Emerald Coast Chapter

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! More Details
August 22, 2016

August 27th: Chapter Meeting

WHAT: Emerald Coast Chapter meeting! We are discussing our beach access campaign, volunteer opportunities, and upcoming events.
WHERE: Pizza Bar Seaside 2236 E Co Hwy 30A, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459
WHEN: Saturday, August 27th, 3PM
WHO: All are welcome! Bring a friend!

MORE: Click here!

February 13, 2015

Call for Volunteers!

Surfrider is all about grassroots volunteering, that means getting people involved in activities and outreach in our local community and state, and helping them take the lead on creating change! There’s always something you can do to help, and if you have a good idea or know of an opportunity, let us know. For volunteer opportunities contact Mike Sturdivant or Susan Forsyth.

We are actively looking for new members for our Executive Committee, and need new committee members to help lead beach cleanups, plan social events, or implement any other ideas you might have!


January 13, 2015

Emerald Coast Chapter to Lead Volunteer Monitoring Efforts


The Emerald Coast Chapter is continuing to monitor our Florida Panhandle beaches for ongoing impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. As of the end of December, the Florida DEP and U.S. Coast Guard have completed their monitoring programs. It’s now up to the public and volunteers to report oiling, tar balls, and tar mats. Here’s a bit more information on our Vice Chair, Susan Forsyth’s volunteer efforts:

Susan Forsythe with the Emerald Coast Surfrider Foundation, a nonprofit environmental organization dedicated to the protection of the ocean, waves and beaches through an activist network, has spent 3,000 hours volunteering to monitor beaches from Bay County to Baldwin County, Ala., and documenting and reporting tar balls to the NRC since the oil spill.

She said she and other members will stay vigilant in that mission. They also are looking into recruiting other beachgoers to help fill the void left by DEP.

“We are talking with the Coast Guard, and they said they would have a training session with locals from the beach community and train them to know how to identify MC-252 oil,” she said. “It has a distinct color and look.”

Surfrider will alert the public when and if this training materializes.

Click here to read the full article. The Chapter is looking for volunteers to help with their monitoring efforts. To find out how you can get involved or to learn more, please contact Vice Chair Susan Forsyth.

July 2, 2013

Kid’s Surf Classic

Welcome to the 2nd annual Kid’s Surf Classic.

When: July 20, 2013 (rain date is July 21, Sunday)
8am until champions are crowned
June White Decker Park (near Back Porch restaurant)
Age Divisions:
Super Grom (8 and under), Grom (10 to 13)
Cost: $25 – includes event t-shirt


The Emerald Coast Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation, is stoked to announce the 2nd annual Kid’s Surf Classic. It’s a surfing contest just for kids! For many it will be a first time surfing experience and for some, a chance to show off their skills. For all involved, parents and children alike, it will surely be a great time on the beach. Need a surfboard? We will have a variety of longboards, shortboards, and fishes available for use. Need help catching waves? Have a parent assist you in the line-up, or we’ll provide a surfing expert to help get you into some waves.

The Surfrider Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to the enjoyment and protection of beaches for everyone. All profit from the contest goes to fund local Surfrider chapter campaigns. With your registration, you will be saving beaches around the world while playing and having a great time on your own beach.

July, 20, 2013 (Rain date, July 21)
This event is limited to the first 60 registered. Day of the event registration will open at 7am. The first heat will begin at 8am. We expect the event to finish no later than 2pm.

Destin, Florida — June White Decker Park. Located just east of the Back Porch Restaurant.

All kids, 13 and under. There will be two divisions, 8 and under, and 9 to 13 year olds.



Age Division
T-shirt Size
Surfer’s Name

February 21, 2013

Emerald Coast Surfrider Presenting Oil Research Findings at NIEH Consortia

Surfrider volunteers are participating in the National Institute of Environmental Health Deepwater Horizon Research Consortia this weekend in New Orleans. We will be presenting our research findings. We have three essentials goals. -Educate the scientific community regarding the long term toxicity of BP oil and dispersant on our beaches. -Encourage the further study of health impacts with a dermal absorption study researching the passage of dispersed oil through the skin. And finally, – Highlight new research and advocate for removal of toxic dispersants from the list of approved oil disaster response methods.

