100 miles of pristine Central California coastline is protected and preserved for your enjoyment thanks to Surfrider Foundation’s SLO chapter. 

The MISSION of Surfrider San Luis Obispo Chapter is their dedication to the protection and enjoyment of the world’s ocean, waves and beaches through a powerful activist network.

Why is it important?

The SLO County chapter formed in 1994 and actively protects nearly 100 miles of coastline from Point Sal to Ragged Point. Surfrider SLO Chapter unites for plastic reduction, ocean protection, beach access and clean water. The San Luis Obispo Chapter has helped with key local environmental and conservation efforts, such as the Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary, the Oceano Dunes, and a polystyrene ban. 

For the last 25 years, campaigns have defined Surfrider as an organization. Local campaigns are how they protect our special coastal places, ensure our ocean is healthy and wild, keep pollution out of the water and make sure every beach is clean and accessible for all to enjoy. Each and every campaign has a defined beginning, middle and end. Nationally they’ve had 632 campaign victories since 2006. 

Today, Surfrider has over 82 Chapters, 86 high school and college clubs and more than 1 million supporters, volunteers and activists fighting over 100 active campaigns around the country. That works out to about 4 victories per chapter. Surfrider SLO has had seven victories since 2012 – not bad for one of the smaller chapters in a semi-rural area! 

How do they do it?

The Surfrider Foundation staff of nearly 50 people help support the chapter network in their campaigns, champion for policy and fight legal battles for our coasts, bring awareness to the issues facing our ocean, provide critical support on stuff like accounting, technology, and HR, and raise money to make all of this happen. 

Surfrider SLO’s various programs are integral to conserving local waters and achieving their mission. Their recently implemented Blue Water Task Force is their volunteer-run, water testing, education and advocacy program which provides valuable water quality information to beach communities, identifies problems with beach and coastal water pollution, and works in the local community to raise awareness of pollution problems and implement solutions.

The Hold On To Your Butt (HOTYB) program works to raise awareness about the environmental impact of cigarette butt (#1 item collected) litter on our oceans, waves and beaches, and to help eliminate cigarette butt litter in San Luis Obispo County. The Know Your H2O program promotes education and action regarding the interconnections between water supply, urban runoff and wastewater treatment. The current Ocean Protection campaign is working with The Marine Sanctuary Alliance to expand knowledge and awareness of the benefits of National Marine Sanctuary designation for SLO County waters.

The Ocean Friendly Gardens program educates and assists people in creating landscapes that use native plants, permeable groundcovers and water retention features to prevent urban runoff. The Ocean Friendly Restaurant program works with San Luis Obispo County eateries to institute self­-regulated ocean-­friendly practices that reduce disposable plastic waste.

We hope to significantly decrease this type of coastal trash. After celebrating a huge success in SLO County with their plastic bag ban, the Rise Above Plastics program is working to eliminate the impacts of plastics in the marine environment by raising awareness about the dangers of plastic pollution and by advocating for a reduction of single-use plastics and the recycling of all plastics. Lastly, the S.T.O.P Climate Change program, including their current campaign, Stop Oil Trains, works to protect our people, economy and environment from the extraction, treatment, and transportation of climate-changing crude oil.

How you can #TravelKindly: 
  • Choose Surfrider San Luis Obispo Chapter  as your local charity when you book with Kind Traveler.
  • Participate in a local beach cleanup when you visit. Follow and find info and updates of when and where on Surfrider’s Instagram page
  • Join the #BeachBucketChallenge. Surfrider SLO partner’s with local businesses to provide a DIY beach cleanup kit. Check their social media to see where the Beach Bucket Challenge can be found.
  • Follow Surfrider’s 10 Things You Can Do list to help take action to conserve our oceans
  • Take part in micro plastic testing by helping measure plastic quantities in the sand for ongoing research.
  • Visit some of Surfrider SLO’s Ocean Friendly restaurants during your visit

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