SAS launches new website for activists to campaign with
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 23 June, 2016 – In a press release today Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) stated that “we can all be Surf Activists.” The statement said that all surfers should take stewardship of the surfing environment from which they derive so much enjoyment. The group also wants the surfing community to carry out actions to preserve and improve the places we live, surf and love.
Surfers Against Sewage believes that waves and surf spots deserve to be seen as part of our natural heritage and should be afforded greater recognition and protection through political debate and legislation. The marine conservation charity is campaigning hard to raise the public awareness of these natural resources, the environmental, physical and geological factors that create waves and how they are integral to coastal ecosystems and can help support thriving, sustainable and economically successful coastal communities around the UK.
“Natural surf breaks should be treated as world heritage sites, and should never be destroyed no matter what the reason… we really can’t allow any existing surf breaks to be taken down, for whatever reason.”
Yvon Chouinard, Founder & CEO of Patagonia, inc. By challenging government, industry or community and individuals we can all make change happen. Utilising SAS’s extensive environmental campaigning experience, the charity has created a simple set of guides to help activists launch local environmental campaigns to ensure unique surf spots are better recognised and protected for everyone to enjoy.
Anyone, from any walk of life can be a grassroots activist, all they need is to feel strongly and have a willingness to cause change. Grassroots activism is a coming together of people, to stand up and make a difference using their freedom of speech.
The Surf Activists Toolkit focuses on the three core issues relating to environmental concerns within the surfer’s realm. These are constructed around the successes of SAS’s previous wave protection initiatives, linked to the Protect Our Waves campaign.
All three issues have the potential to degrade or even destroy SSSIs. Within each issue, SAS outline the framework and offer the tools for a grassroots activist to challenge; community, industry and government. This creates the opportunity to tackle issues at varying levels and to ensure that there is an effective tool for all.
Things to remember when changing the world:
– Change can be slow, small steps, can, over time lead to positive, long lasting effect. Change can occur between generations until it becomes a permeant fixture.
– A single and specific goal is often the most sure-fire way to create change. Focus your efforts.
– Positive People Power is one of the best ways to achieve change. The more people that can positively support your goal, the more likely others are to listen and follow.
– Now is the time to start making the changes that will ensure our Surfing Sites are available for the future generations.
– It is OK to ask for help. The Surf Activists Toolkit is designed to guide individuals into taking action beyond organised roles. The toolkit is by no means exhaustive and taps into just some of the resources used within SAS campaigning. Please get in touch if there is something missing or you need guidance in protecting a Site of Special Surfing Interest
Hugo Tagholm, Chief Executive of Surfers Against Sewage says:“We’re stoked to launch the pilot of the Surf Activists toolkit with Patagonia. Clean, perfect waves and great surf spots are finite natural resources just like our forests, lakes and mountains, and we must ensure they are protected from over-development, pollution and other environmental threats such as marine litter.
We’re aiming to inspire and empower surf communities to take action to protect these amazing natural spaces.”
Gabe Davies from Patagonia says: “Patagonia has a long history of supporting grassroots environmental activists. Surfers Against Sewage is an NGO that has been committed to protecting the surf zone we love for many years.
The Surf Activists Toolkit is a platform that has been developed to share their expertise with those who want to make a difference on local actions, and for people who are inspired to make change on their own doorstep.”
Sancho Rodriguez founder of the San Sebastian Surf Film Festival says: “The San Sebastian Surf Film Festival is highlighting the destruction and damage to waves world wide. The Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020 is set to include surfing but also destroy 3 important natural surf breaks.
This is not acceptable and we urge all surfers and ocean campaigners to use the Activists Toolkit and join Surfers Against Sewage in standing up for our rights (and lefts). Stoked to be making this call to arms at the festival!”
The pilot of the Surf Activists website was launched at the San Sebastian Surf Film Festival in June 2016.