The Surfrider Foundation may not be on the forefront of many non-surfer’s minds, but chances are its mission of “protection and enjoyment of oceans, waves and beaches through a powerful activist network,” has probably positivly effected on one of your favorite local beaches. The 26-year-old organization grew out of concern for one specific break, First Point in Malibu, but has gone on to help sway and guide political opinion, protect beaches from destruction and pollution, not just to keep the surf up, but to save the entirety of the ecosystem—think of waves as a flagship species, the umbrella effect saves all around, above and beneath.
Through grassroots efforts, local meet-ups and events, Surfrider chapters have been a powerful and effective international force, helping improve water quality, encouraging the use of reusable and recycled material—namely weaning off of plastic grocery bags and bottles—fight for public beach access, promote and educate the public on “ocean friendly gardens” to help stem urban runoff, as well as outreach and educational programs proselytizing the plight of the world's oceans as they currently stand. And this is just a brief, very brief, overview of what Surfrider's mission and goals; each chapter is fighting for protection on local and regional levels, creating a web interconnective conservation efforts .
Now in its tenth year, Surfrider has rallied its tight-nit community for International Surfing Day, held each June 20. More than 200 events in more than 30 countries take part—some chapters have infinitely better waves—and though the surf does not usually comply with us down here in South Florida, the Palm Beach County chapter still gets in on the action, organizing beach cleanups, awareness campaigns, barbecues and fundraisers, all in order to celebrate surfing and the ocean.
This year, Surfrider Palm Beach is teaming up with Nomad Surf Shop Morgan Stanley to throw a party at Saltwater Brewery in Delray Beach. A match made in heaven, the cats at Saltwater are avid watermen, with all their brews taking cues (at least their names) from the sea, with one – South End Session End – named for their favorite break. The party begins at 7 p.m. with ARTIKaL Sound System playing on the patio and the tapping of a special release seagrape wood-aged Surfrider Session Ale. Nomad will be raffling away a pretty rad Peter Agardy hand-painted surfboard, with proceeds benefitting Surfrider’s Palm Beach County chapter, while AEG Live will have concert tickets up for grabs too.
- At 8 p.m., everyone will be asked to raise a glass to International Surfing Day with a pint of Surfrider Session Ale.
- To find out how you can support Mother Ocean, visit surfriderpbc.org.