The Protect Our Waves (POW) campaign specifically promotes the protection of surf spots, recognising the environmental, social, cultural and economic benefits of surfing resources, and represents the surfing community to government, developers and other coastal stakeholders.
The campaign aims to protect surf spots from unacceptable levels of environmental impact, degradation of surfing wave quality and to advance recreational water users right of access.
British surfing waves are under threat from a growing number of activities around our coastline that could destroy or have long-term devastating impact on some of our most prized surfing beaches. This includes coastal developments, pollution, and restricted access.
Hugo Tagholm, SAS Director says “Surfers Against Sewage is working to protect a number of threatened surfing breaks around the UK and it is shocking that there is no specific law in the UK to safeguard these amazing natural resources. Waves and surfing beaches should be recognised as part of UK coastal heritage and afforded greater protection and valued as unique, valuable and scarce assets, just like ancient woodland.”
Waves are an important and necessary part of the workings of our planet. Surfing beaches and waves also have a deep personal value to surfers and surfing communities around the UK. However, in the UK there is currently no specific legal protection for surfing waves or any assurance that stakeholders, including surfers and surfing communities in Wales, Northern Ireland or England, will be consulted fairly on activities threatening their existence.
“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 and CEO of Patagonia, Inc.
Other sports and activities such as walking and sailing are formally recognised, represented and consulted during many new development processes. Other areas of outstanding beauty and countryside sites are also protected. But politicians, developers and the wider public in general have very little knowledge of the value, uniqueness and finite nature of surfing waves taking into account the unique geological and climatic conditions required to produce good quality surfing waves.
Surfing has grown into a well establish sport, culture and an important industry in the UK. However, many still wrongly perceive surfing as an unimportant sub-culture and fail to fully respect surfers or recognise surfers’ concerns, particularly on environmental and resources issues that affect them directly.
Surfers come from all walks of life: lawyers, doctors and businessmen sit in the line up next to tradesmen, students and professional athletes. Good quality surf spots and popular surfing communities help support local economies and have a positive impact on society; natural assets and benefits that need to be further quantified, promoted and protected.
“Protect Our Waves is an excellent initiative from Surfers Against Sewage – an organisation that has shown time and again a commitment to caring for the UK’s coastline, not least in their record-breaking beach clean in Brighton this summer. I hope that this petition increases awareness and, ultimately, protection of waves, and I look forward to lending my support in Parliament.” Caroline Lucas MP
Sign the POW Petition Today – www.protectourwaves.org.uk
POW Briefing Document – Download
Waves Are Resources Report – Download
Support the campaign – JOIN