Changing climate, changing coasts...

Our coastlines are under siege from the impacts of climate change. Rising sea levels and more powerful storms are shrinking our beaches and diminishing the public’s ability to enjoy these special places. Pollution from fossil fuels is altering ocean chemistry and threatening marine life and whole ecosystems.

The good news is that solutions to these problems are within our grasp. Surfrider is at the forefront of efforts to help coastal communities adapt to a changing climate; and we are working with scientists and local communities to curb ocean acidification. Please scroll down to learn more about Surfrider’s work on climate change.

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Learn more about climate change and how 'adaptation' measures can proactively protect our coast and ocean against the threats of climate change.   

Campaign Updates

What is Surfrider doing to help our eroding coastlines?

Surfrider is working to influence policy at the national and local levels to improve how coastal areas are managed and developed.  Across the country, we are participating in restoration projects and supporting ‘living shorelines’ that can withstand rising seas. We focus on strengthening land use planning documents to incorporate adaptation measures such as “set backs”, managed retreat, and other mechanisms that will support resilient beaches.

As sea levels rise, we will help identify and protect vulnerable coastal areas and infrastructure and prioritize public access.  As our ocean chemistry continues to change, we will educate decision makers about ocean acidification and encourage the planting Ocean Friendly Gardens to create “living soils” that trap carbon and reduce nutrient runoff.

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Collecting ocean data with a unique tool.

Researchers and scientists have been scrambling to obtain baseline information about changing ocean chemistry for the past several years.  But collecting data in a nearshore environment like the surf zone with high-energy dynamics is not easy.  However, this challenge didn’t deter a few scientists and researchers who recently developed a new tool to further this critical area of research.  Their tool? A surfboard.

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Protecting The Places We Love

Easy Ways to get involved

  • Join a restoration project in your area.
  • Influence policy change by working with Surfrider Staff and Chapters to advocate for proactive planning and building climate change resilient communities. 
  • Plant an Ocean Friendly Garden. Reducing hard surfaces in our neighborhoods and watersheds promotes more robust coastal ecosystems that will ‘weather storms’ better; and help absorb CO2.
  • Donate.  Climate change is one of the largest issues this generation will face, and Surfrider needs to help fund experts and Staff in order to protect our coast from the impacts of climate change. 
  • Drive less and curb your consumption of single use plastic that is made of petroleum (i.e. fossil fuels).

Find Your Local Chapter

Upcoming Events

Apr 22-Apr 26: National Adaptation Forum
The National Adaptation Forum is the gathering of the adaptation minded. Since the Forum is created by and for the members of the adaptation community, the meeting focuses on issues of the day - established and emerging.
Sep 7-Sep 7: People's Climate Movement March--Exact date to be determined.
The People's Climate Movement March is an opportunity for citizens to march together and demand climate action from elected officials.

Looking for more information?

Resources Contact More Info

Climate Change Activist Toolkit

Climate Change Adaptation White Paper

Climate Change Talking Points.

Climate Change Trifold Brochure

“10 Ways” to reduce your climate change footprint.

Responding to Extreme Weather Events Guidance

Use this PowerPoint to teach people about climate change and Surfrider’s efforts.

Beachapedia Resources:  Climate Change page. Coastal Adaptation page. Other climate change related categories page


Stefanie Sekich-Quinn, California Policy Manager

Learn more about climate change adaptation

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