We are the beach people. The surfers, paddle boarders, kayakers, fishermen, swimmers, beach runners, and walkers. We are activists who want to protect the ocean environment, and our access to it! The ocean and beaches are our playground!
The Surfrider Foundation is a non-profit grassroots organization dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of our world’s oceans, waves and beaches. Founded in 1984 by a handful of visionary surfers in Malibu, California, the Surfrider Foundation now maintains over 50,000 members and 90 chapters worldwide.
The Emerald Coast Chapter has been active and protecting the Florida Panhandle since 2004 when a handful of local surfers rose up to prevent surfing from being outlawed in Walton County. (Yes, there was actually a county ordinance proposed and eventually withdrawn from consideration.) Since that time we have protected public beach access, including the filing of an Amicus Brief with the US Supreme Court supporting the State of Florida’s assertion that the beaches are held for the public trust. (This case was recently decided in our favor.) We conduct a monthly beach clean-up. It’s easy. We just pick a dirty beach and show up in the morning with a crew… and good as new! We also have been actively encouraging people and legislators to support a ban of offshore drilling in Florida waters.
Surfrider Foundation Principles
Represented by over 50,000 members and 60+ local chapters in the U.S., the Surfrider Foundation also has affiliations in Australia, Japan, France, and Brazil. The Surfrider Foundation has adopted the following principles to guide and govern the activities of the organization .
1. SURFRIDER recognizes the biodiversity and ecological integrity of the planet’s coasts are necessary and irreplaceable. SURFRIDER is committed to preserving natural living and non-living diversity and ecological integrity of the coastal environment.
2. SURFRIDER promotes the right of low-impact, free and open access to the world’s waves and beaches for all people. SURFRIDER acts to preserve this right of access.
3. SURFRIDER is dedicated to enhancing wave-riding opportunities in ways which will not adversely impact nearshore ecosystems.
4. SURFRIDER believes environmental education is essential to the future health and well- being of the planet. SURFRIDER seeks to develop and utilize educational materials that are informative, factual, proactive, synergistic and fun.
5. SURFRIDER strives to be accurate and nonpartisan in its communications with its members and the general public. In addition, SURFRIDER will express the unique values inherent in wave-riding — individualism, camaraderie, non materialism, and an appreciation for human kind’s historic relations with the Ocean.
6. SURFRIDER is a grassroots organization, effective through the participation of its members. SURFRIDER activities emphasize the value of an involved membership.
7. SURFRIDER encourages all commercial enterprises to adopt the Ceres Principles. Their determination to do so will favorably influence SURFRIDER’s willingness to provide support. SURFRIDER will not permit sponsors to divert the Foundation from its mission or projects undertaken.
8. SURFRIDER does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, sex, or national origin for any reason. SURFRIDER promotes the healthy enjoyment of the coastal environment for all people.
9. SURFRIDER and its representatives, affiliations and chapters agree to abide by these principles and all rules and regulations governing non-profit organizations.