Surfrider San Francisco is a dedicated group of volunteer activists who are passionate about protecting the places we love to spend time. We are a non-profit, grassroots organization working at the local, state, and federal level. At the local level we strive to be an integral part of our San Francisco community by organizing beach cleanups, educational events, and social gatherings. At the state and federal level, we educate and fight for policy change for the greater impact.
Our mission is to keep our ocean, waves, and beaches clean for all to enjoy, and find creative ways to prevent plastic pollution from entering the beach and ocean. Based on our geography, we are on the front lines to the threat of sea level rise and are working with the City and numerous other stakeholders to protect our coastlines and preserve our beaches.
Founded in 1984 by a handful of visionary surfers in Malibu, California, the Surfrider Foundation is a non-profit grassroots organization that now maintains over 500,000 members, 84 chapters, and 40 clubs.
The San Francisco Chapter is responsible for protecting the diverse coastline within the San Francisco County. We are a diverse and organized group that provide a powerful voice for our ocean, waves, beaches, and bay! We are an inclusive organization and invite everyone who is passionate about our beautiful City to get involved.
Surfrider San Francisco’s Executive Committee (EC) volunteers support the Chapter’s operations and program needs.
Holden is an open water swimmer and surfer, and he recently became a new dad and a San Francisco homeowner. He’s excited to be working with the dedicated Surfrider members, program leads, and Executive Committee to bring about positive change at local, state, and federal levels in order to keep our ocean, waves, and beaches clean for all to enjoy.
Vice Chair—Justine Donato
Growing up in New Jersey, Justine was lucky to have spent every summer ‘down the Shore’ (translation: at the beach). Swimming in the ocean is second nature to her, and her late father passed down his good habits of recycling and picking up trash. Over the years, she’s been involved in beach cleanups on both coasts and has helped with efforts to prevent erosion by planting sea grass on dunes.
She’s excited to be connecting her outreach skills with her love of the ocean and is stoked to be living in the Sunset. Justine can be found on her bike or at the beach, aiming for a plastic-free existence.
Sam grew up in Newton, Massachusetts, outside Boston, and started surfing on Cape Cod early in high school after buying a Jeff Kramer edition Stewart LSP longboard at Nauset Surf (which he still owns). During the winter months in New England, he continued to surf despite the 15 pounds of rubber required.
After moving to San Francisco the first time, he was drawn to Surfrider to meet other surfers and the environmental activism bug caught fire for him. As a finance person, he enjoys bean counting and spreadsheets. His professional focus now is to move into impact investing and he thanks Surfrider for stoking the proverbial flame.
Volunteer Coordinator—Marina Troian
Content Lead—Mia Sullivan
Mia is a writer, editor, and media producer living in San Francisco with her boyfriend and their extremely large dog, Luca. As a kid, Mia’s favorite week of the year fell in late August, when her family took their annual trip to the Jersey Shore. She connected with swimming, bodyboarding, and surfing at a young age, and her desire to surf everyday brought her to Malibu for college. She quickly realized she was a West Coaster at heart and vowed never to move back east of the Rockies.
Oceans, beaches, mountains, and forests are Mia’s playgrounds. She feels compelled to volunteer with Surfrider to raise awareness about threats to the ocean and environment and to tell the story of San Francisco’s rad sea hugging community. If you’d like to help develop media for our chapter or collaborate in any way, please reach out to Mia at firstname.lastname@example.org
Member at Large—Anna Kauffman
Anna, a Bay Area native and producer by trade, brings her skillset to the fight against plastic marine debris. Having spent much of her life on the beaches of California and Oahu, Hawaii she has seen dramatic changes caused by plastic pollution. Anna is a longtime Surfrider member, a core volunteer, and is part of the San Francisco chapter’s executive committee. Anna works tirelessly alongside our program leads, bars, restaurants, local hospitals and neighborhood groups who are dedicated to combating cigarette butt litter and waste caused by plastic straws and other single-use disposables. She is an environmental advocate for Eco-pliant, Inc., a local distributor providing sustainably sourced solutions, including paper straws, throughout the United States. After picking up over 3,000 plastic shotgun wads from nearly every beach she’s been to in the past few years, Anna is spearheading a global initiative to track wads in the wild.
