You may be a surfer, a beach comber, a sun bather, sunset stroller, or some other form of beach goer. Either way, you love your beach. You want to prevent its water and shores from becoming contaminated with garbage and other pollutants but the challenge seems too great to accept alone. Let me introduce you to the Surf Rider Foundation, a community of passionate individuals who live and play on the coastal shorelines of North and Central America. Using an extensive network of volunteers, the foundation aims to protect the world’s oceans, waves and beaches through campaigns, programs and educational initiatives within local communities.
Their initiatives are focused on five main themes:
- Beach Access
Surf Rider believes that local beaches should be available for everyone to enjoy. As communities grow, access to the ocean becomes threatened due to exclusive developments and other restrictions. Therefore, the foundation works with the municipality leaders to ensure fair and reasonable access for all people within the community.
- Clean Water
Surf Rider prioritizes the improvement of coastal water quality. Urbanization of the coastline leads to increased pollution from agricultural runoff, sewage treatment plants, and other industries leading to poor water quality which could result in numerous environmental and human health impacts. Using their Clean Water Initiative, the foundation runs programs including the Blue Water Task Force and Ocean Friendly Gardens to provide water testing, educational programs and to assist communities develop native plant landscaping.
- Coastal Preservation
Surf Rider understands the power of ocean storms, waves, and tides. As our climate warms and sea levels rise, many coastal communities are faced with the issue of eroding shorelines. It is vital that communities develop sustainably to avoid damages which could result in the loss of recreational areas, tourism, and private or commercial properties. Using their Coastal Preservation Initiative, Surf Rider works with community planners and decision-makers to ensure that future developments are completed in a responsible, forward thinking manner.
- Ocean Protection
Surf Rider proactively works to conserve the ocean and its ecosystems. There are many threats facing the ocean and its coast today from climate change and habitat loss to pollution and the petroleum industry. With focus on marine protected areas, offshore drilling, renewable ocean energy, and marine spatial planning, the foundation strives to ensure that no man leaves a mark too great on this invaluable body of water.
- Plastic Pollution
Surf Rider works to clean up plastics and other man-made materials from the ocean and its beaches. Man-made materials such as plastic bags, cigarette butts, microbeads and bottle caps are only a few of the many discarded items we find on our beaches. Not only do the many volunteers work hard to clean up these areas, but the foundation encourages industry and social change through programs such as Ocean Friendly Restaurants and Rise Above Plastics.
For more information on the Surf Rider Foundation or to find a chapter near you visit their website. Alone, we are one drop in the ocean. Together, we are the ocean.
You may be a surfer, a sun bather, a beach comber, sunset stroller, or some other form of beach goer. Either way, you love your beach. You want to prevent its water and shores from becoming contaminated with garbage and other pollutants but the challenge seems too great to accept alone. So what is your next step?
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