Roots of the Organization

Surfrider Foundation was founded in 1984 by a group of surfers who history_2were concerned with health risks associated with  the coastal development of one of their favorite surf breaks in Malibu, CA. Their passion for the coastal environment led them to take action, and thus Surfrider was born. Today, Surfrider has grown into a vast grassroots network of 84 volunteer chapters across the US and seven other countries. The different chapters focus on various campaigns that are specific to their local community.

In 1993, the Cape Fear Chapter of Surfrider was born. Dean Lassiter, owner of Aussie Island Surf Shop, Chris Jackson, a Wilmington surfer and manager of Aussie Island Surf Shop were the chapter’s founders. The Cape Fear Chapter had truly grassroots beginnings with the membership base coming from the Surfrider surf competition participants. They focused in areas of water quality, opposition to offshore oil drilling, storm water stenciling, beach access, and beach litter. 22 Years later, the chapter carries on the spirit of its humble beginnings, and continues to grow in strength and numbers tackling important issues regarding our coast, and instilling a sense of stewardship within our coastal community.

From the Board of Directors

“Once I found out there was a grass roots organization working hard to help protect the things on this earth I love so dearly I knew I had to help out and become a member.”
Ethan Crouch


“It is up to each one of us to take a stand in protecting our oceans. I am excited to be a part of the Surfrider Foundation and all the great work they are accomplishing globally and locally.”
Lindsey Deignan

Vice Chair

“Joining Surfrider was a no-brainer for me. It has given me the opportunity to team with a community of like-minded, environmentally conscious people I want my daughters and son to be able to spend their childhood on a clean, safe beach. Surfrider is working hard to achieve that goal for all future generations.”
David Nelson


“I have a great appreciation for our region and feel truly fortunate to live here. My involvement with Surfrider is a direct reflection of that.”
Jared Hunter


Why We Do The Work We Do!


We are stewards of our community.

As citizens of the local coastal areas, we live on the front-lines and have the ultimate responsibility for protecting our coastal community and instilling a sense of stewardship for future generations.


The protection of our coast just makes economic sense.

We heavily rely on tourism, recreation, and fishing industries in North Carolina, particularly on the coast. In NC, roughly 51,000 jobs and about 2.2 billion in GDP were generated from these three industries.


We must be responsive to changing legislation.

In 2014, the moratorium on seismic testing off the Atlantic coast was lifted by the Federal Government leaving our coast exposed and vulnerable to oil and gas exploration and exploitation. It’s just not the risk, and it is not the answer for our coast.

How We Have and Continue to Bring Change

A pillar of our organization and the way in which we operate at Cape Fear Surfrider is to think globally and act locally. We draw on our large numbers to create a ground swell of support applying constant pressure on our local legislators and community to affect change on the larger issues that impact our oceans, waves, and beaches.

Put storm-water stencils in place educating the public about where storm drains lead in order to protect our water.

Through collective collaboration Surfrider assisted in keeping the existing beach access open south of the Blockade Runner.

After a couple of years of constant pressure the Clean Beach Campaign had notable success when the Wrightsville Beach Town Council signed and passed an ordinance banning smoking on Wrightsville Beach. That ordinance is still in place today.

In partnership with Oceana gathered over 250 supporters to rally against seismic testing at a Kure Beach Town Council meeting. While Kure Beach did not sign a proposed resolution to seismic testing, Carolina Beach Town Council signed the resolution at their next Town Council meeting as a result.

91 Municipalities have signed resolutions against seismic testing and offshore oil drilling to date.

In partnership with Oceana, Sierra Club, and Environment NC, Cape Fear Surfrider gathered over 300 people at the July Wilmington Town Council Meeting and a resolution to seismic testing and offshore oil drilling was signed by the city council.

Financials Snapshot

It is always important for our community to know how we are using the resources we are entrusted with.

Where does our money come from?


Sales of goods such as t-shirts, reusable bags, hats, freakers..ect


Individual Donations

** Individual donations further broken down  – 30% is from corperate/business, 60% Indivual donors

What happens to the money?


Materials such as tables, tents, and organization signage


Programs, Activities, and Initiatives

** Programs, activities, and initiatives include cigarette butt receptacles, yard signs, educational pamphlets and literature, posters,
campaign support and other miscellaneous project materials.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.

Margaret Mead