Surfers Ride Grassroots Wave to Victory

“I know that dude!”

When I think of surfers, Jeff Spicoli of Fast Times at Ridgemont High immediately comes to mind. But that stereotype was thrown for a loop recently when I read an article in Transworld Business, a website dedicated to board sports news and information, about the Surfrider Foundation.

Faced with the threat of a major 16-mile toll road in Southern California, the Foundation launched a successful multi-year grassroots campaign against it. Even though they were significantly outspent by the Transportation Corridor Agency, the surfers eventually prevailed thanks to a ruling by the California Coastal Commission.

At a recent panel discussion on the “Save Trestles” campaign, organizers shared their insights into the campaign. Despite little funding, the group was able to successfully mobilize a core group of 60 advocates who generated significant public support for their position.

If a bunch of gnarly surfers can do it, you can too! In the video below, Foundation spokesperson Matt McClain speaks about how Surfrider harnessed the momentum after the Trestles win, what the group learned from previous environmental battles, and how that can be applied to businesses.


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