Our oceans and waterways face growing challenges from pollution, offshore development and climate change.  At the same time, expanding industries, such as offshore oil drilling, threaten to crowd our oceans and waterways and degrade its health (and those who call it home!).

Every day poses new threats to our oceans, waterways and beaches. Our ocean, waterways and special places must be proactively protected before they are threatened and stem the tide before further damage is done to their health.

This is precisely why Surfrider has built a network of passion-driven people who are on the ground and are the voice for our oceans, waterways and beaches. With one foot in the sand and the other in the water, Surfrider is the only non-profit organization who is 100% focused on our coasts, including our third coast located in Chicago's backyard.


We look for and love working with individuals, organizations, companies and other non-profit groups that align and have a similar mission statement as outlined above. The ultimate goal is work with people that we share a common interest with and understand that we have power in numbers. You can donate as much or as little of your time and we will support you along the way. We have companies and organizations that want to be more involved and become our partners on certain initiatives or campaigns. On the flip-side, we also have a good group of individuals that just want to help us keep our beaches clean and safe for everyone. No matter what camp you belong to we are happy to have you and looking forward to how you can help us.

Below are areas that we focus on within the Chicagoland area that you can volunteer and help us with:

Ensuring Clean Water
We protect our water resources and prevent pollution along our coasts and waterways through community engagement, water testing, planting water friendly landscapes, and by advocating for holistic clean water solutions.

Securing Beach Access
Our beaches mean so much to us. It’s where we live, work and visit. It’s the entryway to our lakes. We need access to beaches in order to enjoy them. We work hard to ensure that our beaches are accessible for all to enjoy.

Protecting Special Places
Our lakes face growing challenges from pollution, habitat loss, development, and climate change. To protect the lakes we take a proactive approach to marine conservation through areas: Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), renewable ocean energy, and marine spatial planning.

Preventing Plastic Pollution
Plastic pollution is becoming increasingly abundant in our lakes and waterways. We work to educate the public, clean up beach and water litter, eliminate single-use plastics, and prevent plastic pollution before it reaches our lakes, waves and beaches.

Sign Me Up!

We are excited that you are interested in learning more and helping us with volunteer efforts and initiatives. Please fill out the form below to we can get a few up front questions answered first. We will be reaching out to you soon about upcoming events, volunteer opportunities and initiatives that you may be interested in.

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