For over 30 years, the Surfrider Foundation has been working to protect our ocean, waves and beaches. Through our coastal preservation initiative, we focus on protecting shorelines by  addressing threats like coastal development, shoreline armoring (i.e. seawalls), ‘beach fill’ projects, and  advocating for stronger laws and policies to ensure coastal preservation. In recent years, we have seen climate change exacerbate many of the problems we are trying to solve. Our coastal preservation efforts naturally lend themselves to working on climate change—yet it was Superstorm Sandy that provided a major wakeup call to increase our climate change work. Climate change uniquely impacts coastal resources, and there is no better organization than Surfrider to engage local communities to protect our ocean and coasts from climate change—we have one foot in the sea and the other on land—exactly where climate change is rearing its head.

Neskowin, January 5, 2008 – While Oregon hasn’t had a “Sandy”, we’ve had our fair share of super-like storms (some just call it winter, but no doubt severity and waves are on the rise)

And that’s exactly why we launched our National Climate Change Priority Campaign to both better focus our coastal preservation policy strategies, but also to provide tools, training, educational and program resources for our chapter network become active leaders on the issue. Surfrider Foundation takes pride in developing multi-tiered strategies from individual actions for anyone to join in, to developing strong leaders at the local, regional and national level to advance protection of our oceans, waves and beaches. We’ve approached this campaign no different – despite the comprehensive conundrum the subject of climate change matters often present, some entirely simple and achievable progress can be made to protect our treasured oceans and beaches.

With our new administration in DC rooting out climate change science like a witch-hunt, the above cartoon speaks strongly to what our fate could look like if we don’t act locally to better understand and adapt to our changing climate and coastlines. And just what can an individual do? While climate change seems to be an ever-daunting issue for an individual to tackle, there’s actually a whole heck of a lot we can do as individuals, as communities and even through state and regional planning – despite the climate skepticism currently coming from the White House. Our chapter network in Oregon has done some pretty cool things through local organizing, like encouraging and supporting managed retreat, such as this case in Coos Bay.

A beach front house in Coos Bay was lifted and moved back from an eroding cliff, a “managed retreat” alternative to armoring the shoreline with boulders or seawalls that generally rob beaches of sand.

Not ready to move houses…don’t worry, there’s plenty you can do as an individual, actually 10 awesome things listed below! The first step to becoming a climate activist is to simply educate yourself. So jump on over to our newly launched Climate Change Priority Campaign Page to start learning and taking actions. It’s up to us, be part of the climate solution!

10 Ways to reduce your climate impact!