San Luis Obispo Chapter

About Us

Our ocean, waves and beaches belong to all of us and it is our job to protect them.

The Surfrider Foundation was started in 1984, by a group of visionary surfers from Malibu, California. Today, the organization maintains over 250,000 members, supporters and activists with 84 chapters in the United States and affiliates in over 20 countries worldwide.

The San Luis Obispo County Chapter is a group of volunteers working to protect our local oceans, waves and beaches. We all share a common passion – we love and appreciate our ocean, waves and beaches. We care about the Central Coast and want to make a difference.

The SLO County chapter formed in 1994 and actively protects nearly 100 miles of coastline from Point Sal to Ragged Point.

Read about Our Accomplishments.

Our Local Team

Brad Snook
Chair and Ocean Friendly Gardens Coordinator

Brad earned his degree in Meteorology from San Jose State and worked for many years as a Marine Risk Communicator. A Surfrider member for over 20 years, Brad progressively increased his activism with the Monterey chapter before moving to SLO County. With Surfrider SLO since 2010, he has served on the Executive Committee every year while also leading the chapter’s Know Your H2O program. He also recently took over the Ocean Friendly Gardens coordinator position.

Vice Chair
Position Open
– please contact us if you are interested.


Jim Miers
Secretary & Historian
Jim grew up in Colorado and moved to California when he was 23. Coming from a landlocked state, he was fascinated with the beach and the waves and set a goal of seeing every beach in California. He surfed, swam, and paddled up and down the coast and finally achieved that goal. Documenting the Chapter’s many coastal preservation victories over the last 25 years as Chapter Historian has inspired him to do his part to preserve the beautiful SLO County coastline for future generations to enjoy as much as he has. Jim has a law degree, a Masters in environmental policy and management, and 25 years of experience in grassroots organizing and volunteer leadership.  For 20 years he built alternative energy companies.


Tifnie LaCabe

Tifnie is a Minnesota native who moved to San Clemente, California in 1992. Water has been a part of her life from a very young age; fishing on the Minnesota lakes, rafting and sailing in Wisconsin, paddle boarding in the ocean and beach bonfires down at Old Mans. However, it wasn’t until Tifnie joined Dana Point Outriggers in Dana Point that her love of being on the ocean began. Upon moving to the Central Coast in 2001 to get married and start a family, she joined the local outrigger team, Pale Kai Outriggers, where she not only coached the women’s team but was the treasurer as well. Tifnie has well over 20 years of accounting experience working in government, manufacturing and restaurant entities. She is very excited for this next chapter in her life working for Surfrider; making an impact and continuing her education of ocean awareness.

Melanie MacDowell,
Volunteer Coordinator

Melanie is a communication professional and owner of Lovely Day Adventure Company. She lives on a farm in San Luis Obispo and works with green-thinking non-profits, small businesses, and individuals on strategies, content creation and creative direction. Melanie loves spending time outdoors, near the beach, and is stoked to work with Surfrider to create real-change for the Central Coast.


Carol Georgi
Ocean Protection

Niel Dilworth
Blue Water Task Force Coordinator

Niel is an architect and an ocean swimmer and joined the Blue Water Task Force because of his concern about the cleanliness of the water he was swimming in.
Chelsea Potter
Rise Above Plastics Chair

Chelsea is a local dietitian and environmental activist. She has been doing what she can personally to live a near zero waste lifestyle and is motivated to spread the word with Surfrider. She was raised on the Central coast and is dedicated to doing what she can to preserve our environment for future generations.

Charles Varni
S.T.O.P. Climate Change Coordinator

Charles Varni is Coordinator of our STOP Climate Change Campaign. He was born in Santa Barbara a long time ago where he surfed all right point breaks, moving to the Central Coast in 1978 where he taught sociology at Allan Hancock College for 30 years. Charles represents our Chapter on many local coalitions, especially those challenging new fossil energy infrastructure, including the Phillips 66 oil train terminal project, Measure G to ban new oil wells and fracking, and currently the Green New Deal.

Liana Harlan
Ocean Friendly Restaurants Coordinator

In addition to helping local restaurants reduce their single use plastics, Liana also helps out with website updates and social media posts. She first started volunteering with Surfrider in 2009 as the social media coordinator and helping with the Know Your H20 program in San Diego.

Meaghan McVicker
Beach Cleanups Coordinator

Meaghan relocated from the suburbs of Chicago in 2007, always dreaming of living near the ocean as a child. Now that the dream has come true, she wants to make sure that they are well taken care of. She feels it is vital that our beach communities are educated on how important it is to keep our oceans clean. Meaghan works in the medical field as a technician and also works to educate local families on how to clean their homes without harmful chemicals.