Since the joy and rejuvenation of owning a home on the ocean and visiting exclusive ocean front resorts depends on the health of our oceans, we here at Ocean Home are as passionate about ocean preservation as we are about architecture, interior design, and luxury travel.

So with that in mind, we’ll be shining a spotlight on organizations and volunteers that are working to preserve the oceans we all love so much. And since I’m just about to head out to Malibu to meet with legendary architect Richard Landry, spend a few days in at the new Nobu Ryokan hotel, and visit exclusive resorts from Santa Barbara to San Diego for an upcoming issue, it’s only fitting to kick off this new initiative with the Surfrider Foundation.  

We all know that the world’s oceans are facing growing challenges from pollution, offshore development and climate change. At the same time, expanding industries, such as offshore oil drilling, threaten to crowd our ocean and degrade its health (and those who call it home!).

White Waves. Surfers Fighting Against Pollution in the Sea from WHITE WAVES on Vimeo.

To combat this very real threat, Surfrider has been successful in developing a national network of volunteers designed specifically to be a first response to local threats in coastal communities across the US. They are the boots on the ground who collaborate on both the local and national level with regional staff and issue experts to carry out Surfrider’s mission to protect the oceans and beaches through campaign, program and educational initiatives in their local communities.

They’ve been successful because their growing network of volunteers combine local knowledge with national experts in law, policy and science. In fact, the Surfrider Foundation has scored over 350 victories over the last 30 years.

Current programs include:

The Blue Water Task Force

The Blue Water Task Force (BWTF) is the Surfrider Foundation’s volunteer-run, water testing, education and advocacy program.  Our chapters use this program to alert citizens and officials in their communities about water quality problems and to work toward solutions.

Rise Above Plastics

Rise Above Plastics is designed to eliminate the impacts of plastics in the marine environment by raising awareness about the dangers of plastic pollution and by advocating for a reduction of single-use plastics and the recycling of all plastics.

Ocean Friendly Gardens

The Ocean Friendly Gardens program (OFG) sees landscapes and streets as solutions to water pollution – and more. OFG standards use this simple approach everywhere possible: contouring landscapes for rainwater retention; creating living soil to sponge up water, filter pollution and sequester carbon; and installing climate-appropriate plants to create wildlife habitat and a sense of place.


The Smartfin is a surfboard fin with sensors that measure important ocean properties that help researchers and coastal communities understand trends in ocean health. With the Smartfin, surfers become citizen scientists, turning wave sets into data sets simply while surfing their favorite breaks.

In fact, tech entrepreneur and long time surfer Jeff Max respects what Surfrider is doing so much he’s pledged to raise at least $100,000 for the organization by Labor Day.

“Oceans are the heartbeat of our planet,” he says. “They’re the canary in the coal mine of oceanic health, showing us the impact of the damage we’re doing to this most precious resource. It all starts with a single step – I’m leveraging the power of our networks and social media to have an impact, rather than mindless social validation. If everyone who sees my initiative – and reposts it to their networks donates a dollar, we can raise a quarter of a million dollars or more. Every one of us, for less than the price of an iced decaf soy latte, can make a lasting impact where it matters.”

And this is only the beginning. If you know of a worthy organization that needs help getting the work out we want to help. In fact, please email me directly .

Image Credits: Credit Surfrider Foundation.