Member at Large—Eva Holman
Eva is San Francisco native, ocean lover, mom of a Kindergartener superhero, animal advocate, small business owner and Pearl Jam enthusiast. She has been the volunteer lead of the Rise Above Plastics program in SF for about 6 years, and in that time she has been involved in many victories, including the introduction of legislation banning plastic bags, water bottles, styrofoam, plastic straws (ands more) in the City. She recently launched a company dedicated to eliminating single-use plastic in grocery shopping, Goods Holding Company, and is an event producer, professional fundraiser, and Ambassador for 5 Gyres in her spare time. Look for her cleaning up Baker Beach in the morning and follow her adventures at @bakerbeachsf
The programs are where the work gets done. Our volunteer leaders leverage our robust volunteer base to run successful campaigns and work toward their respective missions.
Coastal Access & Beach Preservation Policy—Mike Grizzle & Kyle Stanner
Hold on to Your Butt (HOTYB)—Shelly Ericksen
Shelly has been a Surfrider volunteer since 2011. She started out volunteering at beach cleanups and tabling at events, and in late 2014 launched the San Francisco “cheek” of Surfrider’s Hold on to Your Butt campaign. Since that time, Shelly has led cigarette butt cleanups in San Francisco neighborhoods to raise awareness of the cigarette litter problem, recycled butts through TerraCycle’s “Butt Brigade,” and overseen the installation and maintenance of cigarette receptacles throughout SF. She has established partnerships to abate cigarette litter with City agencies (SF Environment, Public Works) and District Supervisors, as well as the California Coastal Coalition, nonprofits, and community organizations. When she’s not volunteering, Shelly works as a writer and editor. She doesn’t surf(!) but loves the beach and ocean, and spends as much time as possible outside.
Ocean Friendly Restaurants (OFR)—Corinne Gentile
Corinne, a native of Florida, has enjoyed living in the Bay Area since 2013. She’s always lived near the coast, and the ocean continues to be an important source of balance, restoration, and happiness in her life. She studied Cultural Anthropology, knowing she wanted to help people, but became increasingly alarmed about the state of our environment as well. As Lead of the Ocean Friendly Restaurants Program at Surfrider, she gets to help restaurants do the right thing AND keep plastics from entering the waste stream. When she’s not at Ocean Friendly Happy Hours, she’s out on a hike, attempting to surf on her new (used) board, or hanging in her Sunset apartment.
Rise Above Plastics (RAP)—Olivia Angus
Olivia is a goofy-footed shortboarder from San Diego. She got her start with Surfrider in 2008 making signs for a Save Trestles rally and has been committed to Surfrider’s mission ever since. She has a background in engineering and loves applying engineering principles to creating environmental change. In her free time, she enjoys Marie Kondo-ing (or KonMari-ing) her life, working towards a zero waste lifestyle, dancing, and exploring with her husband and kids. Follow her journey towards zero waste at @OliviaForTheOcean.
Music Outreach Program—Holden Hardcastle
Event Coordinator—Christy O’Connell
Christy is an East Coast transplant with a West Coast soul. Having grown up swimming in freshwater lakes, and taking summer vacations to the ocean, it was only natural for her to land in California. Her passion for preserving the planet and volunteering also began at a very young age. Since joining Surfrider, nine years ago, she has transformed from volunteer to environmental activist. Christy enjoys planning and coordinating events that are focused on educating our community about the effects of plastic pollution, beach erosion, the importance of coastal preservation, and the critical need for clean water.
Professionally, Christy works in technology as a Regional Office Manager, leading, and executing on all administrative and event planning needs. Christy’s passion for healthy living extends into her personal life. She’s an experienced yogi, loves to hike, paddle board, attend live music, and is a modern art fanatic. One of her goals this year is to get SCUBA certified. Christy is a doting Aunt to two nephews, and a niece who are being taught about the environment at a young age. Her enthusiasm for partnering with like-minded organizations and friendly folks that are passionate about the environment is contagious. If you would like to partner with the San Francisco chapter, please reach out to Christy at email@example.com