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

From Beachapedia

Home Beach Indicators Methodology Findings Beach Manifesto State Reports Chapters Perspectives Model Programs Bad and Rad Conclusion

Inventory and Perception of Status

Along the Washington coast there are approximately 24 surf spots.

Most are in good condition. A couple spots, however, are threatened by pollution. "Warm House" at Neah Bay is in a location where garbage is dumped into the water. This situation continues. While somewhat unlikely, there is a possibility that some fecal pollution from Victoria, Canada’s sewage system or Port Angeles’ CSO events could be impacting the seven surfing spots along the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Water quality, beach access, erosion, shoreline structures, and beach fill are all concerns to the surf spots. There has recently been more government involvement in shoreline armoring issues on a statewide level.

Recognition by State

Although Washington does not recognize surfing as an economic, cultural, and recreational resource, the State Departments of Ecology and Health recognize surfing as a beach use activity under their BEACH program to monitor, notify, and educate the public about water pollution. Surfing beaches are a searchable feature on the Public Access Locator Tool as part of the Washington Coastal Atlas.

The city of Westport realizes surfers bring money to their economy so they express a fair amount of concern to the conditions of these surfing areas. However, proposed development there may limit access to the surf and/or increase the need for coastal armoring. The other cities remain apathetic; they place more focus on fishing as a recreational resource, and even then water pollution is not regarded as important.

Surfrider Foundation Chapters

For general information on Surfrider Foundation activities in Washington, see Washington Chapters, the Washington Chapters Facebook page or follow Washington Chapters on Twitter. For specific chapter websites, see below.

Capitol Chapter47° 2' 16.35" N, 122° 54' 2.50" W
Northwest Straits Chapter48° 45' 34.39" N, 122° 29' 17.61" W
Olympic Peninsula Chapter48° 7' 5.33" N, 123° 25' 50.67" W
Seattle Chapter47° 36' 22.36" N, 122° 19' 55.46" W
South Sound Chapter47° 15' 10.36" N, 122° 26' 39.45" W

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

Surfrider Foundation has formed a Capitol Chapter in Olympia. See the Capitol-Olympia Chapter Facebook page or the Washington Chapters website for info on meetings, activities, campaigns, etc.


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

The Northwest Straits Chapter's programs include Blue Water Task Force (water testing), a Native Garden Project, an Intertidal Beach Mapping Program, and their Snowrider Project. They are also currently supporting a proposed plastic bag ban in Bellingham, WA

In 2014, the Northwest Straits chapter was back at it again with their well regarded water quality project at Larabee State Park. Several summer interns took part in water quality testing and guiding park visitors on nature walks throughout this amazing Washington gem. Expanding on their work, the chapter received funding and worked with other groups on what is now the Whirlwind Beach Stewardship Project which seeks to establish a healthier beach by installing garbage cans and recycling, not to mention better access and parking at this popular kite-boarding location. Additionally, the Western WA club has grown substantially and received some press for their work on local beach cleanups.

You can contact the Northwest Straits Chapter via email at


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

Ongoing projects of the Olympic Peninsula Chapter include working to improve access along the Straits of Juan de Fuca, running a Blue Water Task Force volunteer water testing program and fighting a proposed coastal revetment project in the city of Port Angeles.

Surfrider Foundation volunteers and other coastal activists participate in the annual Olympic Coast Cleanup held every April. The event draws hundreds of volunteers who scour the coastline from Cape Flattery to Long Beach Peninsula, collecting tons of trash. The Olympic Peninsula, Northwest Straits and Seattle Chapters participate in the event.

The Olympic Peninsula Chapter and the Quileute Indian Tribe combine forces to hold an annual "Surfing and Traditions" surf and kayak contest that includes a beach cleanup after the event.

From coastal cleanups, to clearing brush and filing potholes, to throwing one sick International Surfing Day Party, the OPC as always held it down and got it done in 2014. The chapter was able to do some serious work making the parking lots at the Elwha and Twin better for parking and helping beach-goers avoid a blown out tire. Heading into 2015 the chapter is looking at much of the same outstanding work and potentially establishing a water quality testing program based in the Port Angeles area.

The Olympic Peninsula Chapter has begun the process of starting a Blue Water Task Force program on the Olympic Peninsula at local beaches. A few weeks ago, volunteers learned the procedure of testing for the always fun to say but not fun to have in the water enterococcus, which high readings of can result in sickness and beach closures. If you live around Port Angeles and would like to volunteer for this program or for more information contact the chapter, or attend new weeks Wednesday chapter meeting starting at 6:30pm at Smugglers Landing.

You can contact the Olympic Peninsula Chapter via email at


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

Check out the Seattle Chapter's programs, events and news.

Keeping awesome beaches like Alki free of cigarette waste was the presiding theme this year with the Seattle Chapter. The Chapter installed two cigarette canisters at Alki with the hopes of finding fewer cigarette butts on the beach, the most frequently collected item during beach cleanups. Additionally, the chapter took part in several SUP events, hosted films, and saw its ranks grow with a expanded number of passionate supporters.

The Seattle chapter is steadily getting more cigarette butts off the ground and into ash cans in West Seattle through their HOTYB program. Inspired by an article he read about Surfrider ash cans going up at Alki Beach, Jon from The Grove Inn, West Seattle, sponsored two new ash cans around the property to eliminate cigarette butts from the streets and eventually our waters. Read more about it here and if you would like to sponsor a can message the HOTYB team at

You can contact the Seattle Chapter via email at


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

The South Sound Chapter of Surfrider represents Tacoma, Westport and the surroundng southern Puget Sound region. The South Sound Chapter (SSC) meets at 7:00pm on the second Tuesday of each month at the Taqueria del Guadalajara in Tacoma. They are involved in several projects including the Blue Water Task Force, Respect the Beach, Rise Above Plastics and Snowrider. They also support and participate in annual events such as the Clean Water Classic at Westport.

2014 was a groundbreaking year for the South Sound Chapter in terms of growth and community involvement. The chapter began its monthly beach cleanups giving those who want to get outside and get their hands dirty for cleaner beaches that chance on a regular basis. The chapter also hosted several guest speakers, movies, a wonderful Interational Surfrider Day event, and expanded their Blue Water Task Force Program from two locations to six. On top of this has been their work on a Rise Above Plastics campaign working with the city with a goal of establishing a reusable bag ordinance in Tacoma.

You can contact the South Sound Chapter via email at


Surfrider Staff Contacts

Brice Boland
Washington Field Coordinator
Phone: (253) 442-3743

Gus Gates
Washington Policy Manager

Casey Dennehy
Washington Pacific Coast Coordinator

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 Washington include:

State of the Beach Report: Washington
Washington Home Beach Description Beach Access Water Quality Beach Erosion Erosion Response Beach Fill Shoreline Structures Beach Ecology Surfing Areas Website
2011 7 SOTB Banner Small.jpg