted. 

We are all part of the solution and together we can restore our coastlines, one beach at a time.

What purpose do beach cleanups serve?

Encouraging people to take action.

Surfrider Foundation supports volunteers to organize beach cleanups completely autonomously, with a range of tools and an educational approach.

Generating public awareness.

Joining one of Surfrider’s beach cleanups, participants become aware of the impact of waste-related pollution, while actively removing litter from our coasts.

Targeting the heart of the problem.

When our volunteers report their beach cleanup data, they are contributing to pollution research, helping to influence future legislation and contributing to lasting protection of our coasts and ocean.

How do our beaches get so trashed?


The majority of the plastic in our ocean and on our beaches is from land-based sources—much of which comes from our everyday lives. Check out the 2020 cleanup report, our analysis of the entire impact of our 2020 national Beach Cleanup program, to see the top 10 items commonly found at our beach cleanups and more.


View our 2020 cleanup report

What is Surfrider doing to clean up our beaches?


Local Surfrider chapters have engaged over 120,000 volunteers in over 3,000 beach cleanups to remove over 850,000 pounds of trash from our beaches since 2015 alone. You can get involved with your local chapter and find a beach cleanup near you by clicking the button below.


Find a beach cleanup

What's wrong with recycling?


Simply put, recycling doesn’t work.  It is estimated that only 9% of all plastic has been successfully recycled, and it's usually turned into something of lower value or “downcycled” to a point where it cannot be reused again.


Learn about our plastic reduction efforts

How can you make your life more Ocean Friendly?


Think about using alternative products made of stainless steel, glass, wood, or other natural fibers like cotton, jute, wool, and hemp—instead of plastic.


Make your life Ocean Friendly

How do Beach Cleanups Help Pass Laws & Policies?


Our chapters work with Surfrider’s national policy experts and local elected officials to pass city ordinances like straw, polystyrene, and plastic bag bans, just to name a few.


Learn More

How do I report the trash that I have picked up?


  1. Download our data card here
  2. Head to your local beach and perform a solo beach cleanup
  3. Fill out the data card with all the trash that you have collected
  4. Click this link to register and enter your clean up data

When the cards are completed, please visit our beach cleanups page to register and enter your data. You can find chapter contact information at


Download Data Card


Want to get involved with your local chapter? 


There are many ways to get involved. The best way to get involved is to fill out the form on our volunteer page. You can also visit our chapter locator page to find contact info for executive staff and, in most cases, a calendar of upcoming events. Once you’ve found your local chapter, we encourage you to engage with them either at an event, by email or on social media. Our chapters are always looking for volunteers from all walks of life — graphic designers, event coordinators, accountants, environmental experts, and more. 


Get Started

Thanks to our sponsors REEF and CLIF Bar for their support of and hands on participation with the Better Beach Alliance.