San Francisco Surfrider Foundation

About Us

Photo: Pedro Bala

Executive Committee

The San Francisco Surfrider Foundation’s Executive Committee (EC) volunteers support the chapter’s operations and program needs.

Chair — Holden Hardcastle

Holden is an open water swimmer and surfer, father, and a long-time San Francisco resident. 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.

Reach out to Holden via email.

Vice-Chair — Christine Simko

Christine is a Montana—native surfer, snowboarder, backpacker, and overall outdoor enthusiast who moved to the Bay Area after spending 10 years living in New York City.

Despite her action-packed, extended stint in the concrete jungle, she learned to surf in Costa Rica at the ‘Endless Summer’ surf camp, which changed her life perspective on living and being present. After thinking about the overcrowded surf beaches and the garbage she’d come across every day while at the beach, she wondered how she could be more than just a surfer who uses Mother Nature’s resources for pleasure.

Christine is a problem-solver at heart and enjoys the fuzzy feelings (and fun) involved with bringing great people together to support a worthy cause. On an even deeper level, she strives to make a difference in other’s lives as much as humanly possible, living by the mantra “protect what you love”.

Please reach out to Christine via email.

Treasurer — Samuel Dimond

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.

Send Sam an email.

We are currently looking for a Volunteer Coordinator, and a Communications / Media & Content Lead. If you’re interested in taking on a leadership role with the San Francisco Surfrider Foundation feel free to send us an email.

Program Leads

The programs are where the work gets done. Our volunteer & program leaders leverage our robust volunteer base to run successful campaigns and work toward their respective missions.

Beach Cleanups

Email us for all beach cleanup inquiries.

Hold on to Your Butt (HOTYB) — Marybeth Benton

Send Marybeth an email.

Message In A Bottle (MIAB) — Debra Lowe

Send Debra an email.

Ocean Friendly Restaurants (OFR) — Meriel Gibson

She grew up on the coast, in Vancouver, BC and spent summers on Lasqueti Island doing water sports (kayaking, snorkeling etc.) and combing the beaches for wildlife (seals, starfish and whales galore).  The ocean’s contribution to her life “up to this point” has been greater than words “in a bio” can describe. She has have a deep appreciation for the ocean and, in particular, the habitats and wildlife our oceans support.

An accountant by trade and she moved to SF full time in July 2019 to work for a boutique accounting services company that is focused on taking companies public. She currently lives in the Pac Heights/Presidio and there’s rarely a weekend you won’t find her exploring outdoors (by the ocean or in the mountains) enjoying this incredible place.

Reach out to Meriel via email to get OFR Certified.

Rise Above Plastics (RAP) — Nina Atkind

Send Nina an email for the latest on legislation.

Restore Sloat — Mike Grizzle

Reach out to Mike via email for the latest happenings at Sloat.

Shotgun Wad Watcher — Anna Kauffman / Member at Large

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.

Reach out to Anna via email.

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 in 2009 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.

When not volunteering, you can find Christy exploring the outdoors, attending live music or patronizing modern art exhibits. 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 via email.

If you’re interested in taking a more active role in helping protect and clean the oceans and beaches for all the enjoy, reach out to any of the program leads above or feel free to send us an email.