As a surfer you know how important a beautiful, clean, and healthy ocean is for recreation, enjoyment, and our own health. What can you do to help keep the ocean beautiful? Check out what other surfers and surf organizations around the world did to celebrate World Oceans Day last year and start planning your own event for this year. Get ready to hit the waves, have fun and take action with your favorite activity- surfing!
Host a presentation led by surfers or a surfing organization. Last year, the Global Challenges Program at the University of Wollongong hosted a presentation that brought experts from various fields to talk about research happening at the University including surfing research. Alternatively, host an educational film festival. The Georgia Strait Alliance, held the Vancouver Festival of Ocean Films last year. The festival focused on the ocean as a place for adventure, sport, and responsible commerce but, most importantly, as a home to unique wilderness that merits respect and protection.
Lead a beach cleanup:
Organize volunteers from your community to have a fun day at the beach while collecting trash and recyclable plastic polluting your favorite surfing site. Last year, the Surfing Association of Nova Scotia hosted their annual beach cleanup and partnered with local businesses to make their event even bigger! Volunteers were even treated to a beach BBQ after the cleanup. The Ocean Recovery Alliance encourages the 'Oceanic Big 5' (surfers, sailors, swimmers, divers and paddlers) to come together and create ocean cleanups in places that normal beach cleanups might not take you. Visit their website for resources and fundraising opportunities.
Get kids involved with an education day, crafts, and games. Sal’s Surfing Association in Cape Verde hosted a beach cleanup, water sports and environmental education activities for children. For young surfers, the Dominican Surfing Federation organized a beach cleanup and high performance training clinic for youth ages 18 and younger. Waves International spoke at a local school in Peru and also hosted a drawing competition for the children.
Learn who shares your waves:
From shore birds to seals to crabs, millions of creatures live in the productive coastal ocean. Learn about what creatures live in your local coastal ecosystems and which are endangered or threatened species. During the annual Paddle Out for Sharks in South Africa, surfers, boarders, and many more paddle out to bring awareness to the plight of sharks and other marine life. Join or create a campaign to help animals, like sharks, thrive!
Host a competition:
Engage youth and bring people out to enjoy the beach with a surfing competition! Have a table at your event with information about keeping the beach clean and healthy. The IV National Surf Competition ‘Ocean Green Cup’ and beach clean-up was held last year in the Dominican Republic. Looking to get more people involved in a competition? Instead of having a surfing competition, Surfrider Foundation created a Protect Special Places Photo Contest. Through Surfrider’s photo contest, people had the opportunity to promote their special coastal places that need to be protected for future generations.