Surfrider Foundation: protecting the world's ocean, waves, and beaches since 1984 | Photo: Surfrider

The Surfrider Foundation is a world-renowned environmental institution with a very clear mission: to protect the world's oceans, waves, and beaches through a powerful activist network.

Surfrider activists, volunteers, and members are diverse and include ocean enthusiasts of all kinds: surfers, swimmers, windsurfers, kiteboarders, bodyboarders, stand-up paddleboarders, surf fishers, kayakers, and coastal recreationists.

In 2018, the Surfrider Foundation celebrated 500 coastal victories. But, judging by its proactive efforts, it is quite clear that it is just warming up.

The environmental organization has developed a successful blueprint for advancing positive and scalable change at local, regional, and national levels.

In addition, the Surfrider network continues to expand coastal stewardship through water quality testing, community partnerships, beach cleanups, and restoration events.

Take a look at the most interesting facts about the Surfrider Foundation.

For example, did you know that...

1. The Surfrider Foundation was founded by three surfers - Glenn Hening, Lance Carson, and Tom Pratte - in 1984 in California;

2. The founders of Surfrider felt the need to protect their favorite surf break - Malibu - from the escalating environmental threats posed by coastal development and pollution;

3. The name "Surfrider" was coined after the Surf Rider Inn, a hotel in Santa Monica, California, where Hening stayed when he visited the West Coast for the first time at age 8;

Surf Rider Inn: the hotel that gave name to Surfrider Foundation | Postcard: The Cardboard America Archives

4. The grassroots environmental non-profit published its first print newsletter - "Making Waves" - in 1985;

5. One of Surfrider's greatest early victories arrived in 1989 with the cancellation of the construction of a marina at Bolsa Chica State Beach in Huntington Beach, California;

6. In 1990, the surfing activists kicked off an ambitious international expansion that led to the creation of offices and representatives in Europe, Australia, Japan, and Brazil;

7. Surfrider is officially established as a 501(c)(3) organization, which means that it is allowed to participate in lobbying activities and is exempt from federal income tax;

8. Surfrider is the largest and probably the most prestigious surf-related nonprofit organization on the planet;

9. The Surfrider Foundation built a network of more than 160 volunteer-led chapters and student clubs;

10. About 50 staff are working to protect our coasts through campaigns and stewardship events;

11. In 1991, the Surfrider Foundation won a legal action against two pulp mills in Humboldt County, California. It was the second-largest Clean Water Act lawsuit in the history of the United States;

Surfrider Foundation: the environmental organization has over one million supporters, activists, and volunteers | Photo: Surfrider

12. The surf-related NGO acts locally, regionally, and nationally;

13. Surfrider Foundation has over one million supporters, activists, and volunteers;

14. Surfrider focuses its efforts on five key areas: beach access, clean water, ocean protection, coastal preservation, plastic pollution;

15. Some campaigns are special and require additional funds, means, and administrative/human resources - Surfrider calls them "Priority Campaigns";

16. In 1995, Pearl Jam donated $50,000 to the Surfrider Foundation, allowing it to remain open during rough financial times;

17. Also, in 1995, Surfrider went online and launched its official website at;

18. The non-governmental group focuses 100 percent of its time, effort, and funds on three coastal entities: the ocean, waves, and beaches;

19. For every $1 donated to Surfrider, 84 cents go directly to funding campaigns and programs, 13 cents is invested to generate future donations, and three cents are channeled to administrative and operating costs;

Surfrider activists: the participate in beach cleanups and restoration events | Photo: Surfrider

20. In 2005, the Surfrider instituted International Surfing Day, an unofficial holiday that celebrates wave riding and the protection of the Earth's oceans;

21. Surfrider runs, a public digital knowledge center that publishes and provides coastal science information gathered from the Surfrider Foundation activist network and environmental experts;

22. The Surfrider Foundation has its physical headquarters at 942 Calle Negocio, Suite 350, San Clemente, CA 92673;

23. In 2016, Surfrider set a new record of 61 coastal campaign victories in a single year;

24. In the 2015/2016 fiscal year, Surfrider reported $7,729,859 in revenues and support;

25. The Surfrider Foundation has already had several presidents and CEOs, including Jim Moriarty (2005-2014) and Robert Caughlan (1984-1991);

26. Chad Nelsen, the current Surfrider CEO, started surfing and served as a lifeguard in Laguna Beach. He earned a doctorate in Environmental Science and Engineering from UCLA;

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