The largest environmental surfing organization, Surfrider, is a large and highly effective global environmental organization with 84 chapters, including over 250,000 members in the U.S. Moreover, Surfrider is very effective in advocating for beach access, clean water, protecting beaches and surf spots from development, and promoting coastal and ocean health. However, there are additional issues important to surfers that are more relevant to marine ecologists. These include global climate change, habitat destruction, ecosystem studies, and fishery management, among others. As envisioned, surfing ecologists would support and extend Surfrider’s programs and policies as well as other surfing-oriented environmental groups, not compete with them.
Heal the Bay
Another factor key to healthy ecosystems is clean water. Polluted water is one of the first things that directly effects surfers and discharges of various pollutants, such as sewage, sediments, toxic chemicals, and plastics can poison and kill marine life and surfers alike. Plastic waste, for example, kills up to 1 million sea birds, 100,000 sea mammals and countless fish each year and can remain in our ecosystem for years. Fortunately there are many organizations working on these issues such as Surfrider, and in California, Heal the Bay.
World Surfing Reserves proactively identifies, designates and preserves outstanding waves, surf zones and surrounding environments around the world. Save The Waves Coalition, along with key partners National Surfing Reserves (NSR) Australia and the International Surfing Association (ISA), launched World Surfing Reserves in 2009. The program serves as a global model for preserving wave breaks and their surrounding areas by recognizing and protecting the key environmental, cultural, economic and community attributes of surfing areas.
Plastic Soup Foundation
The contamination of the oceans by plastics is an added problem to global warming, acidification and overfishing. Plastic pollution is a serious threat to earth’s vital ecosystem, especially because plastic does not biodegrade. Through the degradation and fragmentation of plastics into small pieces, all our water changes into a global soup of microplastics. Toxic chemicals are also released by these plastics. The plastic contamination of the water can do serious harm to our health. The Plastic Soup Foundation (PSF) wants to call a halt to the increasing plastic contamination of our oceans. The PSF wants to strongly advocate for that no more plastic enters in the sea in the future.
Surf For Change
Surfing for Change’s goal is to spread awareness, motivation, and promote action from surfers and non-surfers alike. Surf-locations around the world are increasingly threatened by pollution, climate change, and industrialization. Surfers have the unique responsibility to take action for the protection of the oceans and environment.