Help us protect outstanding ocean areas before they're threatened by development!

Ocean planning is a public process to plan for the future development and conservation of the ocean. As new industries compete for ocean space, we need to ensure that the marine ecosystem and recreational uses will be protected for future generations.

Surfrider represents coastal recreation users in ocean planning efforts in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and Washington State. Our goal is to protect outstanding ocean and coastal places before they become threatened by development. 

Please take action to support ocean planning and visit our regional pages to learn how to get more involved!

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Take Part in National Action Alerts

Please make your voice heard and ask your representatives to support the National Ocean Policy and oppose any proposal that would restrict its funding or implementation!

Campaign Updates

Coastal Recreation Studies

The Surfrider Foundation and its partners are conducting coastal and ocean recreation studies in regions across the United States. The 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. This information fills a key gap in our understanding of coastal and ocean uses and is being used to inform regional ocean planning efforts.

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Regional Ocean Planning

Surfrider is an active participant in ocean planning in Washington State, the Mid-Atlantic, and the Northeast. Please click the links below to learn more about Surfrider’s efforts in these processes and how you can get involved!




Taking Back the Coast

What do some members of Congress have against the ocean? The House of Representatives has repeatedly passed amendments that brazenly attack our National Ocean Policy. These provisions would restrict federal leadership and funding to protect our nation’s ocean, coast, and Great Lakes, and could be included in future spending bills.

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Protecting The Places We Love

Easy Ways to get involved

  • Participate in the action alert to ask your elected officials to support the National Ocean Policy.
  • Attend a public meeting or stakeholder workshop to provide your input.
  • Submit comments to regional planning bodies in support of protecting ecological & recreational areas.
  • Review draft maps and other materials released by regional planning bodies and provide your comments.
  • Attend or host a screening of Ocean Frontiers III, a film about ocean stewardship via ocean planning.

Find Your Local Chapter

Upcoming Events

Dec 1-: Take a moment to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the NE & M-A Ocean Plan certifications! Re-read the NE Plan Adoption Memo to get stoked on ocean planning!
Dec 5-: Watermen and women who enjoy Long Island Sound, please join for this ocean rec webinar to help plan for the future!

Looking for more information?

Resources Contact More Info

Learn the facts!

Visit our Ocean Protection page for more information


Pete Staufer, Environmental Director

Ocean planning is a public process that brings together different ocean stakeholders– including recreation, conservation, fishing, energy and government– to make informed decisions about how to use the ocean sustainably. Ocean planning reduces conflict among different uses, protects the natural environment and provides clear guidelines for private industry and developers. The Surfrider Foundation is a key stakeholder in ocean planning efforts, making sure recreational ocean users are heard in the public process. 
Across the country, states and regions are beginning to use ocean planning to address the many competing uses off their coasts. In particular, ocean planning is being used to identify locations for renewable energy projects that will reduce impacts on the environment and existing users (e.g., surfers, fishermen). Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Oregon are some of the states that have developed spatial plans for their ocean waters, with other regions and states in the U.S. now following suit.
The Surfrider Foundation believes that ocean planning provides an important opportunity to protect 'special places' such as ecological and recreational areas before they are threatened by potential development. In New England, the Mid-Atlantic, and the West Coast, Surfrider Foundation has emerged as a key stakeholder in ocean planning, representing recreational ocean users in the public planning process.
Surfrider's engagement in MSP includes:

  • Participation of recreational ocean users
  • Public outreach and education
  • Mapping and data collection of non-consumptive uses
  • Dialogue with other stakeholder groups

Thanks for your support!