Ride the Wave

December 2010
Written By: 
Blair Knobel

The Grand Strand chapter of the Surfrider Foundation keeps pristine shores

Clean, green, litter-fighting machine—the Grand Strand chapter of the national nonprofit Surfrider Foundation ensures that its precious beaches, from Pawleys Island to Little River, maintain their superb street cred.

In 1984, a thoughtful group of Malibu surfers established Surfrider Foundation as a means to protect their beloved ocean. Now, the foundation boasts more than 50,000 members (surfers and non) across 90 chapters in the United States and abroad, in Canada, Argentina, Brazil, France, Spain, Japan, and Australia.
Past projects of the Grand Strand chapter, installed in 1998, have ranged from creating South Carolina license plates that promote environmental protection to providing beach litter-bag dispensers at sixteen access points in North Myrtle Beach, and advisory board member Bruxanne Hein mentions more exciting plans in the works. “We are working on a public education ad campaign against littering, an anti-litter sign campaign for public boat landings in Horry and Georgetown counties, and we’re working with Horry County to build shower towers in the Garden City beach accesses.”

Surfrider’s objective is to conserve the world’s ecologically diverse coasts and oceans, particularly in the face of growing industry, increased population and mobility, and climate change. Its core mission? Education. By establishing local chapters, its message comes through more personally and effectively from those concerned with not just any place—but their own place. The organization promotes educational programs and events, for children and adults, tailored to the specific area and chapter, such as the nationally instituted BeachScape program, an ideal student project documenting the specs of local beaches and environmental changes over time.

In addition, Grand Strand Surfriders know how to get down to clean up. With a bevy of family friendly events and festivals on the horizon, including the Mr. Fish Oyster Festival on January 22, the Earth Day Festival in April, and the Makai Luau at the Hot Fish Club in May, locals and visitors alike will have ample reasons to save the shores.

Pristine beaches and sweet events? There may be no better reasons to get involved—except for maybe, cowabunga!

Coastal Care: The Grand Strand Surfrider Foundation continues to voluntarily contribute a wealth of time and services to keep our beaches healthy, clean, and safe. To learn more about the Grand Strand Surfrider Foundation, or to become involved, go to www.surfridergrandstrand.org