State of the Beach/State Reports/MD/Surfing Areas

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Maryland Ratings
Indicator Type Information Status
Beach Access88
Water Quality77
Beach Erosion8-
Erosion Response-6
Beach Fill6-
Shoreline Structures8 4
Beach Ecology2-
Surfing Areas25
Coastal Development{{{19}}}{{{20}}}
Sea Level Rise{{{21}}}{{{22}}}

Inventory and Perception of Status

There are 12 well-known surf spots in Maryland, which range from good to fair condition.

One concern is Ocean City Inlet's blockage of sand (littoral drift), which is causing beach erosion at Assateague Island. On a larger scale, frequent storms, particularly Nor'easters, keep the beaches in constant flux, and as a result sand replenishment is sometimes necessary. Since tourism is a large part of the economy, the coastal cities tend to value surfing areas and beaches as recreational resources, and have instituted various conservation programs such as dune stabilization and beach fill. However, both the Ocean City and DC Chapters of Surfrider Foundation report that the fill programs have been both a blessing and a curse, and that water quality issues have received less attention. Ocean City surf spots suffer from overcrowding due to restrictions, so the chapter has been spearheading an effort to increase areas available for surfing. See a recent article on this.

Recognition by State

Maryland does not officially recognize surfing as an economic, cultural, and recreational resource. However, MDNR does take surfing into consideration as a part of coastal planning. An example is in the Assateague State Park Land Unit Plan (October 2005).

Some local political figures have been receptive to Surfrider efforts and to the needs of surfers in general.

Surfrider Foundation Chapters

DC Chapter38° 53' 42.40" N, 77° 2' 10.92" W
Ocean City Chapter38° 20' 11.41" N, 75° 5' 5.66" W

<html><fieldset class="rcoptions"> <legend></html>DC Chapter<html></legend></html> DC Chapter Website

The DC Chapter represents residents from the greater Washington DC area, including western Maryland and Virginia. It naturally draws coastal transplants who have found themselves landlocked, as well as river-, bay-, and snow-oriented natives. Because of their location amidst lawmakers, the chapter's efforts include legislative agendas as well as river/bay clean-ups and public education. Most importantly, they realize that despite physically being hours from the nearest beach, their actions locally can significantly affect the health of the coast, the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers, the Chesapeake Bay, and the rest of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed!

You can contact the DC Chapter via email at


<html><fieldset class="rcoptions"> <legend></html>Ocean City Chapter<html></legend></html> Ocean City Chapter Website

The Ocean City Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation was formed to heighten the awareness of our residents and visitors for our fragile and beautiful environment. SRF through its initiatives, strives to enhance and safeguard, when and wherever possible our waves, dunes and beaches for the enjoyment of all - present and future.

The Ocean City Chapter joined with the Delaware and DC chapters to Save Herring Point in Delaware.

The chapter's Initiatives for 2008 were:

  • I Surf - I Vote
  • Please Leave Only Your Footprints
  • Hold On To Your Butts
  • Adopt Your Beach
  • Ha’awi Ho’ihi - Loa’a Ho’ihi” (Give Respect - Get Respect)
  • Respect The Beach
  • Scholarships
  • Aloha Garden & Northside Cleansweep

Maryland Surfrider License Plates
Maryland's Surfrider Foundation organizational tags are now available!! The OC Chapter is accepting orders now. Cost is $30, payable to "Surfrider" ($5 is earmarked for the Chapter). To order, you must be a member of Surfrider and have a vehicle registered in Maryland. Questions? Contact Stephanie Martin at 443-783-2865, or email

The chapter has been closely following beach fill projects and is evaluating alternatives to beach fill, including the use of artificial reefs.

You can contact the Ocean City Chapter via email at


Surfrider Staff Contact

John Weber
Mid-Atlantic Regional Manager

Also check out Surfrider Mid-Atlantic Region's website for Surfrider news from New Jersey, New York, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and Washington D.C.

Information Sources

The summary of surfing areas comes from Surfer Magazine's The Surf Report issues for the state. Surfrider Foundation chapters were surveyed to establish surfing conditions in the state.

Other sources of information on surfing in Maryland include:


State of the Beach Report: Maryland
Maryland Home Beach Description Beach Access Water Quality Beach Erosion Erosion Response Beach Fill Shoreline Structures Beach Ecology Surfing Areas Website
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