Policy on Renewable Ocean Energy

Approved by the Surfrider Foundation Board of Directors: June 28th, 2008 

Renewable Ocean Energy Policy

Whereas, the Surfrider Foundation advocates for the conservation of coastal and ocean resources and the use of renewable energy sources over fossil fuels;

Whereas, the Surfrider Foundation recognizes that technologies that utilize ocean waves, tides, currents and wind as renewable sources of energy may help reduce dependence on fossil fuels and subsequent emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG);

Whereas, renewable ocean energy sources may also provide important economic opportunities  for coastal communities;

Whereas, the Surfrider Foundation recognizes that there are many questions and concerns about renewable ocean energy, including potential impacts to ocean recreation, the coastal and ocean environment, public safety, access, and aesthetics;

Whereas, the Surfrider Foundation acknowledges the growing demand for energy worldwide, and that our coasts and ocean are being considered as possible sites for energy generation using renewable technologies;

Whereas, coastal community members and recreational ocean users are affected by renewable ocean development and are key stakeholders in local, regional and national planning efforts;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Surfrider Foundation Board of Directors that:

The Surfrider Foundation will strive to support renewable, low-impact sources of energy. The Foundation will work to ensure that renewable energy development in the marine or coastal environment meets the objectives below and is consistent with our mission.

Specifically, Surfrider Foundation believes the following principles must be applied when evaluating or planning for potential projects:

  • Consider impacts to the environment through comprehensive assessments and application of best available science;
  • Ensure public safety through design standards and development of emergency response plans;
  • Require baseline data and frequent monitoring to quantify impacts to the environment and threats to public safety;
  • Protect ocean recreation opportunities, including surfing, by ensuring that project sites do not negatively impact priority recreational areas;
  • Consider other human uses, including fishing, of proposed project areas to assess potential lost opportunities and evaluate trade-offs;
  • Proceed incrementally and cautiously to ensure that impacts from one project are understood before expanding the size of that project or proceeding with additional projects;
  • Apply regional ocean planning products and guidelines to inform the evaluation of proposed development;
  • Employ adaptive management to ensure that new information is applied to assess needs for modification, mitigation, and/or removal; and
  • Include meaningful community input and ensure transparency in the planning process so that local communities are informed about projects and have an opportunity to provide input.

The Surfrider Foundation is an environmental organization dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of the world’s ocean, waves, and beaches. Our membership includes beach goers, surfers, windsurfers, fishermen, kayakers, other ocean users and people concerned with the world's beaches and ocean.