Surfrider volunteers: Making a wave of difference in our community

Surfrider volunteers cleaning up Ormand Beach. Photo by Vince Kinsch.

Sustainability Now News
by Maryann Ridini Spencer

The Surfrider Foundation, dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of the world’s ocean, waves, and beaches, organizes activities, champions for policy change, and fights legal battles for our coasts.

Tuesday, April 2, Surfrider’s Ventura County Chapter will be holding its annual Core Volunteer Orientation and Chapter Meeting and Social from 6:30-8: 00 pm at Patagonia, 235 W. Santa Clara Street.  The event will feature food, drinks, and prizes for attendees.

“The purpose of this meeting is to get everyone psyched up for our busiest time of year – Earth Month and summer,” said Sadie L. Iverson, Vice-Chair Surfrider Foundation Ventura County Chapter.  “The meeting will be interactive, and attendees will learn all about Surfrider’s mission as well as get the information and skills they need to take their volunteering to the next level.”

Volunteers of all ages and walks of life are welcomed into the Surfrider fold, the only requirements being an interest, or a passion for contributing to and helping to find solutions for the issues that impact our oceans, waves, and beaches.

“Our monthly chapter meetings usually feature a guest speaker, but for this meeting, we’ll be reviewing what it means to be a Surfrider volunteer,” said Iverson. “Chapter leaders will also share their stories and photos from previous events and talk about upcoming activities and projects.”

A few of the activities one can expect as a volunteer include beach cleanups and building and planting Ocean Friendly Gardens.

“We also have jobs that can be done from home, such as data entry,” continued Iverson.  “For those individuals on a schedule, we also have jobs like tabling and outreach at events. For those with more flexibility, we have activities like “Hold On To Your Butt,” ashcan patrol which involves assisting with the monitoring of the chapter’s ever-expanding network of ashcans (for cigarette butt disposal). We also need support in the areas of accounting, technology, HR, and fundraising efforts for the cause.”

If a community member has a volunteer idea that fits in with the Surfrider mission (found at, the organization will entertain that possibility..

“Our volunteers spend approximately three to twenty hours a month with us,” continued Iverson.  “Since all our chapters are local and grassroots-based, when someone volunteers with us, they’ll be working on issues facing us right here in Ventura County.”

In addition to helping the mission, volunteers also experience camaraderie with like-minded individuals and enjoy being part of a community of people that are working to make a difference in the sustainability of our community.

Upcoming Volunteer Events

OFG Installations – Projects to be determined shortly

Beach Cleanups – Monthly beach cleanups from California Street to Surfer’s Point are the fourth Saturday of every month except September (when the Chapter participates in the annual Coastal Cleanup Day). In addition to Ventura beaches, the chapter will be coordinating Oxnard beach cleanups.

The Ocean Friendly Restaurant Committee — Volunteers are needed to help visit Ventura County restaurants to speak with and encourage restaurant owners to become a part of this network of restaurants which foster community sustainability through environmentally-friendly practices.

The Blue Water Task Force — Volunteers are needed to be a part of a rapid response team which requires taking water samples after big storm events. There are also opportunities to assist with Surfrider Ventura County’s partnership with Foothill Technology High School. The high school program runs from November through March (weekly water testing) and volunteers would assist with tasks such as collecting water samples, teaching students to test the water samples, and reading results.

To volunteer with Surfrider Ventura County, contact [email protected].

If you have a sustainable story tip or event, message Maryann on

Print Friendly, PDF & Email