Young people are the future, and the way we treat our environment today will directly affect their quality of life as adults. With that in mind, Surfrider Pacific Rim has developed a program designed to educate, inspire, and empower young people to step up as leaders in their community, instigating much needed changes for a sustainable future.


The Youth Environmental Stewardship (YES) Program combines place based learning with hands-on, practical engagement to encourage young people to develop their understanding and connection to the natural world, thus instilling a sense of responsibility for its protection. The education program has four main elements:



Understand the problems associated with single-use plastics, the challenges of effective waste diversion, and the effect plastic has on marine ecosystems and wildlife.


Learn how to efficiently and effectively clean the shoreline, collecting useful data as you go.


Create thought-provoking artwork out of the collected marine debris to inspire discussion and make the ocean pollution epidemic more visible.


Discover leadership styles and develop campaigns to create change in school.


Surfrider Pacific Rim has enjoyed huge success delivering this program in schools throughout the region, and has also supported the establishment of two youth clubs: Ucluelet Secondary Surfrider Youth Club, and Maaqtusiis Secondary Surf and Stewardship Club. These smart, articulate, and motivated youth are making real waves in their communities, and we couldn’t be prouder of all their hard work!


If you’re a teacher interested in delivering this program with your class, or would like more information on setting up a Surfrider Youth Club at your school, please contact


Deepest gratitude to our generous sponsors that support the continual development and success of this program, ensuring its accessibility to all young people in the region. With heartfelt thanks to: Clayoquot Biosphere Trust, the Vancouver Foundation, VANS, Ucluelet Secondary School, Maaqtusiis Secondary School.