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.
Chair – Max Ernst
Vice Chair – Mike Grizzle
Mike grew up in the Bay Area and has been around the beach and ocean for most of his life. He started surfing about 18 years ago, and finds his grounding in the water. He spent 4 great years on the Sunset Cliffs in San Diego before taking up residence in the Outer Sunset. Something that gives you so much joy is worth protecting, and it wasn’t until after college that Mike became motivated to dedicate time and energy to doing just that. He is passionate about keeping trash off our beaches and out of our oceans. He also enjoys working with diverse stakeholder groups to find creative solutions for sustainable coastline management.
Treasurer – Mike Maruyama
Mike became a member of the Surfrider Foundation during undergrad at the University of San Diego back in 2006. He learned to surf while in San Diego along the Mission and Pacific beach stretch. He has been surfing ever since and loves being in the water. He enjoys working with the amazing SF Chapter volunteers, programs leads, and EC board. His favorite yearly SF chapter events include International Surf Day, regular beach cleanups, Oysterfest, and OFR Happy Hours.
Volunteer Coordinator – Josh Sagona
Media Team – Mia Sullivan, Connie Berardinelli, Melanie Napholz
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.
Beach Preservation – Bill McLaughlin
Bill has a long history with the Surfrider Foundation. He has been leading the Restore Sloat Campaign since 2010. He is Lifelong Surfrider Foundation member, Ocean Beach surfer and resident.
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 Gentile, 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) – Eva Holman (Lead)
Eva is a San Francisco native, ocean lover, mom of a 5 year old superhero, animal advocate and Pearl Jam enthusiast. She has been the volunteer lead of the Rise Above Plastics program for about 5 + years and is a non-profit event producer and professional fundraiser in “real life”. She is also the co-founder of a new company dedicated to reducing single use plastic pollution by producing glass jars marked with their tare weight for bulk shopping – Goods Holding Company. She is committed to finding solutions to eliminate plastic pollution from our local beaches and waterways in the SF Bay Area and am always on the lookout for creative ideas and more volunteers to jump in and lend a hand. Look for her cleaning up Baker Beach in the morning. Follow my adventures at @bakerbeachsf.
Nicole Kozlowski (Vice Lead)
Nicole is a dedicated environmentalist and ocean advocate, and has committed herself to building a career based on protecting the ocean and wilderness by addressing disposable culture; intentionally disrupting what she calls the “shelf-to-shore pipeline”. Nicole’s focus is to find scalable solutions to industry driven, waste-generating consumer behaviors.
She began volunteering with Surfrider SF in 2016. While working as a bartender her goal was to strategically change how restaurants handle waste. She met with Eva Holman, RAP lead, to discuss the Plastic Straws Suck campaign and became incredibly inspired and motivated by the grassroots, community based programs organized by SF Surfrider. From there she helped to kick-start the Ocean Friendly Restaurants program, leads the Plastic Straws Suck campaign with a number of other dedicated volunteers, now as a co-lead of RAP she raises awareness about plastic pollution and works with local governing bodies to find citywide solutions.
Her long-term goal is to stop plastic pollution at the source by way of strict regulation of the material and by finding less environmentally harmful alternatives. Nicole has co-founded a company that reduces waste within schools systems and offers plastic-free supplies.
Music Outreach Program – Tia Mignonne
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.