The third beach I visited this semester was Surfer’s Point at ‘C’ Street, in Ventura. This is a beach I frequent due to the monthly Surfrider Foundation volunteer cleanup events and the annual Coastal Cleanup Day. This beach is the location we have discussed in class that is undergoing managed retreat. There is evidence that mitigation strategies on this beach are necessary, due to narrowing shorelines. While we were there, areas of the shoreline were completely within the swash zone, and we had to retreat back from the coast to pick up trash in a dry space.
These monthly events are organized by the Surfrider Foundation, a nonprofit that focuses its efforts on beaches, waves, and coasts. It utilizes programs like fighting against single use plastics, blue water task force, ocean friendly gardens and restaurants, and SmartFin, which is a technology installed on fins of surfboards to analyze water quality in areas surfers visit. They use donations to fund projects to further their voice in the environmental policy area, and send out members, volunteers, and employees to help campaign to push forward. Issues like beach access, clean water, and marine pollution are Surfrider Foundation’s focus points, and organizing chapters across the United States helps the chapters stay aligned and successful. They create many hands-on and accessible opportunities for the public to participate and be engaged in environmental issues and learn how to affect policy by actions they can take individually or as a community. Surfrider Foundation was my introduction to contributing in environmentalism and had a heavy influence on my personal decision to study environmental science and pursue it professionally.
Non-profit organizations are spearheading the public into becoming more excited about environmentalism and their beaches. Events like beach cleanups, blue water task forces, and invasive species removal puts more events and experiences into the world to learn from. These events individually are impactful; the October 2018 clean up event I participated in derived 234 pounds of trash eradicated from our coast, and 3,000 cigarette butts. This information is carefully calculated by volunteers and event coordinators and shared out. This creates a sense of pride in the work done on the beaches and continues to inspire large turnouts month after month. I encourage everyone to reach out to a local non-profit that has similar values to themselves and get involved.