September 19, 2010. Huntington Beach, CA.

Surfing world champion Kelly Slater returned to the throne yesterday by ripping in perfect 6-foot swell at Trestles making him four time winner of the Hurley Pro tour.  His total number of elite pro tour wins now counts to 43 positioning him in the lead for this year’s ASP World Title Race.  Congratulations Kelly!

Other than his obvious ability to rip any wave and master any break, Kelly has gained respect in the surfing community for his involvement and effort fighting towards environmental change and humanitarian work.  He has utilized his position in the spotlight to draw attention to the non-profit organization Reef Check.  The group is dedicated to protecting and conserving two ecosystems: tropical coral reefs and California rocky reefs.  As a world-renowned surfer, Kelly has evoked concern amongst the surfing community for the worlds’ reefs and directed watermen to participate with Reef Check.

In addition to his involvement with Reef Check, Kelly is connected to the Borgen Project, a national campaign working to bring US political attention to global poverty.  Their goal is to pressure the US Congress and White House to reconsider how the country’s resources are spent.  Through education and shocking statistics, the Borgen Project hopes to inspire US authorities to discuss and rethink the ways in which our national “piggy bank” is spent.

Annual Cost of Improving the World

  • $19 billion: Eliminates starvation and malnutrition globally.
  • $12 billion: Provides education for every kid on earth.
  • $15 billion: Provides access to water and sanitation.
  • $23 billion: Reverses the spread of AIDS and Malaria.

The Cost in Perspective

  • $420 billion: U.S. Military budget this year.
  • $340 billion: Cost of Iraq War thus far.
  • (Sources: World Bank, National Priorities Project )

Heal the Ocean, a non-profit organization committed to ending ocean pollution, is hosting their annual benefit concert on October 9 at the Coral Casino Pacifica Room on Channel Drive.  The night will be hosted by Julia Louis-Dreyfus and will include a sit-down dinner, dessert buffet, and beats from FOG, Santa Barbara’s “Favorite Oldies Group.”  By attending the benefit, guests are supporting Heal the Oceans current goal of wastewater reclamation to entirely eliminate wastewater from our oceans. BUY TICKETS

Picture this: Wake up to some of the worlds most beautiful, untouched beaches in South America before diving in the water for a sunrise surf session then going into the local village to teach native children English.  Sounds like every environmentally concerned surfer’s dream…

Since 2008 Ecosurfvolunteers has turned this surf fantasy into a reality.  Eco Surf Volunteers merges international humanitarian work and environmental volunteering with surfing South America’s uncrowded breaks.  The program encourages the continuation of local traditions in Canoa, Ecuador and Tomas De Berlanga, of the Galapagos Islands while stimulating the community’s economy.  It aims to cultivate the growth of the local adventure tourism industry by teaching the youth English.  Future goals include creating a four-year school run by native-born residents that teaches students the nuances of operating a tourism oriented business.

Program dates run in December 2010, January 2011, and March 2011.

In October 2007 one of my favorite surfers, Dave Rastovich, joined by actresses Isabel Lucas and Hayden Panettiere participated in a peaceful paddle out in the waters of Taiji, Japan.  Acting as spokespersons for Save the Whales Again the group hoped to raise public awareness to the threats facing dolphins and whales in ocean habitats from human interaction and global warming.  The group risked arrest and injury to paddle out in honor of the 25,000 dolphins slaughtered each year in Japan.  Their efforts fought to draw attention to the grotesque mass murder of a species vital to our oceans.

This past June 2010, Save the Whales Again presented the International Whaling Commission with a petition to stop all commercial and scientific whaling by Japan, Norway, and Iceland.  Jeff Pantukhoff represented the 230,000 people that signed the petition by presenting it to the IWC in Agadir, Morocco.

Creatures of the sea deserve our attention and rely on our efforts to remain protected in their natural habitat.

This Thursday, September 9, The Blue Project is hosting “No Leash Required“, a special event featuring food, live music, and special guests at Malibu Wines.  The event will also feature a live auction including boards, designer jewelry, clothing, and original art donated from painters, shapers, and photographers.  All proceeds will be donated to Surfaid, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the health, well being, and self reliance of people living in isolated communities staying connected through surfing.  What better way to kick off the MSA opening night than attending an event filled with fellow surfers, friends, and good story all for a beneficial cause?  Cheers!

The other day I got the privilege of spotting one of my favorite professional surfers ripping at Ala Moana Bowls.  On his way in, he spotted a plastic bag floating in the water and pocketed it before paddling on.  Once on the shore, he did a scan of the beach and  picked up any rubbish that had been littered in the sand.  His actions reminded me that even the simplest of actions can make a big impact.  Here’s a list of the beach cleanups the Surfrider Foundation is sponsoring for the month of September.  Let’s all do our part of keeping our sandbox clean.

Huntington Beach

  1. Sat. September 11, Bolsa Chica State Beach 8 am to 12 pm, meet at lifeguard tower 21 at blue Surfrider tent
  2. Sat. September 25, 9th Street 8 am to 12 pm, look for blue Surfrider tent

Long Beach

  1. Sat. September 11, Alamitos Beach (downtown) 10 am to 10:30 am
  2. Sat September 18, Granada Ave. 10 am to 10:30 am, meet at end of Granada Ave. and bike path

Newport Beach

  1. Sat. September 11, Echo Beach 3 pm to 5 pm, meet at 54 St. and Seashore Dr.

San Diego

  1. Sat. September 18, Encinitas Moonlight Beach 9 am to 11 am, meet by sand at Cottonwood Creek
  2. Sat. September 25, California Coastal Cleanup Day 9 am to 12 pm, location TBD

South Orange County

  1. Sat. September 25, California Coastal Cleanup Day 9 am to 1 pm, San Juan Creek

Created on the South Shore of Oahu, in 1961 John Kelly founded Save Our Surf.  SOS is considered by many to be the first grassroots nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving local beaches and surf breaks.  Over the years SOS has saved over 140 surf sites from destruction and brought awareness to the fragile balance of our ocean’s ecosystems.  A true waterman, John Kelly sparked global concern among surfers and environmental enthusiasts to protect the ocean, surf, and coast.