Walking into the Surfrider Foundation’s beautiful San Clemente offices, just past the front desk, a map of the United States done in chalk adorns an entire wall. Not long ago, Chad Nelsen, Surfrider’s CEO, gave me a tour and spent significant time explaining the map – it breaks the country into regions, and lists the organization’s priorities in each, from pollution to public beach access to fighting for legislation banning single-use plastics. If ever there were a simple visual representation of Surfrider’s reach, with countless local chapters across the country, the chalk map would be it. Not to mention every one of Surfrider’s employees passes the map coming in and out each day. A reminder, as it were, of what they’re fighting for.
In my community of coastal Orange County alone, Surfrider’s had innumerable victories over the years. From supporting the fight against the proposed extension of the 241 toll road (the “Save Trestles” campaign) to local plastic bag bans. And the same could be said for surf communities from San Diego to Washington state, the Florida Keys to Maine, the Gulf, and even the Great Lakes.
In recognition of Surfrider’s commitment to protect the places we surf and care about, Vissla recently collaborated with Surfrider on a “Protect and Surf” collection aimed at supporting the organization. Yeah, we know this is a bit of a plug, but if you’re in the market for a t-shirt or pair of boardies anyway, your choice could directly benefit Surfrider’s programming. No doubt, a win-win.