Frequently Asked Questions


 What is the « Surfrider Coastal Defenders » program? 

It is the action oriented program of Surfrider Foundation Europe because it is based on the demands and reports of anyone locally who requests support from Surfrider to act against coastal threats. For more information read the section “our commitment” on our homepage: 

 Who can be a Coastal Defender? 

You witnessed an environmental threat and you want to solve it? Become a Coastal Defender yourself! Everyone can become a Coastal Defender, as an expert, a member or as a volunteer.  

However, we need people who will be committed to their role because the success of local actions is determined by the long-term commitment of on-the-ground Coastal Defenders.  

 What is the difference between “report an issue” and an “action”? 

The report is the first step in our work: it is the action of citizens that witness a coastal threat and decide to warn us. When a person testifies, we study the case and, if the eligibility requirements are completed (see below), Surfrider Foundation Europe will present it to the steering committee. Then, if the committee agrees, the testimony can result in an action. 

 How to initiate an action and become a Coastal Defender? (eligibility requirements) 

To this end it is necessary:  

  • To have a project leader on the spot (the Coastal Defender); 
  • To fill a complete report; 
  • To act on one of the environmental working programs of the association (Water quality , plastic pollution and coastal development). Very often these are illegal discharges, sewage outfalls, landfills, sea shipping, sea walls, port extensions and threats to waves; 
  • To determine precise and practicable objectives/goals. 

What makes an action a success or a failure?   

It depends on many different things. For instance the number of volunteers, the motivation of the people working on the field, the mobilization of local associations, the funding, the support of European/international law, etc. But, the main key to success is you, the people who want to fight against coastal and ocean threats and become a coastal defender!

What are your main tools to act against coastal threats?  

Our main tools belong to many different disciplines: legal advice, financial support, media and institutional communication, people mobilization, access to a wide range of scientific expertise.

 How many actions can be supported simultaneously?  

The number of actions supported in a year by Surfrider Foundation Europe is limited to guarantee optimal support of our Coastal Defenders.

If a specific issue has already been the subject of an action that failed, is it possible to launch a new one on the same issue?  

Yes, it’s possible but you have to prove that there are new parameters that can make the action result on success this time.

How many chapters are there? 

There are 37 chapters located in 9 different countries:

 Which countries are concerned by the program? 

All citizens of European countries can report an issue and be the recipient of an action.  

 What territories are concerned by the program?  

The action should directly concern a threat made to the following areas: beaches or dunes, offshore territories (unless 200 nautical miles) or on a stream with an impact close to the estuary. 

 How is the program funded?  

Most of Surfrider Foundation’s funding is generated from individual membership dues, corporate contributions, public grants, and private donations.

 What can I expect from Surfrider as a Coastal Defender? 

Every Coastal Defender is supported in his action by the program referent at Surfrider. The Defender also benefits from adapted expertise on the case and will be accompanied in his strategy. However, the referent can substitute the Coastal Defender himself who is still the leader of his action. Coastal defenders benefit also indirectly from Surfrider means of communication (Web site Facebook, Twitter, Newsletter etc.) to broadcast and inform about his action.

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