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.
While surfers founded the Surfrider Foundation, we are not just surfers: skateboarders, snowboarders, kayakers, rock climbers, hikers, sky divers, mountain bikers… are all members of the diverse network that is the Surfrider Foundation.
The DC Chapter represents residents from the greater Washington, DC area, including western Maryland and Northern Virginia. It naturally draws coastal transplants who have found themselves landlocked, as well as river- and bay-oriented natives. Because of our location amidst lawmakers, the chapter’s efforts include legislative agendas as well as river/bay clean-ups and public education. Most importantly, we realize that despite being hours from the nearest beach, our local actions can significantly affect the health of the coast, the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers, the Chesapeake Bay, and the rest of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed!
IT’S AN UPSTREAM BATTLE
What can a Surfrider chapter that is more than two hours from the beach do to help with ocean issues? Well, considering that we live in a major metropolitan area with waterways that feed into the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, there’s plenty that we can do to educate our neighbors about good practices that will keep our water clean. The Potomac and Anacostia Rivers are part of the lifeblood of the Chesapeake Bay and need to be guarded against stormwater flow and pollution.
The chapter holds volunteer and educational events in the DC area and at the beach. We also partner with local environmental organizations and other Surfrider chapters (i.e. Ocean City, Delaware, and Virginia Beach) for issues that arise, such as beach access, legislative disputes, coastal erosion, and various other water-quality topics. We also help with national issues as needed.
On top of that, we make sure we do fun stuff, too. Surf trips, movie nights, and happy hours are all part of keeping the stoke alive for the surprisingly large number of inland surfers and water lovers we have here in the Capital Region.
EVENTS & ACTIVITIES
Below are some examples of our activities throughout the year. If you are interested in getting involved with any of these events, email us or come to one of our monthly meetings.
Monthly Meetings – Our Chapter meetings are held the first Wednesday of each month, at 6:30 pm in Washington DC. This is when we get together to discuss updates for our chapter, review past events, and plan great stuff coming up. You don’t need to be a member to attend one of our meetings — all are welcome. You can find all of our meeting minutes at this link.
Cleanups – We are active in helping our local community stay clean. Join us throughout the year for on-shore and offshore cleanups!
Outer Banks Surf Trip – For the last two years, the DC chapter has kicked off the spring season with a surf trip to the Outer Banks of North Carolina in May. Arranged as a meetup at Oregon Inlet Campground, it’s a three-day, two-night trip where everyone is welcome to come and bring as many people as they’d like. It’s a great way to get a jump on the warmer weather.
Movie Nights – Get-togethers to socialize, share stories, and watch some surf or sustainability movies.
RIPPLE! – The chapter’s annual fundraiser art show. A celebration of art and surfing.
International Surfing Day Clean Water Paddle – For over a decade, this has been our signature event. Participants meet up at the Georgetown waterfront and paddle to the Key Bridge and back, all for clean water awareness. Surfboards, kayaks, canoes, or any other non-motorized watercraft are welcome. And new to the event is a trash cleanup at Roosevelt Island.
Adopt a Beach – The DC chapter has “adopted” a stretch of beach in the Delaware Seashore State Park. It is our commitment to keep this area clean and litter-free throughout the year. The goal of the Adopt-a-Beach program is to promote environmental awareness, recycling, and litter abatement through community involvement. It gives people the satisfaction of directly making their beach a better place to visit. At least two beach cleanups are planned annually, but everyone is encouraged to visit at any time of the year and pick up trash.
*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.