Deepwater Horizon Research Consortia www.niehs.nih.gov


January 3, 2013

Surfrider Volunteer Opportunities for 2013

Still thinking about that New Year’s resolution?  How about a pledge to actively support your community and protect the beach you love? Surfrider Emerald Coast will be working on several great projects this year.  Each project is done by volunteers just like you…Regular folks who have decided to work together and do extraordinary things!

On deck for the first half of the year will be the following events:

February-  Log Jam, Surf contest at Pompano Joe’s

April-May-  Surf School, mentoring program

May-  Electric Mayhem, electric vehicle show

June-  International Surfing Day

If a project you are interested in is not listed, just say the word and we can get it going.  There are opportunities to lead campaigns for Beach Clean-Ups, Eco-Friendly Gardens, Rise Above Plastics, Ban the Bag, -all of these and more are ready for a passionate member to step in and crank it up!

So now, what’s your New Year’s Resolution gonna be?  Pump iron at the gym for a few days… or maybe pump up our beach for a lifetime or two of enjoyment!  You can always do both!

Happy New Year!

(-Use this contact button to send us a line about which project you would enjoy helping with!    –If you are commitment shy, you can easily help out by simply sharing a link to this post on any social media site- Facebook, Twitter, etc.)

October 25, 2012

Beach Spooktacular! -Saturday Oct 27th

Join Surfrider on the beach for a spooky good Halloween event.  We will meet at Pompano Joe’s restaurant in Destin from 10-2pm on Saturday Oct. 27th.  Enjoy a sand castle building contest. Bring your carved pumpkin for judging. There will be other fun games and a quick beach clean-up for the kids to participate in.  We’ll have prizes for the talented folks and a good laugh for everyone for sure! Bote Paddle Boards will provide stand up demos and a fun race.  Nothing to be sacred about! Kids even eat for free thanks to Pompano Joe’s.  And to top it all off, Pomp’s is making a donation to Surfrider just to thank us all for always taking care of our beaches.

August 13, 2012

Surfrider “State of the Beach” talk in Pensacola -Tuesday Aug. 14th

Surfrider Emerald Coast will be in Pensacola Tuesday to discuss our research findings and current oil disaster work. Please join us!

“State of the Beach” Report: Talk by Michael Sturdivant
Tuesday at 7pm at Bayview Senior Center, 2000 E. Lloyd St., Meeting Room 101, Pensacola, Florida

June 27, 2012 | 2 Comments

Will Surfing Become Illegal in Alabama?

We have had several reports of surfers being threatened with arrest or fines and being harassed by public officials in Alabama during the Debby swell. If you have firsthand experience with this event or a similar experience in Florida, contact us so we can get the facts straight and try to help you. In the mean time, you may want to obey the direct orders of any police officer. Even if they are mistaken about the legality of surfing, an officer still may have the authority to give orders governing public safety and you could be cited for non-compliance. The long term solution will be through education and establishing or revising ordinances to clearly allow the healthy sport of surfing.

The situation seems eerily similar the the event that led to the founding of our Emerald Coast chapter, when surfing was nearly outlawed in Walton County, FL. Many of us suddenly realized that somebody needs to do something… then we realized that the “somebody” was us! It took gathering facts, holding a few meetings and presenting our case to the county commission. a compromise was struck and the ordinance was struck down from consideration.

Anyone in AL that would like to work on these efforts can email us at EmeraldCoast@surfrider.org

Not already a Surfrider member? Click here to join now and be a part of the solution!

June 22, 2012

Surfrider Kid’s Surf Classic Is On!

It’s On! We are looking forward to the Surfrider Kid’s Surf Classic Saturday morning! Current forecast is looking very good! Partly cloudy with a 30% chance of afternoon showers. Surf is forecast to be 2.5ft (waist high) at contest start and build to chest high by mid day. (The larger surf is not forecast to arrive till late afternoon Saturday and then real nice swell on Sunday!) Join us for a great day at the beach. Check in opens at 7am. First heat starts at 8AM. We have only about ten slots available for walk up registration, so come early if you are not pre-registered.

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