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 (Yes, there was actually a county ordinance proposed and eventually withdrawn from consideration.)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.