Ocean Career: Surfrider Foundation Sr. Manager of Coasts and Climate

The Surfrider Foundation is a non-profit environmental organization dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of the world’s ocean, waves, and beaches for all people through a powerful activist network. The Surfrider Foundation has achieved many important victories by persuading state, federal, and local decision makers to protect vital coastal and ocean resources.

These accomplishments demonstrate the important role of recreational users in advancing coastal and ocean stewardship.

By joining the Surfrider Foundation, you will be welcomed into an open and inclusive network of incredibly supportive and collaborative people who work hard and play hard. You will have the opportunity to work with dedicated people, who are also passionate coastal users, that have their feet in the sand and toes in the water. You help bring together divergent voices and perspectives to provide our community with the leadership and tools necessary to make a difference at their beach and in coastal communities across the United States. At Surfrider, we build leaders and we are problem solvers; our culture sets us apart and influences everything we do. Coastal recreation is fun and working at Surfrider is too.

The Surfrider Foundation seeks to hire an individual to manage Surfrider’s Coasts and Climate Initiative, joining Surfrider’s Environmental Department. The initiative is focused on protecting and adapting coastlines in the United States and mitigating the impacts of climate change through nature-based solutions on our coasts. Key priorities will include developing Surfrider’s Climate Action Program, supporting state and local policy campaigns, and leading Surfrider’s federal climate campaign efforts. The Senior Manager will oversee two direct reports, the Climate Action Program Manager and Living Shorelines Manager positions.


  • Lead and execute Surfrider Foundation’s Coasts and Climate Initiative in the United States.
  • Develop Surfrider’s Climate Action Program in collaboration with the Climate Action Program Manager.
  • Directly support Surfrider’s site-based coastal adaptation efforts in collaboration with Surfrider’s Living Shoreline Coordinator and regional staff at San Onofre, Surfers’ Point, California, Ecola Creek, Oregon, the North Shore of Oahu, and other locations.
  • Stay current with relevant science, policy, and political developments related to climate and coastal resilience issues.
  • Serve as a Foundation media spokesperson on coast and climate related issues.
  • Work in collaboration with NGO partners, federal and state agencies, universities and other partners to advance Surfrider’s Coasts and Climate Initiative priorities.
  • Develop content for Surfrider’s communication platforms on coastal resilience and climate change issues.
  • Represent the organization on relevant advisory boards and coalitions.
  • Develop and maintain positive relationships with the funding community and identify new fundraising opportunities to support Surfrider’s environmental work.
  • Manage Surfrider’s Coasts and Climate Initiative grants and solicit new support from foundations, governments, and major givers.
  • Ensure the team works in a cohesive manner to meet strategic objectives with other departments.


  • Knowledge of coastal policy and management at the federal, state, and local levels.
  • Knowledge of coastal science, shoreline processes, and climate change issues.
  • Graduate degree in environmental management, ocean policy, and/or marine science or equivalent experience.
  • Experience working on nature-based solutions to coastal resilience issues, including habitat restoration, managed retreat, and other coastal adaptation projects such as ‘living shorelines.’
  • Deep understanding of coastal adaptation strategies using nature-based solutions.
  • Experience in coastal land use planning, shoreline permitting, and sea level rise adaptation.
  • The ability to make critical decisions under pressure
  • Excellent organizational skills.


  • Experience in federal-level campaign planning, policy development, and coalition building.
  • Understanding of federal-level trends and opportunities for coastal resilience funding.
  • Professional training and experience in campaign planning, policy development, grassroots organizing, and coalition building.


  • 7+ years of experience managing teams and working on environmental issues.
  • Experience working for or with NGOs and government agencies.
  • Proven ability to effectively manage multiple, complex tasks and to establish and regularly evaluate priorities.
  • Proven success in project management including coordinating teams of diverse individuals.
  • Proven experience in a manager or senior management position.


  • Experience in grant writing, management, reporting and communication with donors and foundation program officers.
  • Proven fundraising/ donor relationship experience.


  • Excellent oral and written communication.
  • Experience speaking publicly in front of a large number of people in diverse situations.
  • Experience communicating with news media in all forms.
  • Professional experience communicating, both orally and in writing, with agency staff, elected officials, funders, and local stakeholders.


  • Willingness and ability to travel extensively throughout the United States.
  • Willingness to work flexible hours for meetings and travel.
  • Ability to work remotely and independently


This is a full-time position. The Senior Manager of Coasts and Climate position will be compensated with a salary commensurate with candidate’s experience level. The Surfrider Foundation offers a salary that is competitive with other national, not-for-profit conservation organizations.

Salary Range: $67,000 Minimum - $100,165 Maximum


Benefits include medical, dental and vision coverage monthly premiums compensated 100% by Surfrider Foundation, Long-Term Disability insurance, Employee Assistance program (EAP), Section 125 Flexible Spending Account (FSA), 401(k) plan offering a match of .50¢ of every dollar contributed by the employee up to a maximum of 4% of earnings (in other terms, a 2% employer match). Surfrider Foundation provides paid holidays, vacation and sick time. We also provide 6 weeks of paid parental leave following the birth of an employee’s child or the placement of a child with an employee in connection with adoption or foster care.

Closing Date: March 1, 2024

Learn more about this opportunity and how to apply.

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