San Diego Chapter Policy Coordinator; Surfrider

Job Title: 
San Diego Chapter Policy Coordinator
Job Location: 
San Diego, California
Full-Time - Permanent


The Surfrider Foundation is a non-profit environmental organization dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of ocean, waves and beaches through a powerful activist network. The Surfrider Foundation has achieved many important victories by persuading federal, state, and local governments to protect vital coastal and ocean resources. These accomplishments demonstrate the important role of community members and recreational users in advancing coastal and ocean stewardship.

The San Diego Chapter is seeking a highly motivated person for the position of Policy Coordinator, to lead the Chapter’s policy efforts by advancing local campaigns and programs to improve coastal and ocean protection. We are looking to recruit a team member to work in a high volume, self-motivated, deadline dependent environment. The ideal candidate will seek longevity and grow with the position. The main goal for this position is to increase environmental victories and preserve coastal resources. This position will work in a coordinated effort with the Executive Committee, Committee Leads and Surfrider Foundation Headquarters staff.


  • Devise and implement advocacy and organizing strategies to advance Surfrider Foundation’s mission in San Diego.
  • Collaborate with coalition partners, state agencies, and advisory bodies to support coastal policy initiatives.
  • Advance policy campaigns by building coalitions, testifying in hearings, and activating our grassroots network. Engage in outreach and consensus building on key policy initiatives.
  • Advocate for coastal programs/laws, such as the California Coastal Act and Clean Water Act.
  • Support Chapter volunteers in developing and implementing chapter programs including Coastal Preservation, Clean Water, Climate Change and Ocean Protection.
  • Support policy initiatives including Sea Level Rise Adaptation Planning, Chapter’s efforts in litigation, and coastal and ocean preservation.
  • Ensure that Surfrider Foundation positions and policies are scientifically based and within the scope of the Surfrider mission, policies and principles.
  • Stay current with science, policy, and political developments relevant to the Surfrider Foundation’s mission.
  • Act as Chapter’s spokesperson on environmental policy issues with the media.
  • Consider new issues and form Chapter’s stance.
  • Work in partnership with Committee Leads and HQ staff to engage Surfrider members in campaigns at the local and state level.
  • Work in partnership with Committee Leads and HQ staff to achieve coastal victories, and document those victories.
  • Maintain communication with members regarding policy issues via website updates, newsletters, press releases, blog posts, and social media outlets.
  • Develop and maintain positive relationships with the funding community and identify new opportunities to support the Chapter’s environmental work. Complete grant reports and proposals.

Reports to: San Diego Chapter Chair & Southern California Regional Manager


  • Knowledge of state, regional and national environmental management and policies.
  • Ability to effectively communicate, both orally and in writing with elected officials, agency staff, industry representatives, and ocean stakeholders.
  • Experience speaking publicly in front of a large number of people in diverse situations.
  • Experience in campaign planning, grassroots organizing, community outreach, and coalition building.
  • Willingness and ability to travel extensively throughout San Diego County.
  • Willingness to work flexible hours (including evenings and some weekends).
  • Self-Motivated


  • Minimum 5 years of experience working in environmental policy and/or advocacy.
  • Preferred graduate degree in environmental management, ocean policy, marine science, and/or legal experience.
  • In-depth knowledge of coastal and ocean management issues.
  • Familiarity with the Coastal Act, Coastal Commission and Clean Water Act.
  • Knowledge of the legislative process and the issues affecting coastal communities. 
  • Experience in coastal land use planning, shoreline permitting, sea level rise adaptation, and beach dredge and fill projects.
  • Proven ability to effectively manage multiple, complex tasks and to establish and regularly evaluate priorities.
  • Professional experience communicating, both orally and in writing, with agency staff, elected officials, industry representatives, and stakeholders.
  • Experience communicating with news media in all forms.
  • Proven success in project management including coordinating teams of diverse individuals.
  • Experience in grant management, reporting and communication with foundation program officers.


This is a full-time position based in San Diego, CA with medical, dental, vision and long-term disability premiums compensated by Surfrider Foundation. Flexible Spending Account (FSA) and 401(k) plan with partial employer matching. Paid vacation, paid sick time and paid holidays.


Submit cover letter (which must include salary requirements) resume, and optional reference list to: careers [at]

Please state “San Diego Policy Coordinator Position” in the subject line of your email, and title resume and cover letter documents using this convention:  lastname_resume.doc & lastname_cover.doc

Deadline: Position will remain posted until filled - early submissions are strongly encouraged. 

The Surfrider Foundation is an equal opportunity employer.

Please note that all jobs are automatically removed once the application deadline passes. Jobs without a deadline are automatically removed after 30 days.