The  Surf Happens Foundation is determined to interweave environmental stewardship into all of our events and programs.  There is way too much plastic floating in the ocean, and the solution begins with reducing OUR use of single-use plastics, and cleaning our beach before it reaches the ocean. EveryONE can make a big difference. 

We currently have programs in place to spread awareness on the problems and solutions of plastic pollution and keeping our beaches clean. We strive to be key contributors to the education of the next generation of Ocean protectors. See below to learn about the ways we educate local youth. 

The High5 Campaign

The High5 Campaign is simply to pick up 5 pieces of trash anytime you visit the beach or wherever you go to play outdoors. 

We spread the word of ocean stewardship through multiple ways within our programs and events. We teach it through verbal stories and presentations, through reusable bags with a list of solutions to pollution, and a bamboo wax comb that reminds surfers to pick up their trash and others before it washes to sea. 

Educate yourself on plastics:

5 GyresAlgalita

Beach Cleanups 

Surf Happens has held beach cleanups for the past 17 years in almost ever program and event we have run, touching thousands of lives. Through our beach cleanups we aim to share facts about plastic pollution in the ocean, and simple ways to being part of the solution!

Surf Happens beach cleanups are held through our community outreach programs serving hundreds of area youth, along with international trips. 

In addition to promoting the High Five program and hosting beach clean ups at all Surf Happens Foundation events and programs and Surf Happens Surf School camps, and competitions, we bring awareness directly to the people by hosting beach clean ups and clinics at events hosted by other amazing organizations. These groups support our mission and have allowed us to access 1,000,'s of people through on beach interviews and participation by the general public.

Partnering organizations include the following:

  • National Scholastic Surfing Series (NSSA) : Local, State & National Events (2010-Present)
  • Scholastic Surf Series (SSS): Local, Regional, & State Events (2010-Present)
  • Surfing America USA Surfing Championships (2015)
  • Earth Day Santa Barbara (2010-Present)
  • Rincon Classic (2008-Present) over 5,000 attendees annually
  • California Coastal Cleanup Day (2014-Present)
  • Surf Happens Surf School

Upcoming Cleanups 2017

  • NSSA West Coast Championships: Thursday May 20th 12pm, south side Huntington Beach 
  • Coffin Brothers Surf Out: Saturday August 5th 12:00pm, Ventura Harbor
  • California Coastal Cleanup Day: Saturday September 17th 9am-12pm, Santa Claus Lane-Meet South Entrance [get your community service hours!]
  • Lakey Peterson Keiki Bowl: Saturday December 16th 12pm, Leadbetter Beach
  • Every week at Surf Happens Surf Camp June-August, Fridays 12pm

info@surfhappensfoundation.org / 805-235-8783


The Plastic Experiment

Hogue Family: Day 24

Hogue Family: Day 24

The Plastic Experiment is a short film that brings awareness to plastic pollution in our oceans. Fourteen year old Santa Barbara surfer, Decker McAllister, acts as the narrator and guides the viewer through a detailed look at the problem, and some simple solutions, to plastic pollution. The film follows Santa Babrara families that have participated in the 30 day Plastic Experiment to reduce the size of their personal plastic footprint. [Remake 2012]

[Original 2010] Inspired by his love for the ocean and discovering the issue of plastic pollution, Surf Happens owner, Chris Keet created a way to spread awareness in his own community: The Plastic Experiment. Watch as friends and business acquaintances save all their plastic for 30 days to raise awareness. Also see how Surf Happens turns the 2010 Rincon Classic into a more sustainable, plastic free event with the theme 'Be Green to the Queen'. Learn about the problem and simple actions we can all take to Reduce Our Use.

The Story Behind the Film

It was in 2009 when Chris Keet, the Executive Director of the Surf Happens Foundation, began learning about the North Pacific Garbage Patch and the environmental impact it was having on the ocean and its inhabitants. What he learned inspired him take action which led to the development of The Plastic Experiment, a local awareness campaign to reduce the use of single-use plastic items. 

The Experiment was simple - save all plastic waste for 30 days and remove at least one single-use-plastic item from his daily routine.   

Over the 30 days Keet dedicated himself to the task, becoming increasingly aware of his own over consumption of plastics, further inspiring him to spread awareness to his community and to reduce his personal use of plastic. His quick and easy solution of reducing his personal use of plastic, Keet stopped using single-use coffee cups which are often lined with plastic and began using a reusable coffee mug.  

While saving all your plastic waste is not for everyone, it’s a surefire way to open your eyes to our patterns of over consumption. To illustrate this, Chris and his wife, Jenny, created a film appropriately titled “The Plastic Experiment”. The film has been presented to various schools throughout the district to educate viewers about The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, an area twice the size of Texas in the Pacific Ocean, which is filled with generations’ worth of plastic waste. The film concludes with simple solutions we can all adopt into our lives that will make a big difference in our oceans and communities.