Programs provide ongoing opportunities for volunteers to steward their local beaches, engage in activism, and build community around protecting and enjoying the amazing coasts here in Washington
Our Blue Water Task Force is a community-driven water quality sampling program. Volunteers collect water samples when and where state and local agencies don't have the capacity to sample, helping to fill in the gaps. Our Chapters in Washington work closely with Ecology, local health departments, and schools to analyze samples for harmful bacteria and notify the public when it's unsafe to swim. To learn more about this program, and to view your chapter's sampling results, click below.
Our Chapters hold regular beach cleanups throughout the Puget Sound, Olympic Peninsula, and the Pacific Coast. Volunteers collect data on the types of trash they find and leverage those data towards policy solutions aimed at stopping plastic pollution at its source. To see the collective efforts of Surfrider cleanups across the country, check out our Beach Cleanup Database below.
Year after year, cleanups across the world continue to identify cigarette butts as the Number 1 most littered item on earth. Unfortunately, these butts are made of plastic, and that plastic is full of all sorts of toxic chemicals that harm wildlife and pollute our waters. Some chapters have a HOTYB Program dedicated to keeping butts out of our waterways. For example, the Olympia Chapter holds monthly butt pickups, and these efforts have collectively removed over 80,000 butts and prevented them from being washed into Puget Sound.
The most common items we find on our beach cleanups (besides butts, of course) are single-use food packaging - cups, straws, clamshells, bottles, etc. Through our Ocean Friendly Restaurants Program, chapters work directly with local restaurants to support efforts to reduce the use of plastic packaging, stopping pollution at its source and protecting our ocean one meal at a time.
Ocean Friendly Gardens is Surfrider’s sustainable landscaping and education program that provides beautiful, inexpensive, and natural solutions to reduce polluted runoff and support resilient coasts. While we don't have an active OFG program in Washington, there is an undeniable need for more rain gardens in our state. If you're OFG curious, reach out to us or your local chapter.