February 03 2015

                                      Protecting special coastal places for recreational use 

SAN CLEMENTE, Calif., February 3, 2015—This Valentine's Day the Surfrider Foundation ( is celebrating its love for the world’s ocean, waves and beaches by raising awareness about the importance and value in protecting and enjoying the nation’s coasts. The Surfrider Foundation is a non-profit grassroots organization dedicated to addressing the challenges threatening the more than 95,000 miles of U.S. coastline, including coastal erosion, water pollution, climate change, oil drilling, beach access and irresponsible shoreline development—all issues affecting public use and enjoyment.

“Many of the special coastal places that we enjoy every day are being threatened,” says Surfrider Foundation’s Chief Executive Officer Dr. Chad Nelsen. “We need to ensure that management decisions consider the health of the environment, as well as recreational uses that provide important economic and social benefits.”

Each year, millions of Americans visit the coast, generating billions of dollars in related expenditures. The Surfrider Foundation believes management decisions about new development cannot be made without considering the consequences to the coast and the users and businesses that depend upon it. For example, proposed oil drilling off the Mid- and South Atlantic will have major implications for marine ecosystems, the natural beauty and the wild life that surrounds them, coastal businesses and the more than 123 million people (39% of the population) who inhabit coastal shoreline counties in the United States.  The federal government must consider these impacts in its ongoing evaluation processes.

To address this need, the Surfrider Foundation is leading coastal and ocean recreation studies around the nation. Conducted with the support of government agencies, these studies are collecting data on what activities people participate in, where these uses occur, and the related economic benefits. 

“Understanding how people use and enjoy these special coastal places will inform and guide important regional planning efforts,” says Pete Stauffer, the Surfrider Foundation’s Senior Ocean Manager.

To date, the Surfrider Foundation and partner Point 97, a leader in technology solutions for ocean and coastal management, have completed recreational use studies in Oregon and the Mid-Atlantic. More recently, Surfrider has launched studies in Washington State and New England. These studies collect data from recreational users on non-consumptive activities such as beach going, surfing, kayaking, diving, and wildlife viewing. Study results include spatial data (e.g., maps) and economic impact data. 

People who form a strong bond with a special coastal place, or several, whether it is for a surf break or to simply enjoy its natural beauty, are encouraged to get involved and learn the issues that could destroy these places. 

This Valentine's Day, give a gift membership of $40 or more to help protect the coast. By sharing the love, gift recipients will receive a custom-made Leighton Lam Hawaiian flower necklace. The last day to order for Valentine’s Day delivery is this Thursday, February 5.

Learn more about this offer and about Surfrider's recreation studies, campaigns and victories, at

About Surfrider Foundation

The Surfrider Foundation is a non-profit grassroots organization dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of the world’s ocean, waves and beaches through a powerful activist network, including 85 chapters nationwide. Founded in 1984 by a handful of visionary surfers in Malibu, California, the Surfrider Foundation now maintains more than 250,000 supporters, activists and members worldwide. For more information, visit

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